Evil Genius

Games always let you play as the hero, so part of the genius of Evil Genius is that you play out your megalomaniac Dr No fantasies instead of just being James Bond again.

In case you were wondering what evil masterminds do with their days, allow us to tell you. They start off building an island lair and disguise it as a plush hotel. With the tourists kept happy with swimming pools and casinos, Mr Mastermind sets about secretly constructing biological research labs and counterfeiting centres linked by trap-littered corridors. He hires his minions, trains them up as mercenaries, scientists and diplomats, then sets about taking over the world and ultimately building a massive doomsday device.

To get your evil genius to this stage, you first have to successfully carry out various missions. The 'world domination' screen is where you choose your missions and the key to succeeding is to research the right equipment, then send in enough trained-up minions to do the job. Fail and you'll come under suspicion, which in turn results in Forces of Justice agents paying your place a visit.

Which brings us to the other major part of the game: defending your base by setting traps. These traps range from tropical trees loaded with coconut bombs and killer bees, to huge fans that blow intruders through the air and into a fiery pit.

As in any management game, there's loads to do - you need to do suitably evil things to increase your notoriety and in turn your minions' loyalty, and recruit powerful henchmen with special skills. There's not too much tedious micro-management though - your minions can pretty much look after themselves.

After two years in development, Evil Genius really is looking excellent. With this and The Movies on their way, PC-owners are going to be well sorted in the sim department.

Evil Genius will be attempting to destroy humanity on PC come October