Build a secret base, gain notoriety by completing daring missions, repel the forces of justice in real-time combat, and develop evil super-weapons to complete your nefarious master plan.
As a malevolent mastermind bent on achieving global domination, through the construction of the ultimate doomsday device, Evil Genius gives you all the dastardly with none of the muttley.
A tongue-in-cheek take on the spy thrillers of the '60s, offering you the unique opportunity to play the villain as you control a secret island fortress complete with powerful henchmen, loyal minions, ice-cold beauty queens, and a host of hilarious gizmos.
Will you dare to try how evil you are? In this real-time mad scientist lair management strategic simulation, you can!
Age requirements: ESRB Rating: TEEN with Comic Mischief, Suggestive Themes, Violence. PEGI Rating: 12+ with Violence.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1.8 GHz Processor, 512MB RAM (1 GB recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), 4GB HDD, Mouse, Keyboard.
Compatibility notice: Evil Genius is incompatible with Intel integrated graphic controllers (including notebook/netbook graphics).
Minimum system requirements (Mac):Macbook (early 2009), Macbook Pro (mid 2007), IMac (early 2009), MacMini (early 2009), Mac Pro (early 2009), MacBook Air (late 2008). Recommended two-button mouse, or Apple mouse with Secondary Button / Secondary Click enabled. NVIDIA or ATI graphics card required. Patched to version 1.01
Posted on 2009-07-09 15:11:17 byBlackdrazon:
There aren’t many games in the Base Building subgenre. There’s Dungeon Keeper, of course, the king of the RTS/Tycoon genre-lovechild that prefers resource gathering and upgrades over tactical combat. While there are other Base Builder games, it would not be a stretch to say that Evil Genius is Dungeon Keeper’s loyal #2, but that glorious title comes with certainread more reservations.
As you’ve probably already grasped, Evil Genius casts you as the Evil Genius about to rise to the head of the criminal world, painted up with the best of 60’s spy movie clichés and a healthy dose of cartoon humour. You start with a few thousand dollars, a personality-rich henchman and a few faceless minions, who will help you start blasting out your secret underground lair and will soon be robbing the world blind.
The game is split into roughly two portions. The Base Builder portion is set on your tropical island, where you build up your underground lair by drawing out rooms in the earth, but be careful because, like Dungeon Keeper, you can’t replace solid rock once it’s been removed. Your room in the rock is limited, but you can build world-conquering equipment in shacks on the beach, but this is dangerously insecure. In reality, the purpose of the beach is to build up your cover as a hotel magnate by building up a thriving tourist trap.
The second half of the game is the World Conquering screen, available after you build your control room with its Big Screen. The simulation on the island doesn’t pause while you’re on the Big Screen, so be cautious and keep an eye on both areas. From there you can access the world map, divided roughly into countries but more importantly into the area protected by your enemies: the various spy agencies of the world that will certainly try to stomp down on your hideout once you start meddling in their business. From this screen you can send minions, and if you can spare them, henchmen, to the countries of the world to steal money, plot and poke around to find potential leads on future “Acts of Infamy” you can use to gain important advantages, or hide temporarily if the governments are getting too wise to your operations in that region. Once you have found an Act of Infamy, you can send minions after it, kidnapping people with useful skills, stealing technologies, and the like.
All these acts, except Hide, of course, generate “Heat”. The more Heat you have, the more likely that region’s spy organization will capture and kill your minions, and they will eventually send agents to see what you’re up to on the island proper. If they find enough suspicious things, they will return home and calls for backup, and you’ll soon have a full armed attack on your hands, so it’s important to keep your nice shiny deathtraps in good condition and your minions armed. Combat is more complicated than it needed to be thanks to the option to capture enemy spies and brainwash them, but you’ll easily get the hang of it, and it’s better than Dungeon Keeper’s more-or-less inability to select individual targets. Eventually, no matter what you do, you’ll soon attract the attention of the world’s greatest Super Spies, who cannot be killed at first and will plague you to the end of the game, at which point you’ll discover their secret weaknesses and pick them off one by one.
Once you have kidnapped a few specialists and stolen some technologies, your base can get more complex, and your minions can train to learn new skills. Unlike other RTS games, each upgraded minion has their own set of abilities, and it’s not always worth the trouble of upgrading them when you’ll lose the helpful skills of, say, the Level 2 type. Only your default Construction Workers can do grunt work. From there they can be upgraded up three different upgrade paths, learning from other minions with those skills in classrooms (evil classrooms!) rather than from anonymous “upgrade rooms”. Combat minions will be better able to defend your base, while on the World Conquering screen they will help you strong-arm missions and steal money more efficiently. Tech minions help you run your over-the-top gizmos, and on the Big Screen help you plot new Acts of Infamy. Social Minions keep the Heat down during your off-island operations, while they confuse and bewilder enemy agents, sending them home with clean bills of health for your “Hotel Complex”.
As you progress through the storyline missions (gaining reputation points to measure your success), you eventually move your whole operation to a new island, but unfortunately once that’s done you’ve sucked out the game’s content. There are only two maps (three if you count the tutorial), and the only advantage of playing again is being able to play as a new Mastermind or to hire different Henchmen when the opportunities arise. It’s unfortunate that there is no free play mode or alternate play maps, as it seems like it would have been an easy upgrade. The game loses a lot in that respect.
