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Generally favorable reviews - based on 51 Critics What's this?

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8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 90 Ratings

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  • Summary: You're a malevolent mastermind bent on achieving global domination through the construction of the ultimate doomsday device. Build a secret base, gain notoriety by completing daring missions, repel the forces of justice in real-time combat, and develop evil super-weapons to complete your nefarious master plan. Evil Genius is a tongue-in-cheek take on the spy thrillers of the '60s, offering you the unique opportunity to play the villain as you control a secret island fortress complete with powerful henchmen, loyal minions, ice-cold beauty queens, and a host of hilarious gizmos. [Vivendi Universal] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 51
  2. Negative: 0 out of 51
  1. The excellent balancing of gameplay and humor make this game a worthy companion piece to VU Games' superlative "No One Lives Forever" franchise.
  2. The humour shines through, the base design and the battle against the agents will keep you occupied for hours and hours on end. Graphics, sounds and the whole gameplay looks smooth and solid.
  3. Although the game suffers from various setbacks, it's still hella addictive and fun to play. Not to mention that the single-player campaign is HUGE, so you'll get hours and hours of fun from it.
  4. Timing and game issues aside, Evil Genius is one of those great strategy games that will appeal not only to strategy fans, but to players who like operating on the wrong side of the law in their games.
  5. 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]
  6. 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.
  7. 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]

See all 51 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34
  1. Nov 4, 2013
    10
    One of the greatest base builders ever made. Still fantastic and totally playable to this day. Atmospherically this captures the feel of the 60s bond movies perfectly and who doesn't want to build their own evil volcano lair, I ask you! Expand
  2. Mar 24, 2013
    10
    About the most fun you can have with a single player game, playing on hard difficulty will grind your brain, but hey, it's on hard difficulty for a reason! Expand
  3. Aug 7, 2013
    10
    A very fun game. think Dungeon Keeper, but where you play a james bond'esque villain where you try to take over the world. You get henchmen to buld your base, guard it and even fool turists to try and keep your activities unknown.

    Sadly there are only 2 levels, but with all the reasearch and the length of time missions can take this is a game you can play for hours on end with the many different traps and science devices you can strap agents too, uncluding a laser like the classic bond film, Gold Finger. One hell of a buy if you ask me :)

