Classic Game Review: Conquest

Risk fans rejoice! Your favorite board game is now available for use against one, two or even three computer opponents. You no longer have to scrounge around at odd hours of the night hiring someone will take your challenge. With the aid of your PC you can choose to fight in Europe of 1942 or Scotland 1750.

Like the popular board game, CONQUEST is a strategy war game. The object is to conquer territories adjacent to countries which you hold. CONQUEST has several enhanced features which are not in Risk. Fast moving computer opponents provide only breathing time before it's your turn once again. A fine text window displays all the necessary information as battles ensue. The graphics employed outline and color in conquered territories quickly. At the beginning of a turn, you are allotted a certain number of arms. You can deploy them wherever you see fit. Troops not deployed are stored for your next turn.

Next, you can either attack or finish your turn. Each country is displayed with the owner's color and the total amount of occupying armies. After attacking and defeating the enemy, you decide how many troops to leave and how many to move into your new territory. After this decision, the computer fills in the newly acquired land with your color. Attaching continues until you decide to stop. For the last move of your turn, you can pull troops away from the front lines to be stored along with your allotted arms for the next turn. In this way, you can muster strength for counter attacking or even defending your front lines. To start the game, you can choose the number of armies to be placed in each country. Three is suggested, although the experienced player can decide to start with up to nine. If you like to show off your computer, you can have two, three or four computer opponents square off at each other. Any combination of human and / or computer opponents up to four can play. Ownership of countries at the start of each game can be the same, or you can opt to have the countries randomly distributed. When time is short and the war is still on, a "save" feature permits you to continue at a later time.

One major problem occurred when I was loading in the European map. After being prompted by the computer, the map of Europe was drawn in. Just before the countries were colored in, I received an error message stating "out of memory 2080". From that point, it was impossible to proceed. After contacting Sirius I was finally lead to the easy solution. It seems that because my machine has an asynchronous communications card, Basic will automatically allocate a communications buffer when it boots up. So to prevent this from happening, make sure you type in Basica / c: 0 instead of Basica (as the directions call for). This will cause Basic to start up with 0 buffers. With this problem solved, I had no trouble loading in the European game.

All in all, CONQUEST is an enhanced version of a popular board game.The several options of game set-up provide variety that makes the game life last after countless use. Graphics and text window display are done well. The documentation is adequate, although the directions should address errors that could occur with loading more adequately. The gamer who enjoys spending hours and hours on one detailed battle may not appreciate the ease and uncomplicated nature of battle. However, most gamers will enjoy the swiftness of execution and the ebb and flow of battle.

The graphics used in drawing both Europe and Scotland are clear and well depicted, and the text display box provides important information such as players turn, countries doing battle and odds and out of each battle. With the addition of some sound routines, this game could become a classic, as it stands, CONQUEST is a very enjoyable game, simple to learn and challenging enough for the serious computer gamer.