I was chilling out on Steam one night when I saw a little samurai icon. Now, some people go nuts for zombies and some people go crazy for pirates. Me? I’m a samurai aficionado, so immediately my interest was piqued. Then I saw that the game, Sengoku, was a strategy game. That got me really psyched and I immediately thought of the original Shogun Total War – that game was balls.
What I got was unexpected. Sengoku is very graphically compact, i.e., there are no little animated workers out in the field or units engaging in direct animated battles. This is markedly different from a lot of the strategy games I am used to playing. Sengoku has a simplified interface, which plays in very nicely when it comes to exactly how complex the game’s concept is.
The game revolves around non-actions. You can’t simply click and drag one unit to combat another (as you would with most strategy games). Sengoku is fundamentally an administrative game. You politic and execute orders that might place you in direct conflict with other leaders, in an effort to take over and control half of all the lands for a certain amount of seasons. You also appoint leaders to various cabinets that have interpersonal attributes like “untrustworthy.”
Sengoku is definitely a niche for fans of uber meticulously-crafted resource management and directly-linked causality gaming mechanics. If the farthest you travel into strategy gaming is Civilization or Tropico, then you may find yourself suddenly floating in the deep end.
After playing Sengoku for a while, I realized that the game is not dissimilar to my love of watching Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. I can understand the principles when they’re dumbed down, but when I look at a chalkboard filled with alien science, my brain officially shuts off.
George realized that judging books and games by their covers was way easier in the predigital age. Follow his elation and dismay over downloaded content on Twitter @GeorgeCollazo. Sengoku, from Paradox Interactive, is available on the PC and Steam.