Windows - 2001
Description of A*M*E*R*I*C*A Windows
The real time strategy genre continues to make a strong showing in the gaming industry, with new titles being released all the time. One of the new kids on the block is the Wild West-based RTS, America, subtitled No peace beyond the line!
America (ironically enough) was developed by a German software firm, Data Becker. The concept behind this title is a familiar one. The player must gather and manage resources (food, wood, and gold), build structures, create "units" (people), and achieve certain specific mission objectives (which typically amount to conquering your opposing nations and/or defending yourself from the same). Few people would argue with the assertion that this sounds more than just vaguely familiar. America 's gameplay style is just what one might expect from a mainstream real time strategy. In a nutshell, it is (as many other titles are) very similar to the Age of Empires series. While I hate to compare every new real time strategy game to Age of Empires II, this eminent title is widely accepted as a standard bearer of the genre. Hence, I will succumb to this temptation and utilize the Age of Empires series as the yardstick by which to measure America on more than one occasion.
The events portrayed in America are taken straight from the annals of American history. Well... sort of (more on that later). The game is set in the United States during the period of westward expansion following the Civil War. America consists of four separate, but intertwining (in terms of the storyline), campaigns. Each of these campaigns places the player in control of one of the four "nations" struggling for dominance in the American western frontier. These four nations are the Native Americans, specifically the Sioux tribe, the Mexicans, the U.S. Settlers, and the Outlaws. The manual refers to each of these groups as "nations" but, with the inclusion of this fourth group, perhaps "factions" is more accurate a term.
Although the campaigns can be completed in any order, the main menu provides a suggested order for completing them (presumably for difficulty level reasons). Additionally, the Native American campaign includes a four level tutorial introducing the player to the basics of creating units, moving units, resource gathering, building structures etc. - essentially everything seasoned RTS players take for granted yet still things that a novice to the genre just might need to know before jumping headlong into the fray.
In terms of graphics, America is presented in the same three-quarter angle, third person, isometric style as Age of Empires (which is so prevalent throughout the genre). Units, structures, terrain, etc. are nicely rendered and do a good job projecting the "flavor" of the Wild West. My only complaint is that the maps could stand a bit more variety in the landscape department. Although, the introductory narrative explained where events for each mission were occurring, I never quite felt like I was looking at a different location than the last mission.
One of the nicest touches, visually, is the attention paid to detail in terms of architectural style, wardrobe, etc. Each of the four factions has its own distinctive appearance (as well as aural cues when you select a unit), which is quite helpful in, not only creating ambience, but providing the player with instant and easily identifiable feedback about the unit selected as well. Each faction features several different types of units. The Native American tribe includes warriors, archers, squaws, a medicine man, a chief (of course), and more. The Mexican campaign features militiamen, field workers, gauchos, gunslingers, and the commandant. The U.S. settlers campaign includes both frontiersmen and frontierswomen, as well as covered wagons, infantrymen, cavalry, and more. The Outlaws are headed up by a bandleader (as in banditos, not a marching band). In addition to your run of the mill desperados, you can also create specialized units such as hunters, assassins, and whip crackers.
The differences go beyond mere cosmetics, too. Each group has certain abilities not possessed by the other three. These various strengths and advantages are balanced, however, by some weaknesses and disadvantages. The result is that you must take a slightly different approach, employing unique strategies, for each of the four factions.
For example, when completing the U.S. Settlers campaign, you have the ability to create more advanced weapons (rifles, cannons, etc.) using your factories. The drawback is that constructing these munitions is quite expensive and artillery units are somewhat slow moving. In contrast, the Native American archers, while less advanced technologically, require much fewer resources to "train" and are quite lethal in large numbers. Additionally, individual units within each campaign are only able to complete certain tasks. American settler women can tend fields and chop wood, but only male settlers can construct buildings. In contrast, Native American squaws can tend fields but cannot chop wood, only the warriors can do this. The squaws, however, are the units responsible for all construction and repair. These trade-offs in abilities serve to balance the gameplay by requiring the player to create an entire community of interdependent individuals, rather than simply focusing on amassing a huge army of warriors and setting out for conquest (although there's also plenty of that involved as well).
The user interface and procedures for creating units and structures, selecting and moving units, developing new technology (commonly referred to as the "tech tree"), etc. are all practically identical to Age of Empires. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, however, because the methods used are tried and true, and have evolved into almost universally accepted conventions for RTS game design.
