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Nobody likes a loser - ask Graham Taylor. The hstory of the world is written by those who have the conviction to win and you can take your place among them with Impressions' latest strategy sim. Global Domination enables you and up to four human or Amiga-controlled opponents to take part in a monumental struggle for power where cunning, brute force and management of scarce resources play an equal part.

Each player is given a limited amount of territory at the beginning of the game and you have to expand your empire into netural and occupied zones, grinding down your opponents to the point where they completely disappear.

The game comes across as a less sophisticated incarnation of Civilization. The technical advances and people management elements have been dispensed with in favour of some straightforward conquering, and it all works jolly well too. The icon-driven control system is easy to use and you are soon taking on the likes of Napoleon, Genghis Khan and Queen Victoria at their own Empire-building game.

There are plenty of random elements - such as revolutions and surprise attacks - to keep the gameplay interesting and there are lots of difficulty, world-creation and even modem options to keep the most avid wargamer hooked for weeks.

You do not expect fancy graphics in a game like this and, sure enough, you do not really get any, but there are some neat sound samples and a stirring Wagnerian soundtrack to draw you in. This emerges as one of Impressions' most playable and addictive games yet, but at £34.99 it is overpriced.

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Less of a popular pastime than it once was.

Have you ever played the boardgame Risk? It is by far one of the best ways ever devised by mankind of losing friends and having your dad make you do the washing up for the next decade.

Basically, each player sets out to take over the entire world and kill everyone else. The more countries you get, the more revenue you get to build bigger and better armies, which are all represented by little pieces. Now, the last time I played it (and won, natch) the set had plastic columns, but Stuart's just bought a brand spanking new version which has soldiers, cannons and cavalry to represent one, five and ten armies each, which sounds ever so cute. So anyway, that is Risk - fighting, invading and army building.

Curiously enough, the same description fits Global Domination, which in its simplest form is pretty much identical to Risk. This is not at all a bad thing, as Risk is a great game, and this also ahs the advantage of having computer players which you can use to fill up any shortfalls of real players. It is all a bit more realistic though, so the countries are split along modern political lines, with the larger countries split up into provinces or states.

The movement and deployment is a bit more involved too. You can only place armies in countries belonging to you, but once they are positioned, it is simple to invade the many neutral countries that initially littler the board.

The limiting factor to your expansionist plans is the number of points you get, which is related to the number of countries you own. At the start, you obviously use them all to produce armies, but once you need to move them around, you have got to use some on transport and even more for sea transport. As you can imagine, starting out with Australia is a bit of a pain, because after a few moves, you have got to burn up valuable points lugging them over the sea.

It is a clever system, as it means that moving larger armies takes more forethought than smaller ones, making smaller units better for fast attacks. Once you have got this sorted out, you can move onto the more advanced, and less Risk-like rules, which include factors like unrest, pacts with various enemies and even special forces who can be sent into other countries to try and destabilise them. Good idea, that one.

Everything is controlled with a mouse, on a turn system with each round representing a month. There is also a skirmish system, which places you in control of tanks, planes and infantry and allows you to fight out little wars. It is sort of like a PD version of Dune 2, and is only really good for the occasional novelty play.

It is a system that works well, but also one that lacks any real appeal. Games last a couple of hours minimum, and after a few goes, I really could not be that bothered if I was winning or not. Okay, I might have another go some time, but that is only because I got sent it. Would if fork out almost 35 quid for it? No.