Utopia: The Creation of a Nation
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|Utopia: The Creation of a Nation|
European computer cover art
|Platform(s)||Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS, Super NES|
Utopia: The Creation of a Nation is a strategy video game. It was developed by Celestial Software and published by Gremlin Graphics (later known as Gremlin Interactive), in 1991 for Amiga, Atari ST and MS-DOS. It was later released for the Super NES in 1993, by Jaleco in the USA. This release made use of the Super NES Mouse peripheral.
The game, taking place in the future, on a new planet, is open-ended where the player character is a planetary governor who evacuated his colony after it was hit by a biological weapon by an alien race. Instead of being reprimanded or fired, the governor is lauded for his care of colonists' lives over material gain, and promoted to a series of pioneer worlds to colonize.
Initially the player has a few colonists with a lot to do. The player needs to build everything from scratch. Building takes time and free colonists, in addition to money. Buildings under construction are depicted by scaffold.
However certain buildings require personnel (hospitals, labs, mines, factories, shipyards ...) and therefore the player has to engage in population management. The player also has to micromanage features such as tax rate, birth rate and trade.
In addition, each world also has a competing alien race which is trying to colonize the same planet. There is no option to form alliances, which means that the player's population must come into conflict with the aliens. The player never actually gets to see the alien city, as it is located outside the playable map, but must instead rely on espionage to find out what the aliens and their city look like.
Utopia includes ten scenarios, all with a different planet and a different alien race. The scenarios are named according to the alien races in the Amiga version and according to the planets in the SNES port:
- Eldorians (Rhendor IV)
- Vroarscans (Alpha Ceti)
- Soomanii (Vega III)
- Kal-Kriken (Astoria II)
- Catalytes (Benezar IV)
- Squiz-Quijy (Antares III)
- Pascalenes (Rukbat III)
- Tilikanthua (Betazan II)
- Vanacancia (Merak VI)
- Lucratians (Gamma Lucra)
A data disk called Utopia: The New Worlds was later released by Gremlin. This disk required the original Utopia and could not be played as a stand-alone game. It included the following scenarios:
The "Old-Worlders" were said to be humans, coming from Earth's earlier attempt to colonize the same planet. In practice, they were handled just as another hostile alien race. The terrain of the Sal-Kadeem planet was unique in that it was mostly covered with silver-colored oil that was impossible to build on. Buildings were restricted to tiny patches of habitable land.
- It is possible to build Fusion Cruisers before they have been invented. In addition, this way they are free of cost, and only take one month to build. This can be done simply by clicking the empty space (where the Fusion Cruiser will appear when it's been invented) in the ship selection menu.
- If you access a ship's control panel while the ship is launching, the ship will keep launching perpetually. This happens even if you exit the panel immediately without giving the ship any orders. The ship will fly off the top of the screen and reappear at the bottom, corrupting the graphics and perhaps eventually crashing the game.
Utopia can handle a maximum of 256 buildings, 100 tanks and 40 spaceships at one time. Trying to build any more results in a message that simply says more cannot be built "yet". However, there is no apparent limit to the number of buildings in the SNES version.
Utopia was succeeded by K240, which carried the colonization idea over to an asteroid belt. The most prominent improvement was that in K240, the alien race was no longer off the map, but its cities could be viewed the same way as the player's. K240 was in turn succeeded by Fragile Allegiance, further refining the idea of colonizing an asteroid belt.