PC/Mac/Linux
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Minimum System Requirements: -Pentium III 800 MHz or higher -128 MB RAM Windows 98SE, Me, or 256 MB RAM Windows 2000, or XP -NVDIA GeForce 2 with 16MB RAM -DirectX9.0b -1.4 GB hard drive space -Developed by Elixir Studios -Published by Vivendi Universal Games -Rated Teen (Comic Mischief, Suggestive Themes, Violence) Have you ever wanted to take over the world? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to build and operate a secret underground base? Do you laugh diabolically whenever the bad guy does something evil? Do you think you’re smarter than Dr. Evil? If your answer is ‘yes’, than you may be an eligible Evil Genius! Quite Obviously, Evil Genius lets you be just that, and lets the average strategy gamer have a shot at world domination.

Game Play

Evil Genius has a very clean, user friendly interface that let me jump right into the game after taking part in a simple tutorial. The learning curve is not very big, but the game will continuously challenge you as you realize that world domination is a lot more than shooting a rocket into space and torturing secret agents (although you can do those things). The game places you on an island, leaving you with a couple of construction workers and some cash. Now it is up to the player to choose from three Geniuses (each with their own special abilities and a Henchman) to build a base and take over the world. Your base will need the standard control room, armory, and science lab, but you’ll have to also build a staff room, mess hall, barracks, and other rooms of the nature. This is because your minions, like human beings, have steadily decreasing stats (Fatigue, Loyalty, Smarts, Attention, etc), and must be replenished by special rooms. You can eventually send minions out into the world to steal, sabotage, and generally act like jerks. But the world will not stand by and do nothing as you attempt to conquer it. The five alliances will send agents to your base. Some are pathetic, some are exceptional, but all of them can be captured or killed before they collect valuable information and get the world angry at you, ending the ultra-powerful Super Agents. The game had a unique sense of humor that made me laugh out loud several times. You know the developers had a lighthearted game in mind when ‘interrogation’ of an agent involves spinning them in a chair, putting them in a mixer bowl, or clapping them with cymbals. Defeating one of the Super Agents involves capturing her, kidnapping her teddy bear, and ripping up Mr. Snuggles in front of her. It is permitted and expected to let out a devious chuckle right about now. Also, you can build devious traps to keep out intruders. On the downside, the game gets quite hard toward the end, it’s way too easy to run out of money, your minions are STUPID with a capital dork, and the game has a very slow pace at times.

Graphics

I was certainly not blown away by the graphics, but there were some nice points, such as shiny reflective floors and tiny little details on objects. The characters in particular had a great unique art style such as exaggerated posture and outrageous body language. Explosions and gunfire looked pretty good, and while it was good for a strategy, it was nowhere near as good-looking as Command & Conquer Generals. On the other hand, I think this was the desired effect. The entire game has sort of a comic book feel. But the animation was simply amazing. Everything has several animations, and almost all of them were fun to watch. I really want to see this superb art style utilized in other games.

Sound

The sound is another excellent thing about the game. Your minions speak in weird gibberish, and the music moves from mysterious, to upbeat and jazzy, to epic. I always had the sound turned up.

Control

Easy to use, with a nice learning curve and very few problems.

Stability

Before I upgraded my old Radeon 7500, there were graphical blips and glitches. There are other strange glitches, but the beauty of a PC game is the existence of patches, and there is one for Evil Genius, too.

Appropriateness

This is where Evil Genius falls flat on its face and breaks its nose. Violence: People killing people in cold-blooded murder (-5 pts) The game requires that you kill people, and there is even an option to execute minions to raise the loyalty of other minions. There is a character then wields meat cleavers, but there is no blood or gore. Characters flash red when they are hurt, but it can hardly be considered blood. Foul Language: Prime time TV swear words used throughout the game (-3.5 pts) The henchman Eli swears a few times, and so do the radio reporters. It gets no worse than d***, a**, and b****-slap. No sexual dialogue. Sexual Content: -Skimpy clothing worn by some female characters (-1.5) -No sexual content One character wears a bikini, and some other females wear tight-fitting and/or sparse clothing. However, I did not really think it was ‘sexualized’. It was more like it was making fun of spy flicks. Occult/Supernatural: -Occult magic is used by player (-5) There is just one character whose method of attack is stabbing a voodoo doll, but it is optional to use this character. Cultural/Moral/Ethical: Game requires active rebellion to play (-2.5) With a name like Evil Genius, you can bet there are going to be things avoiding authority figures and imprisoning and/or killing the good guys. There is no way to be good. Being as bad as possible is the name of the game here.

Final Scores:

Game Play: 18/20 A Graphics: 10/10 A Sound: 10/10 A Control: 5/5 A Stability: 5/5 A Appropriateness: 32.5/50 D

TOTAL: 81% B

This is another game where exceptionally good game play is hampered by bad content. Despite that, Evil Genius is a very fun and hilarious experience to take part in. Although it is rated Teen, and the violence is cartoony, it is still quite violent, despite the lack of blood. I would probably recommend it to ages 15 and up. Just don’t try to take over the world for real.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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