Power Struggle (PSS) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing

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Power Struggle
By PSS
Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Computer & Video Games #78

Power Struggle

The real world of international politics and wars is so complex that it is almost impossible to represent on a computer. Very sensibly, the designers of Power Struggle have not tried. Instead, they have produced a very simple, very enjoyable game for one or two players in which you are invited to take over the world.

The game screen is a world map divided both into regions and smaller countries, each with its own military and industrial strength and political influence. The players control as a block either the "West" or the "East" trying to influence neutral countries to join their side. This influence can including direct military action, or the transfer of military industrial powewr from a strong country to a weak one.

Some neutral countries start with a leaning towards one side or the other and are easy to win over. Once a country has been won over, it cannot change to the other side except by being defeated in war and occupied. In the standard game the division of countries into West, East and neutral reflects the real world, but the players can also select a completely random opening. The game takes several hours to play through, and only ends when the map is completely green (West controls every country) or red (East has control).

The problem is they have to do so together at the same time, which sometimes degenerates into an exercise in joystick manipulation as players try to double-bluff on their orders. There is no hidden movement from the computer, which as an opponent unashamedly plans its moves according to what the player is doing, resulting too often in stalemate.

This is not a realistic game, nor one to be taken too seriously. But it is very playable, and especially good value.