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Posted on Sep 29, 2004 in Electronic Games

Evil Genius – Game Review (PC)

By Doctor Sinister

HENCHMEN

No evil genius would be worth anything without some muscle to back him up, and this game is no exception. Henchmen are the most powerful of your underlings and are able to be controlled directly. Sending Henchmen out on dangerous missions is a surer way of achieving your goals as basic Workers are pretty incompetent at kidnapping people or stealing valuable works of art.

But unlike Minions, Henchmen are irreplaceable. Although more will flock to you with the more notoriety you gain, if your Samurai Swordmaster gets killed, he’s gone for good. So keep an eye on that World Map!

Pesky Tourists Visit your island base
Pesky Tourists will occasionally find their way into your base. Build an Hotel to keep them amused and earn more money, or simply send one of your Henchmen to kill them – the choice is yours. If you’ve had a particularly bad day, kidnap them and throw them into the cells. You can always interrogate them later for a laugh.

WORLD MAP

The World Map is accessed through the main screen. First impressions are that it’s not as nice as my own Status Map in my own War Room, but it’s quite functional. Using this map you can dispatch Minions or Henchmen to various world territories to steal and plot in your name. You can even assign them special missions to increase your notoriety.

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The aim of the game is to become 100% notorious without losing it all – and to construct an ultimate Doomsday Device to force world governments to bow down to you as their leader. As your control centre grows in size and capability, you’ll uncover more acts of infamy that you can undertake. Stealing the Eiffel Tower was one of my favourites, but such acts are bound to get you noticed – and that’s when the trouble starts.

World Map for the Evil Genius
The World is divided into five separate colour-coded zones, each one representing which Security Agency operates in that particular area. At the moment, my notoriety rating is “Mostly Harmless”, I only have basic workers and one Henchman. All of my Minions are currently back at my base, so I’m earning no money – meaning it’s time to get out there and steal some cash. The white dots are special missions you can undertake to gain notoriety and build up your abilities – such as “recruitment” (kidnap) assignments.

HEAT

As your notoriety increases, so does the “Heat” you generate. The amount of Heat determines the calibre of enemy agents the world’s security services will send against you and your base. The more Heat you draw – the stronger the Agent sent until you find yourself up against James Bond types who can cause serious damage to your operation if left unchecked.

To start with, you’ll only encounter pathetic investigators, who will parachute in and try to snoop around. Don’t let them get away with any photos of incriminating objects (like the 35 dead bodies you have stashed in the freezer) or you’ll generate even more Heat. Instead, capture or kill these Agents – but hide the bodies quickly before more of them arrive.

Freezer Picture for Evil Genius
It doesn’t take long for the Freezer room to fill up with dead Agents. These will disappear in time, but leaving them around the base has an adverse effect on the loyalty of your Minions. I’m not sure why, anyone would think they’d be impressed that you were killing your enemies.

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