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Spectral Force Genesis review

Looks like an RPG, but it's something totally different

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Huge and complex strategy

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    Varied goals to accomplish

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    Rewards dedication


  • -

    Doesn't ease you in to the complexity

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    One wrong move can cause defeat

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    Requires a lot of patience

If your idea of ‘strategy’ is casting a fire spell on an ice monster, Spectral Force Genesis might come as a bit of a shock. This isn’t an RPG; it’s a game about diplomacy, about careful resource management, and only in part a game about battling. And Spectral Force doesn’t so much throw you in at the deep end of all this tactical twiddling – it hurls you into the sea.

You play a general in control of your chosen kingdom’s armies, taxes, foreign affairs and trade, but despite initial befuddlement – thanks in no small part to frequent, unhelpful tutorials – it doesn’t take too long to get a handle on things. Each area of management gets its own dedicated phase, which alters month by month. In the course of a game year you’ll buy and sell stock to raise money, recover from battles by drafting in troops, make alliances with other nations, and have a go at invading one of the neighboring countries. Your ultimate goal, as is so often the way, is to expand your empire and conquer the whole world.

Menus are easy to navigate, and choices are simplified into broad categories, but it’s the sort of game where one wrong move can trigger a humiliating defeat months down the line. If you have the patience and the dedication you will be rewarded, but not quite as bountifully as we’d like. Worth the effort? Just about.

Mar11, 2010

More info

DescriptionThis rather complex strategy-RPG throws you straight into the deep end, but if you can learn to swim, it gets fun you have the patience and the dedication, but not as much as you'd like. Worth the effort? Just about.
US censor rating"Teen"
UK censor rating"12+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
When he's not dying repeatedly in roguelikes, Tom spends most of his working days writing freelance articles, watching ITV game shows, or acting as a butler for his cat. He's been writing about games since 2008, and he's still waiting on that Vagrant Story 2 reveal.