Monday, 7 November 2016

Powerplay - The Game of the Gods (Amiga)

If Powerplay's claim is true, and it is actually the game of the gods, then it tells us three things about them. The first and second things it tells us are that the gods have both incredible patience and a lot of time on their hands, as a single glaically-paced game of Powerplay took the better part of two hours. The other thing it teaches us about the gods is that above all, they value knowledge of trivia.

Powerplay takes the form of a board game, each player (either a human versus the CPU, or up to four human players, though I struggle to imagine a situation where that has ever happened) picks a greek god and four champions to represent them on the board. Each turn you pick one of your champions to move, and then you answer a general knowledge question. If you get it right, you score a few points and you can move your chosen champion one space in any direction. If not, your turn ends. That's what happens most turns, anyway: sometimes, your champions will just wander around the board at random, and you do nothing. When a character reaches 25 points, they'll "mutate" into another character.

Should one of your champions meet one of your opponent's, a challenge will start. There's two types of challenge: either a tug-of-war held over a lava pit, or some kind of bizarre trial, over which the gorgon Medusa presides. It doesn't matter which you get though, as they're both exactly the same, mechanically: you answer more trivia questions. Get three in a row right and you win, get three in a row wrong and you lose. You also lose if your champion runs out of strength, which depletes for both sides at a rate of one per question. The losing champion will either go down one level of mutation, or if they're in their default state, be taken off the board entirely.

Once only one god is left represented on the board, they win. You get an animation of Zeus congratulating you, and then the game asks if you want to play again. Which is pretty presumptuous, considering you've just spent two hours answering stupid questions, and they already started repeating half way through.

Powerplay is a terrible game. I had it in the box of pirated disks that came with my Amiga when I was a kid, and even then, I knew better than try to get someone else involved in trying to play through a multiplayer game. As an adult, I wouldn't recommend bothering with single player, either.

No comments:

Post a Comment