Evil Genius Review

Your job in evil genius boils down to three primary tasks Ė managing your minions, deploying minions out into the world to steal funds for your treasury and perform acts of infamy, and maintaining your baseís security against pesky investigators and super agents.

Each of your minions is rated in areas such as awareness, intelligence, morale, and loyalty and it is in your best interest to keep all of these as high as possible. If not then you may find that your traps capture more of your mindless minions than enemy agents. In order to keep your minions alert and happy youíll need to devote part of your base to sleeping quarters, cafeterias, training rooms, and the like. Since you canít tell your minions when to rest or assign them to specific job functions or duties youíll just have to hope that they find and make use of these facilities on their own. The game does let you create doors with different security settings to keep lower level minions out of certain areas of your base and timeclocks to keep them from working too long at an object (thereís no need to keep the lunch counter manned 24 hours a day), but thatís about the extent of your direction.

One of the aspects of minion control that really tends to bog down the game and make for too much micromanagement is tagging. When agents, police, and their like come snooping around your base they will be ignored by your minions. The idea behind this is that if the agents donít see anything incriminating, they should be allowed to return to their organizations and report that nothing is unusual with your base, thus reducing their scrutiny of your operations (or ďheatĒ in game terms). So if you want an agent captured or killed, you must click on the agent and specify so. You then need to wait for a minion to take on the job and track down the tagged agent. This is not too bad early in the game, but at times your island will seem to be crawling with agents and it can be a real pain to keep up with them all. Miss one deep in your base and before you know it things will start exploding. You do have the option of declaring a red alert which will cause your minions to attack everything on sight, but doing so causes a big disruption to our base and so it is not practical to use at times other than dire emergencies. Since your baseís interlopers come from different agencies and your heat level can vary between them, it would have been very helpful if the game let you set an overall reaction level to each agency and then used the tagging to override these orders on an individual basis.

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You'll love building traps in the game.

Because of the trouble with using minions for security, your best bet in managing security at your base is through an elaborate network of traps. This is by far the most enjoyable aspect of the game as you can create a series of traps to work in unison to capture even the most cautious agents. For example, you can set a pressure plate on the floor that will fire up a jet to blow the agent down the hall to another jet that directly pushes him onto a trapdoor over a bottomless pit. Later in the game youíll have access to scientists who can research ever more fiendish and clever traps that you can have a great time connecting in many different ways Rube Goldberg style.

An evil genius canít take over the world without sending his minions out into the world and thatís where the gameís world map comes into play. Once you set up a control center you can send your minions to different regions of the world to steal funds to add to your treasury. They can also look for acts of infamy for you to pull off to increase your notoriety. When acts of infamy are uncovered, you can assign your minions in the region to attempt to pull off the crime and if they succeed your notoriety will increase and youíll be eligible to take on more and more daring capers. Youíll also increase attention from law enforcement and espionage agencies which will in turn increase the risk of losing minions in the field and of having the agencies send operatives to infiltrate your base.