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Publisher: Freeverse    Genre: Strategy & War
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: G3 @ 333 MHz    RAM: 64 MB    Hard Disk: 80 MB    Graphics: 16 MB VRAM

October 7, 2003 | Zack Lipowski

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Itís not often the Mac community receives a brand spanking new TBS (turn based strategy) game, let alone one that is not a sequel or spin-off of a popular game setting. To sweeten this even further Solace is not your typical TBS game. In fact, itís more akin to Risk, both visually and in play mechanics. This originality helps Solace to propel itself above some shortcomings, and in the end, is a respectable diversion for the casual fan. Donít expect overwhelming depth or stratagem. Instead, try Solace for its unique take on the genre and to hammer home the fact that this game deserves a sequel.

Game play
After patching the game to version 1.03 (recommended), youíre thrust into the world of Solace, which is made up of six competitive kingdoms. Excess paranoia has led to the bolstering of each country's military ranks, and war is inevitable. Time to pick your side.

The back story for Solace, delivered via a poorly voiced English accent, is one of war and turmoil. For half a century Clan Lords of the Ligion Mountains have been brutalized by the aptly named Brotherhood of Sorrows. Now hungering for blood, the clans take up arms and prepare to overthrow their leaders.

Solace offers six different clans to play as; each is reserved a different spot on the playing board with varying size and strategic locale.

The Ligionire Clan Lords, formerly shepherds ravaged by war and plagues, ally themselves with the Kilary in hopes of overthrowing their long time rulers, the Brotherhood of Sorrows. The Minx Cartel consists of petty thieves and cutthroat pirates led by the Don, and at their disposal is a fleet of extra nasty warships. The Free Cities are a loosely connected band of city-states consisting of fisherman and traders, who are under the protection of the Minx Cartel. The Kilary Stronghold, a magnificent castle in which the Brotherhood of Sorrows dwells, is the epicenter for political ambitions. The Jinda Empire is a wealthy nation that relies on a sea merchant network, and specializes in exotic herbs and spices. The People of Tarth are made up mostly of nomadic tribesmen and excel as archers and horsemen.

The bulk of play in Solace is on the game board, which is a scaled-down representation of the world. All six countries are on it, and it is here you will place and move your units into battle with other factions. It is no coincidence the game board is reminiscent of Risk, and the particular board gameís influence is in all aspects of Solace.


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