Sunday, June 8, 2008


If I were making a list of the most dull games I've ever played, Konquest would surely rank pretty high. It's the most simplistic turn-based strategy game I've encountered, in a long and storied career of playing turn-based strategy games a few times then quitting because I suck.

There's these planets, see. And they produce ships every turn. Every turn, you can send ships from your planets to other planets. And that's it. Send ships to other planets you own, to reinforce them. Send ships to planets you don't own to attack them - if you win, they're yours. The point is to control all the planets.

They added 'depth' by having each planet generate ships at a different rate, and also having each planets' ships be of different effectiveness. Wow. I'm so impressed. Linux gaming disappoints once again!

In all honesty, the only thing that could possibly save this game is networked multiplayer, because then you could engage in the social activity of chatting with someone while simultaneously engaging in this most boring of games. It doesn't work in person, because if you're playing this in the same room as someone, you'll both realize that it would be more fun to watch Die Hard 2: Die Harder, and quit playing the game around five turns in. Unfortunately, there is no network multiplayer.

It's funny, because the open-source gaming community is often running its mouth about compelling graphics being irrelevant, because compelling gameplay is all-important. Konquest makes this point nicely, by having a nice-looking GUI for what is essentially the least compelling experience I've ever had in a game that wasn't tragically broken. Did I say 'wasn't tragically broken'?

My bad. You have a good chance of opening the game up only to discover that the tool-tips that give you a planet's stats (i.e. make the game possible to play, basically) are cropped and invisible. I'm not sure what caused the problem, and whenever it happened, I just had to close it and restart it and it fixed itself, but man, it never rains but it pours...

To summarize: Konquest sucks. Don't play it. Download an abandonware copy of Master of Orion or something, if you have to get your turn-based space-game on. This is just too limited and simplistic to offer anything near a fun experience; if you want a simple but satisfying turn-based strategy game, just play Go.

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