Console yourself: PC review: Constructor (system3/acclaim) cd- rom

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Having trouble with the neighbours? If so, Constructor is the game for you. It's a building/ management sim which draws heavily on both SimCity and Theme Hospital. The aim is to create and nurture an ideal neighbourhood while destroying those of your competitors.

But the real fun begins when the Undesirables start to move in. These are the social outcasts, including dope-smoking hippies and leather-clad serial killers. They can be used to intimidate rival developers and ultimately sabotage their communities. Start by sending some hippies to squat in your opponents' poshest residences. If that doesn't work, use your drunken yobs to vandalise a few factories. And if all else fails, there are always the sinister-looking characters in leather...

The game looks and sounds wonderful. On the downside, it is quite difficult to get into. There are lots of different icons to get acquainted with and their tasks really need to be memorised before any serious progress can be made. But if you persevere, you will be greatly rewarded. The gameplay is addictive and very tough without being frustrating, giving it a long lifespan. The inclusion of a network option adds still greater depth. However, what really makes this game stand out is its sense of humour.

For anyone who enjoys strategy games, Constructor is an absolute must. In fact, Constructor is an absolute must for everyone. Go buy it.

Released: now, pounds 39.99

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