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The Interface

The interface is fairly straight forward, with no more than about 3 mouse clicks to accomplish most tasks. On the left hand side of the screen is where you will be looking most of the time for your management options (as you can see in the screen shots). Also anything that you select on the main playing screen will bring up info that can be viewed in this area, so it's very multipurpose and you don't have to worry about unit info popping up in separate boxes or something to that effect.

At the top of the screen you will see a smaller bar that runs the entire width. This bar displays some of the other information like the date, the number of traders that you currently have and the all important pause button is located here. If you happen to get stuck and are not sure what a certain option does, just hold the mouse pointer over it for a few seconds and it will tell you everything you need to know about it. Overall the interface is well done, like the rest of the game it will take a bit to get used to, but you have to learn a new interface in almost every game anyway, so its not really a big deal.

The Sights and Sounds

Chances are your not going to buy this game for its graphics. Since, well they aren't exactly anything special. In this day and age they are about as simple as they get. Now I'm not trying to use this as a negative because this game is about diplomacy and strategy and not insane 3D graphics. They are similar to that found in say Risk or Civilization. They do the job that they are made for and that's the important thing.

As for the sound, well lets just say it left something to be desired. The sound effects are about as basic as they get. A few grunts represents a major battle and the music that accompanied the game got very annoying after about 5 minutes of the exact same tune. This is again not a huge problem as sound is not exactly critical to success and if the music really bothers you enough you can always turn your speakers right off (I did this a few times). I will point out that the music for the War of Independence Campaign was an improvement and was good enough to listen too.

These things all combine to help create the gaming experience and any improvements would only add to an already very sold title.


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