Millennium's second isometric adventure game is a humorous romp in the ancient Roman Empire. Rome: Pathway to Power is a vast improvement over Adventures of Robin Hood in every respect. The tiny characters are still there, but they are much easier to see thanks to VGA graphics and smoother animations. The premise: you are an ambitious Roman slave who is trying to free himself and get away from the provincial town of Herculaneum to seek fortunes in Rome. Gameplay is a fun mix of action, adventure, and even strategy. Most puzzles require astute observation of people's daily lives and good timing (a sequence in which you must wait to steal a citizen's toga is a case in point). The cities are teeming with priests, citizens, officials, warriors and other kinds, all of whom have things to say when you stop them on the street. The game is divided into self-contained episodes, each of which must be solved in order. |
The awkward interface of Adventures of Robin Hood has been vastly improved on. It is still not intuitive, however, as some actions require multiple steps (you must click on the DO icon first to PAY, for instance), but it's adequate for the game. Each episode introduces not only new locations and characters, but also gameplay twists. In the middle of the game, for example, you'll have the chance to command a Roman army, and the standard action icons are replaced with war orders such as ADVANCE, etc. These war episodes are quite frustrating, as the enemies advance very quickly and you have little time to plan your strategy. Still, surprises such as these keep the game fresh and always interesting. With charming cartoon-style graphics, fun plot, and a great mix of different styles of gameplay, Rome: Pathway to Power is one underdog no-one should miss. Recommended!
Reviewed by: Underdogs