for PC (DOS)

Mr Creosote:Popular Vote:
Company: SSI
Year: 1993
Genre: Strategy, RPG
Theme: Based on Other Media / Politics / War / Sword & Sorcery
Language: English, Deutsch
Licence: Commercial
Views: 33816
Review by Mr Creosote (2000-12-15)

Now this game truly deserves to be called 'Real-Time-Strategy'! But if I called it like that, most of you (the readers) would get a completely wrong idea of what it is like because this term is being completely misused in my opinion. Games like the Command & Conquer or Age of Empires series don't require much thinking. It's all about speed! And even if it was different, the word 'strategy' would still be wrong because it would mostly be tactics then!

But Stronghold is a real RTS if you refer it to the basic meaning of the words. You build up your empire in real-time. The point of view is quite extraordinary: it's in 3D! The map is divided into squares and when you choose one, you get a panorama view over the landscape. Conquering is done by sending inhabitants to other 'screens'. Arriving there, you command them to build up some buildings. There a vast variety of those, so there's much to explore and try out.

You have to keep an eye on your gold reserves, the number of houses to live in, food supply and much more! If you satisfy all the needs, your popularity will rise and your population will grow. That is the key for winning the game.

A D&D-background is used, so everything is fantasy-related. There are different races. I'm not familiar with the D&D-rules, but it seems a bit strange to me to find 'Dwarves' as well as 'Fighters'. Well, I don't think Fighters are a 'race', more of a character class maybe. And can't Dwarves be Fighters as well? That doesn't spoil the fun, but it's still strange...

But what would a fantasy world be without evil monsters? Nothing! So these are also implemented. They are divided into intelligence-groups from extremely dumb, i.e. they are just running around wildly (e.g. giant ants), to extremely intelligent, i.e. also building up structures and more organized. The most genious of the foes is 'Mindark' an evil sorcerer. But for some reason the relation between intelligence and strength seems to be antiproportional! Mindark is a wimp compared to stupid creatures like huge scorpions or bats! Keep that in mind when choosing the enemy's intelligence...

Another special point is the way you control your units. You just move a pyramid on which each side represents one of the three possible tasks (building, training or recruiting) to set what the people staying in this screen should do in percentages. So they can do everything at once, but it's not as efficient then. This works quite well. Moving units is a bit annoying though. Instead of just ordering units to march, you have to set 'magnets' on the screen you want them to go to. But only units set to a certain 'move- mode' will react.

On the whole, Stronghold is a good game but nothing spectacular. It's sure fun but it doesn't blow you away...

Comments (2) [Post comment]

Mitch (2005-05-24):
Fuer mich haette das Spiel 6/6 verdient. Fuer die damalige Zeit war das Spiel gigantisch.
Zero (2000-12-15):

This is easily one of the best games I've ever played.

It gives me great memories from 10 years ago, sitting down in front of the computer after school and just getting involved. This is truly a thinking person's game.

It also just goes to show you how much SSI ruled as far as the gaming world was concerned back then.

I still have my original copy, but happened to run across this site when looking for cheats.

Keep up the good work, all of you.