Global domination is Risk in fancy dress. You begin the game with a handful of territories scattered around the world and battle with up to four other would-be megalomaniacs for total supremacy. Before you start you choose your computer opponents from a choice of nine great leaders from the past, all chosen because of the variety of strategies they represent. That said, I am not entirely convinced that General Custer or Queen Victoria would present much of a threat on the battlefield. It adds variety, if nothing else.
Honestly Guv, 'e was asking for it
The game is played in turns, with each player making his moves for the current month. The icon bar at the right of the screen provides access to most of the games features. From here you can pop up the world map to check out where your opponents are holed up and what territories they own and decide which of the neutral territories would be the most lucrative to occupy.
A click on the geography icon displays all the cities in the world, colour-coded for size so you can see the big ones nice and clear, and form your plan of attack accordingly. The idea is to target an area with lots of medium and large-sized cities around it and start moving your troops in as soon as possible. Capturing as many territories as you can at the start of the game is of paramount importance but before you can do this you need transport to move your troops around the map, so once you've identified your target area, it's straight on to the logistics screen to have a look at the money situation.
The logistics screen displays your financial and armament resources and how many moves you can make during your turn. At the start of the game you only have one land movement which means you can only grab one territory, therefore it's vital you sort this out as soon as possible by increasing the amount of resources available to transport, the changes coming into effect for your next turn.
This screen is also used to build your armies. All the standard military units are available, from infantry units, both ground and mobile, to tanks, artillery units and defence and attack aircraft. There isn't much point in getting an army of any significant size together at the beginning, as everyone is too busy running around the place seizing as many countries as possible to even think about getting into a scrap. You're better off putting as much money into transport as you can, and building single infantry units to jump into neighbouring territories.
Each player is allocated a colour and as the game progresses and territories are invaded, the countries on the world map change colour correspondingly to indicate the player who has invaded them. Zooming in on the territory map shows the countries in that region, who owns them and whether they have any armies in the vicinity. In the game's early stages, any armies you encounter are unlikely to have you shaking in your boots. They will most likely consist of a single infantry unit and a heavy artillery unit, so if you spot a particularly lucrative capital with an enemy army in it, just send in a couple of heavy duty tanks and you'll boot them out in a flash.
Sooner or later, after you've been jumping into everybody's territories willy nilly, someone's bound to get pissed off. When this happens, that country will turn orange on the world map to show it's in conflict and a battle commences. Whether you fight the battle yourself or not depends on what options you selected at the beginning the game.
Kick 'em in the goolies
Apart from having five difficulty levels, from beginner to expert, the game also has three levels of complexity. At simple complexity, you fight by building and moving armies from one place to another on the world map. At reduced complexity, you can also use diplomacy to make allies, use an intelligence bureau for spying, and assemble special forces to perform covert operations in anyone's territories. There's no point in wasting resources on spying and stuff when they would be better spent on creating the biggest kick-ass army on the globe. At full complexity, battles take more than one turn to resolve giving you the option to retreat from a losing fight and you can also choose to fight a satellite battle. This is the 'action' part of the game.
When you enter into conflict with one of your opponents over a particular territory, you can access the Military screen and elect to fight the battle yourself instead of waiting for it to be resolved over a series of turns. Clicking the satellite icon at this point brings you to the battle screen. You can call up an overhead map of the battlefield to see exactly where all the units are or you can zoom in and scroll around the battlefield manually.
Your battle objectives are determined by whether you're attacking or defending. If attacking, all you need do is destroy the enemies' h.q. and the battle is over, regardless of how many units are left. This is unrealistic, as I'm sure the enemy night be a little miffed and may just retaliate in major fashion. Once you've figured out what units are most effective against enemy h.q.. i.e. strike aircraft, air mobile and mechanised infantry, it's a case of building lots of armies of this type and attacking everything in sight; you jus't can't lose.
Defending is more tricky as you have to take out all enemy units to win. Oddly, it becomes apparent that the enemy have not twigged that destroying your h.q. will win them the battle, so they wander around attacking everything, giving you time to take them out. Generally, despite the game having great sound effects, the satellite battles are still a bit of a disappointment. But that's not the worst of it. The major problem is the lack of intelligence of all the computer opponents. Even at expert level, they seem clueless. You can storm across a front-line late in the game, only to find it inadequately defended. Either they're spending all their money on intelligence and stuff or they're just plain thick. You get to the point where you want to scream 'Christ, will nobody fight me in this game?'
Impressions, the authors, describe Global Domination as the ultimate multi-player conquest simulation. Not quite so; you can have up to five human players playing in turn on the same machine, but they can only play at simple complexity level. The only way to have a multi-player game of depth is to link up over a modem or to link two pcs via their serial ports.
Despite all its shortcomings, I still found Global Domination absorbing and addictive for all the time I played it, but this is because I kept thinking that as I moved up difficulty levels I would eventually get into some serious scraps. It never happened! Even the option to create your own worlds to play in doesn't help, as the opponents don't get any better and you can win in the same way as in the normal game.
Global Domination is a missed opportunity to make a great strategy game. The graphics are good, the interfaces for all the screens are intuitive and easy to use, and the basic gameplay is there. Unfortunately, seasoned strategists will probably be sticking it back on the shelf after three or four days.
Download Global Domination
PC compatible, P-100
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode