898th played so far

Genre: Strategy
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 1991
Developer: Sensible Software
Publisher: Image Works/Ubisoft/Virgin Interactive

As with Powermonger, I remember reading about Mega Lo Mania in a Mega Drive/Genesis guide collection long before I had a chance to play it. It feels similar – a colourful strategy game with a vaguely cartoony look that makes for something that just looks fun on their own – even without knowing quite how the game plays.

I’ve never sought out more for Mega Lo Mania, but it has been something I’ve been waiting to try it out, and today we go for it.

Our Thoughts

Although the modern tower defense started with games like Desktop Tower Defense, earlier games had a similar feeling. Mega Lo Mania feels like it has shades of it. While tower placement isn’t as much of a thing, you are in part working on upgrading your defenses on different forts, with one fort per area of the island, and work your way through by conquering those islands square by square. When you do this, you basically assign your attackers to a square and have them run wild without control until your units are all gone or the fort is overwhelmed and you take control of it.

The other side is the more complex base management you have. Rather than building units, your people reproduce as you assign them to that tasks. In others, they get trained to be soldiers or build weapons, or they start researching both defensive and offensive upgrades to expand that potential. It’s a pretty decent system that keeps you busy with management, especially as the individual forts have different research counters, but also because the balance between defense and offense can shift depending on where you are in your conquests.

Final Thoughts

It feels like Mega Lo Mania‘s big set up,  with large groups of worlds, is still somewhat unique. The setup certainly works and is really addictive. The learning curve is quite steep and, because of its age, the controls remain fairly awkward, but even so it’s a nice look into an RTS set up that never quite was – unless you want to think of the combat systems of the likes of Crusader Kings as effectively different takes on this.