Master of Magic

Snap150Take two parts Civilization, one part Betrayal at Krondor, and one part Warlords and you get the addictive qualities of Master of Magic. Created by the same folks who brought us Master of Orion, Master of Magic puts you in the role of a wizard bent on conquering a dark fantasy world. You’ll build your empire by establishing towns, raising armies, and enhancing your own magical powers. You’ll compete with other wizards as well, and with hoards of roaming monsters disrupting your empire and taxing your precious troops.

Master of Magic actually gives you two worlds to conquer – Arcanus and Myrror. You start your adventure in Arcanus, the more “normal” of the two worlds. By discovering special towers or developing your own mighty wizardry, you’ll eventually gain access to Myrror. Starting with a single, tiny fortress, you must explore your continent, and eliminate or make peace with other wizards you may encounter. When you begin, the entire world is black and unknown; the terrain is revealed only as you explore it. And naturally, when you’ve conquered your continent, you’ll want to build ships to plunder and pillage other realms across the ocean.

Building up your cities is a big part of the game. You choose the buildings to construct in your city, and they each contribute to your power and wealth in different ways. Building a stable, for instance, allows you to create cavalry units. A granary will help ensure your food supply, and fighter’s guilds will produce better soldiers. You can’t afford to ignore your city’s economy, either. A marketplace will increase production, while a sawmill will increase income from nearby forests.

Snap144While cities act as stable production centers, eventually you must expand. Outposts must be established, roads must be built, and taxes collected. You have to raise armies, feed them, and pay their wages. If there isn’t enough food or money to go around, your soldiers will simply leave you. In any case, the overall emphasis of Master of Magic is definitely on strategy, with some hints of role-playing thrown in as well. It’s a deep and not quite forgiving 4x game, as was Master of Orion, but for fans of the latter it will prove to be a fantastic take on an already excellent formula.

System Requirements: 386 CPU, 4 MB RAM, DOS

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