    I highly recommend altering the gaming code for more minions as 100 is very small when you start getting secret agents coming on your island and massacreing everyone.
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  4. Mar 3, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game, overall, is an experience you would be mad to pass up. This, however, is dampened by a lot of small, niggling issues that crop up over the course of the game, and that by the end, have you wanting to dominate the world for more than one reason. Evil Genius is, in theory, the antithesis to the hordes of 'good pure hero' stories that dominate the market. Much like Dungeon Keeper, you play the role of the evil, vengeful and hugely spiteful bad guy. It's a brilliant spin on the concept, concisely taking the piss out of James Bond, Rambo and a whole host of 80's stereotypes, allowing you to turn the tables on the pesky do-gooders and use their own patented movie-logic against them. Now, every evil genius needs minions, especially a genius as inept as you. While you play as one of three avatars with variously diabolical backgrounds and perks, they don't seem to be capable of a whole load. They stand around, give a stat-boost to nearby minions, and can prioritize the use or construction of a single object. That's it. I expected to be able to do more than that with a character who's capable of formulating a plot to bring the entire world to its knees. But no problem, right? Because you've got a whole host of minions to do your evil bidding, like a flock of detachable hands, or something. Except you can't control them directly. I'm fine with that. It's a neat little gameplay mechanic in itself. You can set objects to be built, moved, destroyed or researched. You can designate the need for minions of a certain type in the big wide world, and tag enemy agents with various treatments. None of this needs any micromanagement, as your minions are totally autonomous. They react according to the stimui you place in the environment. Their AI is, at times, atrocious. Managing flow through corridors, despite being a neat little concept that makes sense, is made frustrating by the fact that, no matter how many routes are avaliable, the minions take the shortest. No matter how congested, or dangerous. Wonder why your minions aren't training? They're all standing around, waiting for eachother, at the T-Junction at the entrance to your base. Or walking really, really slowly to where they need to be. Sometimes, tasks just WONT happen. No reason is evident. Minions are free, the path is unobstructed, but the object won't be placed, the research won't be done. The captive won't be executed, leading to their escape and destruction of half your base from the inside. Oops, sorry. Your minions were too busy playing pinball, or standing around, oogling all your tasty, tasy stolen loot. The game is seperated into two sections: your base management, which covers a small island, and a control-roomesque overview of the world, seperated into sections, inside which are Acts of Infamy to complete, both optional and mandatory. You can kidnap people to train better minions, steal money, plot to discover new Acts, steal Loot, and blow things up. Each Act is unique and funny, but you don't get to see it happening. Your view never shifts from the control room, so when your minions blow up Nevada, you get a short generic radio-broadcast clip from the attacked region of the world, some of your minion tokens fall over, and... oh, and your Heat goes up. There are two gagues of how well you're operating in the world. Notoriety, which is 'good', and Heat, which is 'bad'. Notoriety goes up in small amounts, almost never down, and displays how much you're respected and feared. Heat is how much a particular government wants to murder the **** out of you, and how many troops of what type and skill they're going to send to your island. It goes down over time, sloooowly. Notoriety has little use. Aside from a few arbitrary mission goals, and the ability to recruit directly-controlable, semi-invincible Henchmen from the world at various points of progress, it serves to do pretty much arse-all that is beneficial. It does attract the world leaders version of Henchmen, Super Agents, to your island, and they're a real pain. Henchmen, while not defeatable by ordinary Agents, can be killed by the frankly overpowered Super Agents. And late in the game, because you can do little except stall them until you unlock their 'defeat' mission, the Agents get really, really tiresome. It's a brilliant concept, with huge amounts of loving detail. Minions group together in their off-time and smoke, the graphic style is impeccable, and the reflections and shine make everything beautiful. Grapically, it's a 10/10. Conceptually, it's a 10/10. In the execution, things fall flat. There's not enough incentive or reward to complete Acts, Henchmen are mostly redundant, enemies are overpowered in the endgame. But by god, is it one of the most worthwhile games I've ever played, if only because it's a beacon of an underplayed genre with megalitres of potential. It could have been done a LOT worse. Expand
  5. Feb 13, 2014
    8
    Playing Evil Genius reminds me of why I stopped buying computer games. It came out at a time when the people who made them got their jollies from making things frustrating and then mocking the users after release if they complained. And I loved it! Games these days have all sorts of conveniences for the fluoride generation that has hijacked gaming. These are the people giving EG a low score here btw. Go back to CoD you wreckers!
    In the decade since it was released gaming has taken an amazing nosedive, with everything being "casual friendly", which is code for never frustrating anyone ever, which is code for making boring games.
    Anybody who wants a classic example of how PC games used to deliberately use frustration to make games fun should buy Evil Genius. It`s one of very few Dungeon Keeper derivatives released which is good, and the graphics and sound are still great after all this time. And so is the game play. Once you get the hang of base construction and learn how to use different traps, doors, cameras and guards for the best result it is amazingly addictive.
    As for the negatives it really is time consuming and occasionally little happens. But on the other hand you can control this yourself to a certain extent: By being active plotting and carrying out crimes on the world map you attract hordes of agents and you`ll never be bored. Of course you won`t be able to defend your base either, but finding the right balance between world map activity and base security is one of the joys of the game, although never easy.
    There is an exploit which is hard to resist at the end of the tutorial, when your task is to kidnap a maid. If you just don`t do this at all and instead send all your people off to plunder on the world map you can just go to bed or get drunk and you`ll have millions of gold when you wake up/come back. This neutralizes what would otherwise have been the hardest part of EG: getting enough gold while being harassed by super agents But since it`s an alternative that requires patience, which is what my enemies in the "casual" gaming community do not have at all, I am prepared to forgive this crutch.
    The only real negative is that not only is it hard and long winded, but it is almost a must to have played through the game before you can know what to do when, how much and in what order and so have a reasonable chance at finishing the campaign. If you haven`t you`ll aggro all five super agents to your island at the same time and die, place entrances, rooms and hotels in bad places, get the wrong henchmen or an endless number of other things you`re just not likely to get right the first time around.

    Other than that it`s great fun, and highly recommended foo anyone sick to death of "casual" gaming.
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  6. Jan 31, 2012
    7
    Ever dreamed of bettering James Bond? Well here's your chance. A great original concept which has still not been bettered. If you like simulation games but are looking for something a little different then look no further. Expand
  7. Dec 27, 2010
    5
    This would be a great game if the pacing wasn't so slow. It's extremely addictive and the concept is interesting. The game has a humorous style a la Theme Hospital, with funny animations and voice overs. However, the pace is intolerably slow and it takes forever for even the most simple things to be accomplished. It can take 30-40 minutes to complete a single mission as the units you select to send will ever-so-slowly walk to the helicopter point, slowly be flown away, arrive at the destination five minutes later, take part in a mission that takes 5 minutes to complete, and then half of them will die and you will fail the mission anyway.

    This could really have been fixed by a) a simple 'fast forward' type of button that makes everything move faster or b) making the area in which you can build your lair much larger and giving more room types etc so that whilst you're waiting for your minions to complete their missions you can entertain yourself by building things. As it was I got bored after the first couple of hours, since I'd built all the rooms available and didn't have much space left for future rooms, and I had nothing else to do except tag all the agents who came to be killed (which is extremely repetitive) and wait around. Game would be a lot more fun if it was sped up a bit and had a bit more variety. A free form mode would be great as well.
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See all 34 User Reviews