Monday, September 27, 2010

Game review n°1 - Tzar

Few info at first.
I'm going away for a week, I'll try to give you some updates, but I can't promise.

Also I'll get my new laptop. My dad said he'll give me his, if I manage to get to some good studies (or collage as Americans say). So I did it. My specialization - Electrotechnics on second best technical university in Poland (AGH). I start at 4th of October. Wish me luck!

So hopefully it will help me write faster and more often. I also want to get new PC, that's why I work part time and I don't have much time.

If text seems little bit not compact, forgive me - I'm working on how the game reviews should look.

Tzar - The Burden of the Crown

Released on 21 March 2000 (I made a mistake earlier). Made by Heamimont Multimedia (Hungarian) and published Talon Games and Take Two Interactive.

Genre - RTS
Multi - Yes
Map Editor - Yes
Requirements - well none, you can run it on a calculator now.
Price - I bought it in 2004 or so for 19,99zł (6,8$), so should be very cheap (if you can find it)

Official website:

There are 3 races in the game - European, Asian and Arabic. They don't differ very much, but enough to make them unique. The world is mostly based on medival (crusaders, knights and so on), but there are some references from other periods of time (samurais, chinese rocket tower) and ofc some magic (summoned golems, djinns and dragons, wizards) - but it really doesn't spoil the game. 
Good thing is, that static defences are strong, yet very expensive, so you can rely on them.

You gather 4 recources: Gold, Stone, Wood and Food. The first ones are kinda pain in the ass to gather (few nodes on the map), but the last two need hundreds of workers (cause they are needed the most). Fortunately there are multiple ways to gather food and there's plenty of trees. 
Interface is pretty simple, intuitive.

I was never an RTS god (I lack multitasking), but I enjoy playing them. In Tzar there's almost no micro, but the macro skill needed is sick. Producing workers (hundreds), warriors (hunderds), building zilions of structures. I want to thank Shift key letting me produce 5 units with one click!

Story: 4/10 - It's typical, but there's a story nonetheless. Something about defeating evil. It's solid, but not very interesting. I like few bits though.

Graphics: 8/10 - It's an old game, you have to remember. But wow, for a 10 yo game, the graphics are not eyesore and the animations are impressive! I take back 2 points for some graphic bugs (spells).

Trees are pain in the ass.

Campaign: 8/10 - Without the story. It's very solid, you get 17-19 very long missions with all sorts of objectives. Defending, sieging, protecting caravans, hero missions and so on. I really enjoyed it. The last mission <3

Mechanics: 5/10 - I'm not an expert, but I must say there are some mankaments. The map is divided in little invisible squares, which is pretty annoying when moving units (they move only in 8 directions). Also if you order you army to move to one point they make a conduct line... Pathing is the problem also. All in all, not great.

Difficulty: 8/10 - Oh my the game is hard as hell! I don't know how did I beat it, when I was like 14 (prolly cheats), cause I played it yesterday and I was massacred in a campaign mission on EASY! Enemy is sending troops horribly fast and hit you like a truck. Hopefully they've implemented interesting feature "AI help" - War and Economics. You can turn it on (one or both) and the computer helps you in military and/or economics by building stuff. THAT'S NEAT!

Red vs. Bl...Teal

Feel, Gameplay: 7/10 - It's fairly addictive, but after some time you get bored or very frustrated, because you've got annihilated. I liked the feel of Tzar. It was simple, but yet something was in it.

Nothing better than an army of dragons.

Music: 7/10 - Most of the music is on the CD, so you need to put it in to play all of the tracks. But it's very unique and enjoyable to hear. Very fitting the style of the game.

Price to value factor: 10/10 - Obvious statement is obvious.

I can't think of anything more to rate (I'll add later if I find sth in my head).

Overall: 7,5 - as oldschoolly cool, as nerd chills, when winning with computer AI.

This is very oldschool style game. Simple, yet very good designed. Score isn't that high, because the difficulty may be a problem for many people, mechanics aren't that great (though I don't know the standard for them in 2000), feels clunky sometimes. All in all, a well made, little known game. 
Thumbs up!


  1. Thanks, might check this out later.

  2. Thank you! and I agree with Marveling, looks interesting!

  3. i dont think its a good game at all :(

  4. any thing with dragons and swords is an instant win

  5. thank you for the informative review. Very detailed but not too detailed if that makes sense?

  6. It looks like the classic game I would play, Seven Kingdoms, Try it out if you can find it.

  7. that game actually looks pretty good. love rts games