* Prices may differ from that shown
This review is for the Nintendo DS game, The Settlers, developed by Blue Byte and published by Ubisoft. It's a strategy game where you have to look after your islanders, construct buildings and protect them.
This game has a long history, having first been released on the Commodore Amiga in the early 1990s, when I first remember playing it. This version however is more based on the PC version of the game, released a couple of years after the Amiga version. This version comes with three different play modes, World Campaign, Roman Campaign and free play.
You will get on much better with this game if you have already played it, as the instructions in the game are poor. Usually games have very good tutorial modes, or some easy levels to get you into playing the game. This game doesn't, and for a game of the depth of this one, it's an omission which shouldn't have been made.
Controlling the game is primarily through the stylus and touch screen, which is a problem, as many of the movements which you make are simply not registered by the game. When you're building more complex items, this is frustrating, and it does take away quite a lot from the game. The game also has a large scroll area, given the small size of the Nintendo DS screen, which can be difficult to navigate around.
The biggest problem with this game, which seems to have been experienced by other users, is the sheer number of bugs in the game. They render the game almost unplayable in places, and are totally inexcusable. To release a game which isn't properly tested for these faults is a serious omission, and one which undermines the publishers and developers of the game.
The saving facility on the game is also very poor. Save game times can be quite long, which is frustrating. But even worse is that you are given only one save slot, so if you wanted to play through the other campaigns (especially if you are forced to by bugs in the game), then you would have to over-write the game that you were playing.
The graphics in the game aren't too bad, but the detail on each individual character is quite poor, and the screens can be quite full. The ability to switch between the two screens of the DS is though good, and can be useful when trying to play the game. There are also a limited amount of sound effects and background music, so little is added to the atmosphere by either the sound or the graphics in this title.
The game retails for 19.99 pounds, but is currently available on Amazon for 14.99 pounds. If you're happy with a second hand copy, these are at the time of writing available for around nine pounds on sites such as eBay and Amazon. The game is rated as 7+, so is suitable for most children.
In summary, the game verges on being brilliant, and if it could have recreated the Amiga and PC versions of the game, then it would been an essential part of any Nintendo DS owner's strategy games collection. As it is, untested, difficult to register some stylus and touch screens moves, the game is just poor. A shame for what could have been something much better.
portable version of the classic PC game The Settlers makes its way onto the DS, complete with 2 campaign modes, free gaming roaming, and 4 different races