I've never heard of Mega Lo Mania before, as either Mega Lo Mania or Tyrants: Fight Through Time. A God game from the developers of Wizball and Sensible Soccer. Three really rather different games there and they've all made their way onto the 1001 list. What, then, do we have here?
I've absolutely no idea, and neither has Wikipedia (at the time of writing). I could branch out and do some further, far more in depth research... but I could just as easily fire it up and dive in head first without having a clue...
As expected, I didn't have the best of starts with Mego Lo Mania, partly due to the controls of the Sega Mega Drive port, but mostly due to me not knowing what's what.
This soon changed, thankfully.
So the story goes, when planets are home to intelligent life, the Gods gather around and fight for the chance at gaining control over it - at least I think that's the story. Whatever it is, we begin by picking a deity, each with their own personality traits, and decide how we're going to go about our conquest.
|All noses on this screen get picked by poor pointer placement|
It's not just a one-and-done affair with the Gods, so deciding how many bodies to throw into each map is your first decisive moment. Needless to say, I got it wrong and left myself completely screwed for later fights, but forget that for the moment and pretend you chucked twenty proto-humans into the fray to work for you.
They're not going to get very far left on their own, especially when you're competing with another deity for control of the region, so it's up to you to nudge their development along. The primary method for doing so in these early stages is through advances in war - namely, researching how to throw rocks at things.
No, really. You need to commit a certain number of workers towards creating a blueprint for any weaponry or armour you want to equip your army with. The more people you have working on a problem, the sooner you can solve it. Provided you have the resources, you can then put that newfound knowledge to work and send an army forth to hurl bricks at your enemy.
As I said, though, overcommitting people to one map or island is a bad idea, and I learnt that the hard way. Knowing my weakness in numbers for the second island I found myself lording over, I developed some shields to at least hope to delay the inevitable a little.
Unfortunately, it would appear those shields would need some bones in order to be made, and the only bones available would be my own, soon enough...
I didn't play much of Mega Lo Mania. Once I understood how it worked I opened up to it a little more but generally speaking I just wasn't into it. It wasn't grabbing me and convincing me to keep playing, certainly not immediately.
I've no idea how it develops later on, or indeed how you can develop your army, though I read of everything from rocks to laser guns, so there must be quite the opportunity for a good game. How managing resources works I've no real idea, so maybe it's a struggle to get to those fancy weapons, having to develop blueprints for other technologies like the wheel or the light bulb or something.
I might get back into it to find out, but it's not high on the list. It looks alright, has the odd voice delivering status updates here and there, and I'm sure there's enough depth to require you to mix strategies up from time to time, but I just can't see how you'd go and find out those things without investing a good few hours into it, and I can't see how you'd invest a good few hours into it unless you really liked it in the first place.
I didn't like it. It's not hideous by any means, but it's not my cup of tea. See what you think if you get the chance - remembering that it might be a Tyrant in your territory.
Supposedly - so says the Internet - audio files for the phrase "No way!" were originally recorded as "No way, shithead!". What importance this has to the game, I don't know, but that's your fun fact. Take it or leave it.
Mega Lo Mania, developed by Sensible Software, first released in 1991.
Version played: Tyrants: Fight Through Time, Sega Mega Drive, 1991, via emulation.