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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

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by Accolade
What's the Deal?
Gallius IV- a newly-discovered planet rich with natural resouces, has quickly gained the attention of nine spacefaring races: the ChCh't, Maug, Re'Lu, Tarth, Uva Mosk, Skirineen, and the Tolnans. Each race has its own reasons for wanting Gallius IV, but basically, it can satisfy their greatest desires. The only thing stopping an all-out war for the ownership of this planet is the hastily drawn-up Compact of Gallius IV. Instead of continuing the battles in space, the conflicts will be settled on the planet itself. Colonies will be developed, and the first one to make the most city centers, or to drive off the other colonies through warfare, will get the planet.

The Review
Deadlock is the newest among strategy games; it can be compared loosely to the ever-popular Civilization series. I was impressed by just about everything in this game, and yet I can see how Accolade can improve it for a Deadlock II. The graphics were great, the AI very formidable, interface the best it could be, and I enjoyed the "threat-volleying" which the player can participate in with the other races. The only improvements I would like to see are minor details:

  1. Movement. It's kind of a pain in the rear to move troops and colonizers around on the main map, maybe they can make a large-scale map on the main screen so you don't have to continually click the arrow buttons. It just seemed to take a long time.
  2. Background sounds. Accolade came up with some interesting soundtracks for the background, but after playing a long game, it got pretty droning! Perhaps they could offer some musical choices as well.
  3. Reports. At the beginning of each turn, a member of your race reports developments in the colonies, as well as battles. For every battle, whether you're attacking or defending, the reporter usually says "This is a problem!". I'd like to see them say "We're gonna knock 'em in the patootie!", or something like that, when you're on the offensive.
  4. Who's winning here? This game really needs a menu of winning, a la Warlords. I found it difficult to figure out what races had how many city centers, troops, and such stuff.

As you can tell, these are pretty minor points, so they really don't detract from the game at all. Countering these bad points, Deadlock has some pretty good features as well. There is a help library in the form of the peaceful Tolnans. If you right-click on a square of land, a structure, or troops, a help screen will popup with a female Tolnan to explain characteristics or other important facts. It's also important to remember the left double click. You can do this on a square in the close-up view of your colony's land, and find out what squares are best for what resouces, so you can maximize resources easily. There is, of course, the option to play Deadlock over the modem. You can do this the traditional network way with friends, or you can join a service and pay to play with people all over the world. I didn't want to spend the money, so I didn't try it, but it sounds great!

Basic Strategy
There are two ways to win Deadlock: build city centers (the fast way), or warfare (the longer way). Each has its own problems and concerns.

In war, the one with the best technology will win. Plain and simple. Therefore, many universities and tech centers need to be functioning. I recommend a minimum of at least five throughout your colonies. If you find yourself with a lot of money on hand and don't know where to spend it, build tech centers! Factories are also very important to have, not only to churn out tank after tank, but they also bring in money through trade. I also really like to have a lot of missile bases - they can cause damage to other colonies with no risk, but they are fairly cheap. Very important in a colony: laser or energy defense! I made the mistake a couple of times of not building these, and lost a couple of colonies. It's a real uphill battle to retake lost colonies!

If you opt to build a lot of city centers, you need to get as much money as you can get, as fast as you can get it. Once again, use factories for this, and use most of them exclusively for trade. You can also build up a surplus of resources, and then sell them off to the Skirineen, who are the Black Market on Gallius IV. This is somewhat risky, because it causes the colonists to be unhappy with you. They will stay at home and not work, albeit for a short time. Morale is kind of tricky, but reasonably easy to take care of. I was finding that a lot of my colonista were staying at home because they were angry over overpopulation. This will simply happen no matter what! Just build a museum and a cultural center in every colony, and that will satisfy them, even to the point where you can raise taxes! I'm a slow learner, so it took me awhile to get over this aggravating problem...

The Rating
The good:
the AI is very smart, graphics very good, overall gameplay great!
The bad: I found it a bit slow at times, mainly when moving the large map around.
The ugly: nothing really ugly about this game! yea!