As in most other real time strategy games, individual units display a "health bar" over their heads when selected. In America, this health bar is slightly more complex than in some other titles, however, in that it displays three visual statistics at all times: life, morale, and experience. Units react differently depending on the value shown in each of these three areas. Unfortunately, since the bars are rather small, I found it somewhat difficult to distinguish between them. Ultimately, I found them to be of little use and didn't even try to interpret them (other than keeping an eye on the health status of units in combat).
Some players, specifically history buffs wishing to recreate these important events in U.S. history, may have some concerns regarding the historical accuracy of the events portrayed in the game. Although the manual and promotional literature for America touts claims such as "historically accurate through 90 years of post Civil War America," the developers have, in actuality, taken liberal poetic license in designing this game. It plays more like a classic John Wayne western than a historical documentary. If you approach this game with an expectation for precise, documented historical accuracy, you will almost certainly come away disappointed. If, on the other hand, you approach it (as I believe its creators intended) with the spirit of a child's game of "Cowboys and Indians" mixed with a docudrama based on actual events, then you'll likely be captivated by America 's charm and appeal.
The issue of this game's AI, to be quite honest, had me perplexed for a little while. I started out the game on the standard difficulty setting and was swiftly devastated by the computer. I continued to lower the difficulty setting but was still unable to successfully complete the first mission even after I reached the humiliating level of "very easy." Not just easy, mind you - VERY easy. At this point I was ready to pack it in and never play another RTS again. After all, someone with skills as poor as mine doesn't deserve to play these fine games, right? Even the last two tutorials seemed a bit overly challenging.
In desperation (I needed to make SOME progress in this game in order to review it), I decided to skip the Native American campaign and jump straightaway into the Mexican campaign. For some inexplicable reason, I seemed to have no problems with the missions in this or any of the other remaining campaigns. My conclusion (although I'm not going to assert that this is a scientific fact) is that either a) the designers intended for the game to get easier rather than more challenging as you progress through it (which seemed unlikely), or b) the Native American campaign might need some refining to tone down the AI and balance the game a little better (at least on the "very easy" setting). Given how much I'm enjoying the game (or maybe just because of my obsessive/compulsive nature), I'm willing to forgive this possible oversight, however, and I'm continuing to do my best to win that first campaign.
Under close scrutiny, it's apparent that this game is, like so many others, a cookie-cutter Age of Empires clone. There is nothing truly innovative about America. Nevertheless, the well-integrated western frontier theme (to the best of my knowledge, previously unseen in an RTS) is, in and of itself, quite fresh and novel. Ultimately, America may be little more than Age of Empires with teepees, cavalry outposts, and saloons, but in spite of this, its blend of tried and true gameplay style with an entertaining subject matter delivers a dose of good, old-fashioned fun.
Review By GamesDomain
A*M*E*R*I*C*A has an addon available: A*M*E*R*I*C*A: Expansion Pack, don't miss it!
How to play A*M*E*R*I*C*A Windows
Try to use this settings on the game file:
In America.ini config, set Full Screen option from 1 to 0, then go to compatibility options in America.exe properties, try in Windows XP service pack 3, then 16 bit in color mode, and disable scale setting. Then run the game. In game, you can probe to change the resolution in options menu.
Comments and reviews
Slavist 2019-06-14 0 point
Fix for the mouse issue: right click on the EXE file - OPEN!
Problem no more.
John 2019-06-09 1 point
Anyone know how to fix the mouse issue? because it takes several hard clicks to get a damn response, it´s unplayable..
LORD 2019-03-21 -6 points
I downloaded and installed the game but it does not work, it asks me to insert the disc.
it is not supposed to work without the disc?
BOY 2019-03-16 -5 points
The game dont start by me because "disc verification error" what i have to do?
crogonint 2018-12-19 0 point
This too a HELLA long time to install. I finally got it to install.. because I forgot that I had started the setup.exe for like the seventh time!
So the setup woudln't work at all, I put the setup.exe in compatibility mode for WinXP, run as administrator, then when it timed out, killed the two child processes. THEN windows ask if the install failed. THEN windows started the installer again. I forgot about it, then like FOURTY minutes later.. the install finally popped up. :O
Haven't attmepted the expansion yet, this just happened.
sina 2018-11-23 -1 point
guys , i got it in windows 10 , and it has this problem like , the game is laggy ! you know , mouse moves but the options get highlighted like 2-3 seconds later ! and after a couple of minutes , its completely unplayable ! can you help ???
parkster 2018-09-13 1 point
just looking at the other comments
i tested the game and i got it to work on win7
start it in xp compatibility mode and that gets rid of the mouse issue.
and the crack is on the virtual disc when you mount the image! no problem at all.
Algol 2018-09-05 1 point
Afraid it doesn't work, not for my at least. The game wouldn't run because it wanted the CD.
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