Generally favorable reviews - based on 51 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 51
  2. Negative: 0 out of 51
Buy On
  1. It has its enjoyable moments and trap design can be a lot of fun, but overall the game’s pacing and interface issues can make world domination a test of patience.
  2. Evil Genius is hampered by some frustratingly haphazard pacing as well as issues with the artificial intelligence of your minions.
  3. Evil Genius overcomes its flaws and ultimately satisfies. Building an evil empire is a good idea, and the way Elixir's constructed the game is thoughtful, enterprising and occasionally inspired.
  4. So, what is it really like to be an evil genius? Well you can have a fantastic lair, hordes of loyal workers and tons of money but to be honest, it can be boring at times, you see, the truly evil one never gets to do any of the dirty work, they just sit and watch; and what makes it worse is workers that don’t seem to have much between their ears making the ‘watching’ a frustrating task.
  5. 70
    Its heart is in the right place, but all the funny interrogation scenes can't make up for the fact that you're doing the same thing at the end of the game as you were in the beginning.
  6. games(TM)
    Granted, it may be the thick vein of very British humour running throughout the game that takes some credit for holding frustration at bay. However, Elixir has learnt much from the overly-ambitious Republic and, as such, everything about this title feels far more rounded and polished. [Nov 2004, p.112]
  7. The high difficulty level in particular manages to cause immense frustration as your intricately laid out plans are once again foiled and you’re forced to start all over again.
  8. 70
    Surprising enough as it is for a modern strategy title, the lack of any multiplayer support rubs the last bit of salt in the wounds for a title that could have benefited so much from human competition to cover its weaknesses.
  9. Edge Magazine
    While there are awkward moments on this malignant management escapade, it’s never less than charming. The exaggerated ‘60’s spy-movie design is familiar and entertainingly fresh, and although flawed, it’s still far more appealing than Republic. [Nov 2004, p.104]
  10. 70
    If you’re a keen gamer and not a big fan of the strategy simulation games, stay clear of Evil Genius as it won’t bring you any satisfaction as opposed to a leading FPS game out on PC these days.
  11. Extremely effective in immersing you in the world of world domination and espionage, while maintaining a wonderful sense of humor... Nonetheless, the slow pacing, imperfect sense of direction, and extensive micromanagement can interfere with your enjoyment.
  12. Computer Games Magazine
    In spite of its missing sandbox mode and the crappy economic meta-game, Evil Genius has a groovy conceit, bright and unique art direction, and a rewarding and well-conceived base-building component. [Dec 2004, p.87]
  13. netjak
    Just an average game. It started out strong, but then it simply lost steam toward the end.
  14. The building and base development aspects are fun but the more you play the more the global overview feature feels like an unwanted distraction.
  15. GMR Magazine
    Despite all it's going for it, Evil Genius just isn't fun. The gameplay is dull, and there is nothing left after you get beyond the initial novelty. [Nov 2004, p.140]
  16. Players have no real interaction with the despicable duties beyond sending out waves of underlings who can be attacked without warning. Progress requires patience, juggling priorities and micromanagement. Fortunately, the flaws are softened by many clever ideas; it feels good to be bad.
  17. 60
    The concept behind Evil Genius is a great one, but the individual pieces of the game don't balance as well as they could. [Dec 2004, p.128]
  18. It's a shame to see all this potential wasted. It takes a true and determined criminal mastermind to get through this game with all its flaws.
  19. 60
    It has tons of potential and just begs to be liked. And we do like it. After all, this may be the first game that can play itself while you’re playing something else.
  20. As a micromanagement/god sim, it makes a fair effort with its source material, although you'll often find yourself bogged down in petty details, and it can lose a bit of charm in its eventual endgame phase.
  21. But where "Dungeon Keeper 2" was graceful, elegant, superbly tuned - possibly the perfect RTS - Evil Genius is clumsy, boorish, frustrating, and frankly not worth the price of admission.
  22. Computer Gaming World
    Could have been great. Instead, it's a near miss - a great idea poorly presented and inadequately explained. And that ain't my bag, baby. [Dec 2004, p.94]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 114 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 88 out of 114
  2. Negative: 7 out of 114
  1. WilliamM
    Dec 23, 2009
    Evil Genius was a game that begged for a sequel and one was FINISHED, but the creators of Tropico shelved it when they acquired the rights.
  2. PN
    Jul 4, 2009
    The game is mind numbingly addicting, but detrimentally so. Everything takes forever. Want to go on a mission? Watch as the 10 guys you send The game is mind numbingly addicting, but detrimentally so. Everything takes forever. Want to go on a mission? Watch as the 10 guys you send out SLOWLY walk to the dispatch point, and then SLOWLY board the vehicle, before eventually arriving. Then, watch as half of them die right away, the mission is failed, and you have to wait for them to get trained back up again before another attempt at the mission. This can easily take 20 to 40 minutes. Nothing in the game happens quickly. Everything involves waiting on a minion to move into position and perform an animation. Once enemy agents show up prepare to be frustrated by their endless persistence. Every time you set up a defense they will, by design, be able to circumvent it, blow it up, or be ignored by it. I enjoyed the game for the first couple of hours. Then I got annoyed and started over, then I got annoyed and cheated, then I got annoyed and deleted that shit. Don't waste your time on this game. Full Review »
  3. AaronD.
    Jun 19, 2006
    Could've been made better. A simple speed slider could fix a lot.