Majesty, by MacPlay
Posted: 16-Jan-2002

4 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: MacPlay Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: John Gebhardt Class: GAMES

Description
Majesty is a unique kind of real time simulation. Instead of playing an all-powerful ruler or god directly manipulating the lives of your followers, you are the sovereign of a kingdom in the mythical land of Ardania. As sovereign you dictate the layout of your kingdom, managing how and where you erect special structures. From these structures you recruit adventurers who have their own unique behavior. They are, at no time, under your direct control, but they are under your influence. You have to determine what personality these characters have and discover what inspires them to complete your quests.


Majesty Game Menu

The installation process went normally and quickly. The full install requires 314 MB of disk space, there is no lite install. There are beginnerís quests that help guide you through the basics and will familiarize you with most of commands. The control interface is rather unique and native to the game rather than to an OS (Mac or Windows). Though not immediately intuitive, the controls work well enough once you adjust to them. The game does not require that you have the CD in the drive in order to play. After installing from the CD I installed the upgrade (available free) to version 1.01

Game Play
The game started and ran very smoothly on the iMac. The animations and sounds appeared to work as intended and there were no undue delays when opening information or control windows. The game has an auto-save feature and game play would pause when the saves were taking place. The player is notified of the save action by message at the bottom of the screen. Play action is quite rapid when compared to more traditional strategy games like Civilization. You must remain aware actions taking place in you kingdom because the your "heros" villagers, and monsters are interacting based on their own characteristics. The animation is constant as the characters move about the realm causing mischief or trying to stop it.

Majesty's difference from the typical, directive type of strategy simulation requires a unique play style. Instead of ordering your forces into battle, you give them the option to do so. You can provide monetary incentives for heroes to explore uncharted areas of the realm, or to go and attack an enclave of the enemy. While you still control which buildings are built by your subjects, you don't always control their occupants. Your subjects have a great deal of free will, which they exercise frequently and not always in concert with your intentions. Available character types include Dwarves, Warriors of Discord, Paladins, Rangers, Rogues, Elves, Cultists, Priestesses, Monks and Healers. As far as the opposition goes, there are 32 different types of evil doing monsters. There are over 30 different buildings that can be constructed to support your kingdom. Of course all of this building costs something. The Majesty economy is based on gold and you are provided with an allotment at the beginning of the game. You can add to you treasury by collecting taxes from the various establishments in your realm. Your tax collectors visit the marketplace, inns, blacksmiths and other locations to collect your tribute and return the take to your palace (provided they are not accosted by some villain or monster in the process). You must then invest your revenue in erecting or improving buildings or setting out rewards for exploration or conquest. Majesty also provides a path for technology development through research in many of the establishments. The tech improvements can provide better weapons and armor, more spells and better ways to produce revenue.


Castle and Surrounding Buildings

Majesty does support capability for multiple players on a network. I did not explore this option but reports are that this is the most challenging way to enjoy the game.

System Requirements

  • OS 8.6 or higher (Runs in Classic under OS X)
  • Any PowerPC 233 MHz or better
  • 48M RAM
  • 314MB Hard disk space


Summary
Overall I found the Majesty interesting and absorbing game without serious technical faults. It provides active and entertaining play. The gameís indirect method of control make for new and different challenges and, perhaps, some insight on real life challenges of leading through incentives and positive reinforcement as opposed more tyrannical methods. I think that anyone who enjoys strategy, role-playing, or adventure game would be pleased with Majesty.

Pros

  • Very modest system requirements
  • Games can be completed in hours instead of days
  • Entertaining animations and narration
  • It is fun (addictive) to play
  • Network and multiplayer capable

Cons

  • User Interface not immediately intuitive
  • Limited levels of technology development
  • AI opponent may not be challenging enough for some players
  • No game editor


Overall Rating:

4 out of 5 Mice