If you are looking for a festive thinker to play in between consuming copious amounts of booze, this will be ideal, although I wouldn't recommend playing it with a hangover. A thoroughly addictive, engrossing game that ranks among my top five for this year.
If you loved "Caesar" and "Pharaoh," you'll probably really like Zeus. You'll probably enjoy the game also if you enjoy the challenge of building a city and an economy to run it, provided you have the patience to wait for your efforts to bear fruit.
Its faster pace, simpler city design, and mythological elements open the game to more casual players, but it retains enough depth to entertain long-time fans and adds the broader world-view they have requested for years. In other words, it's fun!
Very fun game, addictive and rich with all of its possibilities. The graphics, even though outdated, are charming and colorful making the game pleasant to play along with the Greek styled soundtrack. Might not be as complex as all other RTS games on the market, but for a 13 year old game it's simple nature makes it a gem to play
Oh yeah, this one is an all time favorite! If you mix SimCity with greek mythology and awsome gameplay, you get Zeus: Master Of Olympus! The mechanics are simple but clever, sound and graphics are beautiful and you get an overall great experience. A must play for strategy and building genre fans!
Zeus should have been the pinnacle of Sierra's city builders, but it falls a bit short.
The general style and atmosphere is great, just like with Caesar and Pharaoh before, Zeus really provides a strong ancient Greek atmosphere. Basing the whole combat system (citizen army) on that was a bold move, but at least for historical accuracy it was a good move.
Production lines and needs are quick to understand, getting an economy rolling does not take long. It took some time to get acclimated to it when starting on Olympian difficulty, but once you got a basic housing layout going, it is easy to build up from there and calculate needed resources. Roadblocks do a lot of the heavy lifting they were made for.
I like the agora as market replacement.
I liked the format of the adventures, which are based mostly around one city and instead of switching cities every mission, you come back to your working city with new challenges. it is a bit abusable - you could just generate money in one mission and keep using that money the rest of the adventure, but money is rarely a challenge anyways.
Diplomacy in this form is new, you have more options in interacting with other cities: coqnuering, raiding, bribing, asking for support. As a concept that is a great addition and fits the diplomacy between greek city states very well.
The UI is very simpel and in the beginning it looks smooth and clean, but over time I started wishing for Caesar III's advisors. It required a few more clicks but would also give more information.
If they wouldn't be any Zeus specific negatives, the game could be a 10/10, but sadly there are several:
The game is very limited, after one or two adventures you have seen 95% of the game and adventures/missions are not very unique. Technically that is an issue for every city builder, but Zeus grew stale surprisingly quickly.
Combat ****. Combat in Caesar III was fun, but in Zeus it is just bad. Requiring elite housing for actual troops is an interesting concept but in reality it means you cannot do anything militarily until you are capable of supporting enough elite housing.
Combat is just clunky - having to mobilize every unit one after another and jumping back to the palace before moving them where they should move just feels bad. That certainly does not look like 2 years of progress on top of Caesar III. Also, combat is just boring, troops run at each other and you have to hope that no enemy just runs trough your lines.
Ship Combat is basically having more ships than the opponent and just right-clicking the enemy's ship. It is great to have two different pools of units for attacking/defending different cities, but sea combat itself is very basic, too basic.
Playing on Olympian difficulty is more frustrating than challenging. "Randomly" the game drops mythical beasts into your food economy, cities rebel constantly despite bribing them and once one thing goes wrong it is an almot unstoppable downwards spiral - an attack decimates your army, a mythical beasts destroys your economy so you can't summon the appropriate hero and with your economy in shambles, your houses devolve and so your army disappears.
It was challenging in theearlier adventures, but got repetitive very quickly and finishing adventures was more a slog than an adventure.
SummaryRecreate your favorite legends from Greek mythology as you build and rule beautiful city-states. Help Hercules defeat the Hydra, Odysseus win the Trojan War, or Jason retrieve the Golden Fleece. You'll make friends in high places, get involved in the affairs of immortals, and even meet Zeus himself. [Sierra Studios]