As you may have seen on my sister site, AlexisHMasters.com, June was a busy month. I'm almost done with my reviews of the books I read during those four weeks, but in addition to all the other business that was going on (including a fantastic vacation to Texas to attend my very first convention ever, RTX, which will have its own awesome recap post up here soon!) I also got a bit distracted by an old favorite computer game called Majesty. It came up in conversation one day while chatting with my sister and I was hit with a burst of nostalgia, and regret that I didn't own the discs required to play it anymore. On a whim I checked Amazon, not expecting to find anything for a decent price... and was very pleased to see the Majesty Gold edition (downloadable to Steam) on sale for only $2.50. Yes, please! (Note: the sale is now over, so it's back up to the regular price of $5.00. Still less than the price of a lunch.) (Other Note: Looks like right now Amazon is running a deal on their digital games, where if you use the code "Gooncave" at checkout you can save %15. Not sure how long that will last, but might as well take advantage of it while you can.)
I've since then been going through my realm, reclaiming the wilderness and recruiting heroes to perform great deeds and save my subjects from various terrors, magically inflicted diseases, and monstrosities. Thus far, it has been going well. I've destroyed hordes of goblins and razed their camps, recovered a magical chalice to cure me of a dread illness, countered a dangerous hex that had turned all my subjects into witless morons, and survived a deal with a demon (just another reminder of what could be waiting for you if you get into debt over a bad deal...). I'm about to raid a dragon tomb and set out to conquer the Lich Queen.
If you have ever been interested in this game, or have never heard of Majesty but enjoy real-time strategy or RPGs, I highly recommend checking this out. For only $5.00, there's not much to lose. The basic premise is that you get to see what it's like from the perspective of a king or queen - you have a castle (your home and last line of defense), and you give orders to your peasants to construct various buildings to improve your city. You build camps and havens and temples and recruit heroes to join your cause, and you can set bounties on enemies or post exploration rewards in order to entice said heroes to do your bidding - but unlike other strategy games, you have no direct control over your people. You have to give them a place to live, and ensure that you're supplying them with needed items (like upgraded weapons and armor from the blacksmith, or healing potions from the market) and then trust that they like you enough to go kill the Big Bad that's threatening this corner of your realm.
It's pretty awesome. One thing I really like about it is that with every mission, whether a pre-built one or a freestyle one you create on the fly, there's always something new to do. Ok, you start out needing to build basically the same buildings, but sometimes you may not want rogues or rangers if you're being constantly swarmed by armies of skeletons - go for warriors instead, who use swords or clubs instead of arrows. Wizards are powerful but extremely fragile, so if you are fighting off swarm after swarm, they might not be the best choice. And there's never a long stretch where you have nothing to do. Sometimes, things can fall into a bit of a lull - cherish those moments. That's when you're allowed to breathe. Other times, you feel like you need to be a pro gamer just to click fast enough to keep your city from falling to the ground because of a sudden ratman infestation (squeaky little bastards - and they steal all your gold if they can, so kill those suckers quick!).
There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of your trusty Sean Connery-type advisor suddenly informing you that "We are victorious, Your Majesty!"
I mentioned that this is an older game - as a technical note, I have a fairly up-to-date computer running Windows 7 and the MajestyGold edition has had zero problems running. In fact, they even threw in an HD version so the loading screen and general graphics look nicer. It's good stuff. And if you don't have (or don't want) a Steam account, there's also a regular digital download available from Amazon, for the same price.