Zeus: Master of Olympus

2016-01-28 19_50_57-Zeus and Poseidon.jpg

Zeus: Master of Olympus on GOG.com (includes Poseidon: Master of Atlantis expansion)

MSRP: $9.99

Platform: PC

Release: 9/29/00

I cut my city-building teeth on SimCity (please note the complete and utter lack of numbers after that) when I was in my early teens, and I’ve spent countless hours playing city builders since then.  This game (one in a series of city builders from Impressions Games) has given me more joyful hours of city building than anything that came before or since.  This package, available on GOG.com, is a fantastic deal.

One of my favorite things about buying games from GOG.com is that, most of the time, they come with the complete manual in digital form. If there’s one thing I miss about buying boxed games, it’s the manuals.  The documentation for just the original game clocks in an 190 illustrated pages.

Zeus comes with 7 multi-scenario adventures of increasing difficulty, as well as economic, military, and sandbox open play adventures.  Poseidon adds another 6 multi-scenario adventures (along with a few new game play assets).  Both the original and expansion feature custom adventures. You have the option in any adventure to change difficulty settings.

The adventure format means that you will retain your cities, through several scenarios (although some scenarios have you forming colonies, so you start from scratch there).  This alleviates some of the tedium of having to start over every time you meet the goal; however, it also means that if you make mistakes early on, they will haunt you for awhile.


Obviously, 15 years later, the graphics are dated.  There is very little strategy involved in your military – more troops will almost always win the day. The stories are simplistic, but even simplistic stories are more than you get in a lot of city builders.  These flaws are so very minor when stacked up next to a gloriously intuitive interface, roadblocks to control your walkers, and nearly endless overlays to track what’s going wrong (or right) in your cities.

This is only one of a series of fantastic city builders put out by Impressions Games in between 1992 and 2002. The Caesar games are set in Rome, Pharaoh & Cleopatra in Egypt and Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom in China.  I personally feel that this is the best in the series, even past the aesthetic choices.  I played all of these games when they were new, and this is the one I keep going back to, time and again.




2 thoughts on “Zeus: Master of Olympus

  1. […] for a game that reminds you of SimCity, Cities: Skylines, or even something more old school like Zeus: Master of Olympus, then Concrete Jungle is unlikely to satisfy.  If you’re intrigued by the deck building […]


  2. […] I played the Settlers 2 back when it was new, Impressions had not yet started releasing their city-building masterpieces, and as someone who was more interested in building and maintaining functional production chains […]


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