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Written by Shigamoto   
Saturday, 02 December 2006
The Caesar games from Impressions taught us how to build roman colonies; we tested it to see if it stood the test of time.

Caesar started the craze for building roman colonies and had a number of sequels constantly improving the graphics and game play. This game is however the original, which was released in 1992 by Impressions.

The game was very similar to Sim City, something the publishers was worried about so they printed “Caesar is in no way related to or connected with Sim City”. However the two games are very similar, at least in theory.

In Caesar you are selected to develop provinces around the Roman Empire. Easier said than done perhaps. The game begins with just an empty piece of land, the first building in your city has to be a “Forum”, the administrative centre of the city.

After building the Forum it’s time to develop the infrastructure in your city using roads and laying pipes. No there are no aqueducts in the game, which is a bit disappointing. Other ways of distributing water is using wells and fountains.

Housing is a science in Caesar. None of the citizens wants to live near industrial or military structures so they often turn into low level housing with the poor living in them. Popular areas are near water, and the city centre.

To get money (or Denarriis as the silver coins was called in the Roman Empire) you need to tax your citizens. There are two types of taxes in Caesar, population and industrial. The population tax has a positive effect on land values in your city, and also on the city income of course. If you set it too high it will cause unrest and drive citizens out of the city. The industrial tax is quite straightforward, high industrial taxes decrease the number of industries in your city, a low one will increase the number of industry.

In Caesar you have two views when playing, one city view and one provincial view. In the provincial view you can see your whole province. It’s important to connect the cities in your province with roads, but also to connect the province with the rest of the empire using Imperial highways.

The province also needs defence. There are a number of structures you can build to stop barbarians, including walls and towers. If that don’t stop them you can construct fortresses, each fort contains a cohort unit. Cohorts are the roman regular army, you can instruct them to patrol or attack.

Caesar’s military part is a bit limited and the game isn’t really about roman battles. However Caesar was technically more advanced than the Sim City games from Maxis, especially when it comes to the provincial level in the game (Maxis added a similar concept with regions in Sim City 4, released 2003).

Caesar is a very fun game, especially for those history buffs out there. It still stands as a good city simulation, the graphics has of course aged but if you can survive them you are in for quite a thrill.

Related: Sim City for Windows, Sim City 4: Rush Hour, Deadlock II: Shrine Wars,
Developer: Impressions Games
Website for Game: N/A
Publisher: Impressions Games
O/S: MS-DOS 3.0 or higher.
Cost of full game: N/A
Year of Release: 1993

640K RAM
Tested on:
Pentium II 333 MHz, 64 MB RAM, Windows 98

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