Review: World Empire II Deluxe (Windows -16-Bit)

By Drew Wilson

In this review, we check out a turn-based strategy game called World Empire II Deluxe. We find out if this seemingly more obscure turn game is worth trying.

Note: This review is for the demo version of this game.

This particular game was released in 1993 and kicked off a series in the 90s.

This game is purely multiplayer. Whether these players are human or computer players is entirely up to you. You can also choose from a limited amount of options how the game plays out (the full version allows for more freedom in these options)

Each country is essentially a space armies can occupy. You can move from country to country, conquering everything in your path. Green countries indicate unconquered countries while the colored countries represent a country occupied by a player.

The more countries you occupy, the more armies you earn for each turn. If you conquer a whole continent, you gain a bonus in armies for every turn as well. One of the challenges of this game are the threat of revolutions. Each country has a small dot on them. The color of the small dot represents the allegiance the people have to a certain ideology. If you take over a country, a larger dot will encircle the smaller dot of your color. If you take over a country whose people supports you, then the country will welcome you with open arms and you would only have to occupy that country with the minimum one army. If you take over a country whose allegiance is for another player, then the people will resist you. To prevent a revolution, the game will tell you if you need to keep 2 or 3 armies in that country. If you don’t, then when it is your turn again, the country will be taken over by that player automatically, placing 5 armies on that space. You’ll have to reclaim that country again or risk leaving an open door well within your territory for that player (as another player could theoretically assign all of their armies on that country and take over several countries you already have.

To travel from continent to continent, you have to find the country that bridges between the two continents in question.

If you take over all of the countries occupied by a computer player, then the disappointed followers will place the leader on an abandoned island, eliminating the player. The small dots associated with that computer player will revert to an allegiance of another player in the game. This is good as this can free up some standing armies who were otherwise there preventing a revolution.

At the beginning, you are simply fighting local armies. If you attack another country, a battle will ensue. The computer seemingly randomly picks a side and deducts an army one at a time until one side loses all of their armies.

When you are done with your turn, you can just click on the “Pass” button to allow other players to initiate a turn.

If you defeat all of your opponents, then the rest of the world is yours with no remaining opposition. Every county is automatically taken over and there is peace on Earth. Your name will then be entered on a hall of fame.

I have to say, this game definitely has its own charm. It’s strangely addicting to play despite its simplistic nature. Often, your game revolves around a certain amount of luck to turn the tides of war. Sometimes, I can attack a country of 5 armies with 30 armies and be left with 12 after. Other times, I can take over half a continent in a single turn with little resistance.

While it is interesting to take on a single opponent, there’s much more of a dynamic battle when you have 3 or more players. Sometimes, the two computer players will battle each other out, wasting turns while you go globetrotting, taking over other portions of the world in undisputed territory. By the time one compute player takes out another, you’ll have a good 40 or 50 armies earned for every turn, allowing you to just move in and flatten the other battered computer player for an easy win. Other times, computer players can have a difficult time taking over unoccupied regions while you simply push through as many countries as possible in other parts of the world. Sometimes, a computer player will attack you first, giving you grief early on while another player builds himself up. There’s no telling how easy or how hard you’ll have it at the start of each game.

One can employ a number of strategies. One strategy is to take a path of least resistance. By that, I mean take over as many countries as possible that will welcome you with open arms. You expend fewer resources in the long run and gain the maximum number of armies for taking over more countries as a result. Another strategy is to take over countries that seem to act as a “hub” as they border the most number of countries. A country like China is one example. This can save on time transferring armies as you are just sitting in one country taking over every other country that borders it, dropping extra armies to resist revolutions in the process. However you can, manipulate geography as best you can as it will affect the chances of you winning towards the end of the game.

I will say, however, that there is a bit of a problem for this game being realistic. Some areas like the southern Asien region take forever to take over. This seems to be realistic in and of itself. However, countries like China, Russia, and the United states are one space. So, the difference between taking over a country like Oman is often the same as taking over the United States or Russian. In real life, I don’t think that is really the case.

Another problem with this game is whenever islands are involved or whenever you need to find the country that bridges continents. There’s nothing besides the border lists that tells you which country borders which when it comes to islands. This can be problematic in places like the area around Cuba for instance.

Graphically, this game is somewhat basic. Some pictures look very photo-realistic for a game of its time. Other images look like they were done in MSPaint. There’s very little that detracts from the overall gaming experience with one major exception. In areas of the world where there are a number of small countries packed close together (think of the area around Jordan, for instance), the large dots get mashed together, making it almost impossible to see which country is which. Unless you are a geography student or have a world map handy, it can be difficult to figure out where to move your armies and make meaningful progress in these regions.

There is no music and the game utilizes the Microsoft 3.1 sounds (mostly the “ding” noise). If you were hoping for a nice atmospheric soundtrack or realistic sounds, there is none to be had here unfortunately.

Overall, I really like the addicting nature of this game. While it can be somewhat unrealistic in some parts of the world, there is still a certain amount of fun to be had in this game. The graphics may be touch and go and the sounds may be non-existent, but the gameplay quality in this game still makes this game more than worth trying. A recommended game if you can get a Windows game up and running (We have a guide for this conveniently enough).


Furthest point in game: Won with both 1 and 2 computer players.

General gameplay: 20/25
Replay value: 9/10
Graphics: 5/10
Audio: 1/5

Overall rating: 70%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85


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