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Strategy: War
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Tony Hetherington
Chris Bourne

Friends, Romans, Countrymen! Lend me your Speccy! I've come to tell you the story of Rome, and how it became the ruler of the world and then went into a decline. Your job as Biggus Bossius (Biggus what? Ed) is to last as long as you can in the face of marauding Gauls, Goths, Vandals, Carthaginians and 33 other battling barbarians, as well as the odd cynical senator intent on Civil War.

The game starts in 273BC and lasts as long as you do. There's an average of four turns to every century, so don't be surprised if your games comes to an abrupt end - a lot can happen in 25 years you know! You get a 16 page booklet which is supposed to help you, though the amount of help it gives is debatable, and it's not the clearest thing I've ever clapped eyes on.

The game, unfortunately, is programmed in that most ancient of languages, Slowius Basicus, which means that it takes an age to play and crashes regularly. It's got a very messy screen display, and frankly, I found it fairly incomprehensible and terribly confusing. There's a moral note at the end of the booklet where it says that the most important lesson learned by the author is the ultimate futility of imperialism. Well, that may be so, but I'd have thought the ultimate lesson to be learnt is how to make a game of this type interesting and fun! Definitely one for those who're completely obsessed by war games!