CD-ROM review: War Wind Mindscape, pounds 44.99

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Indy Lifestyle Online
This Windows 95 game, a sort of hybrid between Sim City and war games such as Command And Conquer, is an addictive representative of the best-selling strategy genre.

Four races, with their own unique ideologies, ambitions and strengths, are struggling to establish a new order on the planet Yavuan after the empire has fallen. You can choose an alien viewpoint you have sympathy for - or not - and play the game from that perspective.

Progressing through a series of levels with set missions, the point is to win supremacy by a mixture of strategies - forging alliances (in network- play mode), attracting enigmatic wandering heroes to your cause, stealing treasure from neighbouring territory, building settlements and agricultural infrastructure to support research and development in sorcery, armoury and genetic enhancement. All this plus a rudimentary scenario editor to design further missions means that you get a lot for your money.

The War Wind software makes use of Microsoft's DirectX drivers, so the graphics are fast and smooth. But make sure you read what your graphics card manual has to say about how it handles DirectX - hit the wrong button during install and you are in for some tedious reinstalling of original video drivers.

Mindscape (01444 246333).