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Review: Paraworld - PC

by Steven Williamson on 25 September 2006, 15:12

Tags: Koch Media, Strategy

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Tribes, resources and the interface

The first tribe that you’ll be working with is the Norsemen, strong powerful warriors that are able to construct large buildings and defensive fortifications. You’ll begin by setting up their main camp and building an army in the cold, hostile environment of the Northlands. You’ll begin with a town centre epoch and a small amount of resources that allow you to create a small number of workers. You’ll then need to send them out to collect the vital resources, which are stone, wood and food. These resources are then used for building the town and creating an army.

Once enough resources have been gathered you can build over 24 different constructions, including tents that increase the population, warehouses that increase storage capacity and barracks that allow you to create units such as warriors, spearmen and archers. It’s crucial to build walls and gates to protect the town early on in the game; otherwise you’ll be invaded by some hungry dinosaurs or one of the enemy tribes who’ll have instant access to your base. Among other buildings that can be constructed are temples that will heal all nearby units, weapon smiths that allow the upgrade of your armoury and artillery, and harbours where you can create aquatic units such as fishing boats that will fish for food resources or transport turtles that allow for ten units to be transported to positions along the coast.

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The interface for creating these buildings and units is extremely user friendly. For example, you can control an individual worker unit by left clicking on them to reveal the list of buildings available. If they've collected enough resources you simply click on the building that you wish to be constructed, move the building onto a spare piece of land and then the worker will go about his duty of building it. Workers collect resources by selecting them with the right mouse button and then moving them by right clicking on the required position, such as a pile of rocks for digging stone or a forest for chopping down trees. You’ll need to create plenty of workers in order to provide the vital resources, and if you find you’ve over compensated on one particular resource it’s easy to switch the focus of all of your workers by simply double clicking on a worker and then highlighting a new resource with the right mouse button.

The same manoeuvre can be applied to any of your units and is essential for tactical play. For example, Spearmen are more effective against animals so when a dinosaur was attacking we would move our warrior units out of the action and bring the Spearman forward to dispose of them.

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The variation in units is extremely satisfying due to the mixture of dinosaurs and humans that can be controlled. Working with the Norsemen in the initial missions gives you access to Battle Mammoths, which are slow but strong and ideal for taking down enemy buildings, as well as wild boars (that you can ride) and Rhino Transporters that can carry infantry. These units are created within dino farms which are created by your workers, providing you’ve gathered enough resources. When you reach the later levels and take control of another tribe, such as the Dustriders, you’ll have access to a new range of units including raptor handlers, stegosaurus and the awesome T-rex Titan. You can control up to 52 units in Paraworld, but you’ll need to choose carefully as each objective or mission will play to certain groups strengths. For example, if you need to take out a heavily armed fortress with numerous guard towers, it wouldn’t be wise to bring along 30 spearmen as their strengths lie in animal combat. Instead choose a mixture of warriors, archers, and more importantly, mobile dinosaur units who have the strength to take down buildings at a much faster rate than ground infantry. Each unit adds something new to the equation and as the missions become harder you’ll need to think more and more about your tactical choices.