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Westward II Review
I first downloaded the trial version for this game because it looked interesting. Both a role playing and strategy game, set in the Old West? What could be better? Besides, there aren't a lot of those out there on the market. After playing my 60 minutes, I went ahead and bought the game because I really liked it. Here is my review of the game:
You can play in two different modes here - both a story mode (where you complete quests to gain access to buildings, money, and more) and a free play mode (where you have access to everything at the beginning, and just work to expand your town). In both modes, you get to choose from three different players, all with special abilities - a farmer who unlocks different types of food from the start, a banker's daughter who unlocks the banks for you at the start, and a trapper who unlocks the trading post from the start. Then, you begin your tutorial of the game. The first time that you actually play the game, you want to do the tutorial. While learning the game is easy - it's only easy after you have a basic understanding of how the game works. There is a lot with the interface that you will need to know to find things easier and to be able to unlock items and build them.
When you start out, you will quickly figure out which order you should build things in to keep your townspeople happy and the town growing. Plus, the people in your town will also tell you when they think that you should build something, especially the fountains and the gazebos! But, as your town grows, so will your gold mines and bandits will start to notice your town and come to rob you and destroy buildings. So, you will be building a sherriff's office and hiring gunslingers to help protect your town and your assets. Your town will get bigger and bigger, so you will have to keep watch for resources drying up - such as gold mines and forests for wood. You will also have to keep an eye on your food and water supplies, so that your town doesn't run out of either. And, if you have too many workers and not enough jobs, you will end up with drunks that drive your town rating down and you cannot get rid of them - even with dynamite! Here is the real trick though - you have to figure out where you can skimp on workers to get by as your town grows and needs more resources because your maximum population is only 40.
As you progress through quests, you will rescue other towns, beat tornadoes, and even build other settlements so you can import more resources into your town. The game is hard to beat - I still haven't beat it yet. But, I love to play it. I enjoy playing in both modes, and I always save my progress to see how far I have gotten. There are so many different ways that you can progress through the game that each time you play, you will have a different gaming experience.
My only problem with the game is that it takes forever for the game to load and exit out of. Also, when you are moving from different towns and settlements, it does take a long time for the game to load and update. It has locked up my computer several times while trying to change to different areas of the game. This usually caused me to completely shut my computer down and restart. I am not sure if my copy is not corrupted or anything, but I have tried to uninstall and then reinstall to fix the problem to no avail.
Overall, I would rate this game a 4. It is worth the $19.99 to download it through Yahoo! Games because it is not easy to beat so you will get your money's worth playing it. I'd recommend it to any gamer who enjoys a good challenging game.