Home of the Underdogs
About News FAQs Contact HOTU GoogleGroup Music Manuals
Category Applications Action Adventure Education Interactive Fiction Puzzle Role Playing Games Simulation Special Sport Strategy War

Support the EFF
Welcome How you can help
Browse Games
Welcome Random Pick
Welcome By Company
  Welcome By Theme  
Welcome By Alphabet
Welcome By Year
Welcome Title Search
Welcome Company Search
Welcome Designer Search
Welcome Freeware Titles
Welcome Collections
Welcome Discord
Welcome Twitter
Welcome Facebook
Welcome File Format Guide
Welcome Help: Non PC Games
Welcome Help: Win Games
Welcome Help: DOS Games
Welcome Recommended Links
Site History Site History
Legacy Legacy
Link to Us Link to Us
Credits Thanks & Credits
Abandonware Ring

Abandoned Places


Creative Commons License

Game #4958
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  Turncoat    View all Top Dogs in this genre
Strategy   Tabletop strategy

Rating: 7.37 (8 votes)

Turncoat box cover

Turncoat screenshot
Turncoat is a very interesting and original strategy game designed by Peter Donnelly. In the designer's words, Turncoat "...is a simulation of a card game pitting one human against three AI opponents. The theme of the game is a struggle for power between two factions in a Renaissance city. At the beginning of the game, two players belong to each faction, but allegiances may change from turn to turn. In each of the eight turns, a conflict takes place between two districts belonging to opposing factions. If one wins, the other changes allegiance and victory points are awarded to the members of the victorious faction.

The top of the game screen shows twelve districts, arranged in a random sequence, equally divided at the start between the Stag (dark) and Cross (light) factions. The large number on each district is its inherent strength in conflict, measured in influence points. The three numbers near the bottom are the potential victory points awarded to each player of the winning faction if the district loses a conflict and changes allegiance; the more players in the winning faction, the fewer points are awarded. Each district contains a building site, shown as a small square. At the beginning of the game, each player builds a Market or Bank in one district. As the game progresses, there are further opportunities for building. Only one building can be placed in each site, and each player can have no more than three buildings. Markets in friendly districts provide influence cards each turn, and Banks (regardless of their location) provide potential victory points at the end of the game."

Although it sounds complicated and, indeed, requires a lot of learning and practice to succeed, the effort you put into Turncoat pays off handsomely when you realize that its clever rules do elevate the oft-ignored importance of turncoats and spies in computer games to unprecedented levels. The amount of victory points you receive for each conflict your faction wins depends on the type of conquered district, as well as the number of players in the winning faction. Since your objective is to be a member of the winning faction in a conflict because only the winner is awarded victory points, using the so-called Turncoat and Spy roles effectively is key to success. To beat computer players (all of whom are driven by challenging AI), you need to not only back your faction in a conflict, but must also switch factions as soon as you think your luck has changed. All in all, Turncoat is a very interesting, fun, and unique blend of Monopoly, Acquire, and card games in which effective bluffing is required. Highly recommended to anyone who likes abstract strategy games in the best tradition of Machiavelli. The only downsides to the game I can think of are the considerable learning curve (a tutorial would have helped), and the fact that you need to install the Microsoft .NET package (about 20MB) before playing. Two thumbs up!

Reviewed by: Underdogs
Designer: Peter Donnelly
Developer: Skookum Software
Publisher: Freeware
Year: 2004
Software Copyright: Peter Donnelly
Theme: Unique, Historical
None that we know of
System Requirements: Windows XP
Where to get it:
Related Links: Official site
If you like this game, try: Hoplites, Trust and Betrayal: The Legacy of Siboot, Machiavelli The Prince

© 1998 - 2024 Home of the Underdogs
Portions are copyrighted by their respective owners. All rights reserved. Please read our privacy policy.