The real failing point in Evil Genius, however, is the brains of your opponents. The game works very well while you’re doing what seems to be the expected thing. The ideal flow of play was obviously thoroughly tested, which is important in a game as complex as this, but as soon as you deviate from the path, the good guys fall apart like an ice statue on an evil mastermind’s tropical island. Hotels, as any walkthrough will tell you, are useless. It’s much more efficient to channel your funds into killing the agents, and occasionally having a social minion whip a few up, than to distract them, and tourists are easy enough to distract. The best defence against an enemy agent, unfortunately, is not a super-complex, linked deathtrap of doom near your security station, but rather a series of high-locked doors leading to nowhere: it costs almost nothing (except the lost space in the rock) and works 95% of the time. Still want to keep them busy? Have some deathtraps move them in a square for a while. If all else fails, put more heavy locks on your least suspicious activities. It’s like their AI is entirely determined by how complex a padlock you put on the door. From their perspective, this is fine, but you have to realise that the game designers put in a feature that if you block off an area, the agents will be able to tunnel in to see what you’re hiding. Clearly they are aware of where the good stuff is, but you’d never believe it from what you see them trying to do. And once you start, it’s almost impossible to stop. Most of the walkthroughs online suggest using the exploit where you can rob the world completely broke without gathering a single enemy agent – as long as you do it before you kidnap the maid to get your first trained minion. It is possible to play without these exploits, but it becomes hard to tell: what is an exploit, and what’s just good gaming?
It might help to note that, like Fallout, Evil Genius is supported by an unofficial 1.1 patch that should work with the GOG version that fixes a few integral problems still left over in the game. It’s a must-install if you want to play as Maximillion. Also available is the official Bonus Features patch, which installs a few new items and a new henchman originally made available to people who pre-ordered the game. It’s likely that (like the similar patch for Stronghold) the second patch will be made available on GOG in time, but for now it can be find on Fileplanet and elsewhere.
All in all, Evil Genius is an example of perfect style and good substance, but the holes are hard to ignore. If the game had only been better supported, it would be a contender to Dungeon Keeper’s black-spiked throne, but as it stands, without a sequel, there is no way Maximillion and his wacky henchmen could ever overthrow Horny and the Mistress.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Evil Genius inspired the A-rated Flash Game “Mastermind: World Conquerer” (sometimes “Mastermind: WC”) by The_Swain. The Base-Building aspects have been mostly lost, but the upgrades and world domination screen remain in all their glory. It’s certainly worth a try for fans of this game, and if you’ve never had a chance to play Evil Genius, it and EG’s demo might help you decide if you want this one better than I could ever describe.
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Posted on 2009-07-09 12:06:21 byLongTailGamer:
Many are the hours I've whiled away, petting my cats and laughing maniacally as I played Evil Genius.
Gameplay moves between an animated view of your secret island lair and a strategic world map. In the island view, you juggle keeping everything straight: your minions must be functional and productive, your assets must be protected from international agents, and your base layoutread more must expand efficiently. On the strategic map, you move your minions around like chess pieces, pursuing your nefarious goals across the globe.
The game has style to spare. A brilliant (if a bit repetitive) musical score brings up the 60's super espionage atmosphere. Your minions have lots of personality as they go about their tasks. And there are *plenty* of ways to take care of those do-gooder spies, should they happen to penetrate your sub-volcanic lair and try to make off with your molecularly miniaturised Eiffel Tower. Oh yes... PLENTY of options for the creative mind. MUWAHAHAHAHA!
Evil Genius is a high point in the God Game genre. Do I expect you to pick up a copy right now?
... No, Mister Bond! I EXPECT YOU TO DIE!
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Posted on 2009-07-15 14:56:17 byDMorrone:
Good Day Mastermind,
Congratulations on your recent promotion and the newly gained ability to be able to build that secret mountainside lair that all of us in the upper echelons of crime own.
Just a few items to note - please be sure to examine the whole range of rooms available to you and your minions. Remember - you cannot control you personnel directly - but you can influenceread more what they do out of subtle reminders and pure stark terror. You have an assortment of ways to improve them - whether it's in the training room, the archive library or by simple experience within the base itself. Be sure to wander about often, glaring and pointing indiscriminately.
You will also have the ability to work your crime finesse on the big board of the world - and although you don't get the finer details that you do as you oversee your base, there is a certain sense of accomplishment in raiding the world's coffers bare to pad your own.
Do be careful - the do-gooders of the world will eventually put the pieces together and find your lair. Fortunately, we've worked hand in hand with WayAm Enterprises to provide an assortment of traps and weaponry that you configure as you see fit to defend your base.
Oh, and always make sure you have enough freezer space for your vanquished foes.
Good luck, enjoy the intricacies of managing your base and don't forget to come up with at least three synergistic action items for EvilCon in August. We're going to be holding it on Dr. Amalgamation's submarine in the Artic Circle - so dress appropriately.
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