I wouldn't make a very good King I've decided, too many decisions about too many things. What with feeding my loyal subjects and exporting my rotten wheat, there just doesn't seem enough time in the day to count the money it's all bringing in - its probably the reason that I'm never too successful at playing Kingdoms.
Outworld, by new mail-order only software house Durome, is a sort of interstellar Kingdoms, set on a distant planet, where you have to control a company that mines rocket fuel ore.
This sounded more the ticket I thought, forget that King nonsense and try being a big company boss for a change. I must admit I was quite impressed by Outworld. There are plenty of features to keep even the toughest would-be mogul busy and the game flows along quite nicely.
The scenario is this, having taken over this mining company, you have three years to make a fortune or get banished to some far off galaxy (where you could train to become an Elite pilot - but that's another game).
The first decision is which of the three land areas do you mine in (one has very rich ore, but is very unstable - prone to earthquakes. Another has so-so ore, but is very safe etc). You pays your money and you takes your choice. Next you choose your labour force from three types of alien, the better the worker the more it costs in salary payments. This done, you may buy drilling equipment and here again are three choices ranging from bog standard pick axes to fully automated drilling machines.
Numerous other screens depict advertising investment (which increases the number of customers), industrial espionage (stealing from other companies), tax payments, loans and productivity. You start with two mines and 150 workers, and expansion is the name of the game but caution is a necessary evil and it will take quite a few months before you get really profiteering.
Durome have packed a fair amount into this game, and have tried hard to bring a fresh approach to an otherwise old subject and at a price which is to be commended. It doesn't have state of the art graphics, and some of the routines are a bit amateurish but, nevertheless if you're into mining games, you'll dig this one.
Author: P. Davies
Reviewer: Andy Moss
Involved management simulation that puts you in the hot seat running a mining company. Good value for money.