The Settlers Series - Those three words must now account for several whole months of my life. From playing the original Settlers game on my Amiga 500, spending hours upon hours pointing and clicking, trying to ensure my little empire stayed as strong as possible. Trying to grow my population, making the strongest army in the land then planning and executing the invasion. So simple, so fun.
Then Settlers 2 along, followed a while after by the Gold Addition - which is basically like you're average PC "Expansion Pack".
A few more features here and there but essentially it is Settlers 2.
The graphics are the same bright and fun Settlers we've all grown to love. With cute character models and simple but effective animations. The rather strange building animations (by this I mean when one of you're "construction" settlers (read: dude with hammer) is building a building) are still here, where your construction settler at first hammers thin air and a wooden frame appears! Once that is complete, he continues hammering and the stone walling is slowly raised - pixel by pixel. And it's absolutely excellent - all the way through.
It's the mixing of using you're mind where you have to be aware of you're resources, the buildings you have to process/harvest those resources,
expanding you're borders and protecting yourself from aggressive tribes. The other half of the mix is the way the game makes everything so user friendly for the gamer, enabling them to immediately feel comfortable navigating the controls, with the menu's in sensible and visible places.
The Scenario mode on this version (S2: Gold) is also greatly improved. With more varying missions that are more challenging than its predecessor and more importantly, there are more of them.
The sound effects are bubbly and somewhat cutesy - it's still bare able though. The music isn't! The music still haunts me to this day - save your own souls and turn it off! I can see why it is the way it is - it's fitting with the game. A cutesy, medieval "melody" - played over and over. The menu ones are not any better by any stretch of the imagination.
The way I'd sum this game is by saying it's a nice, fun and fulfilling playing experience - it works very well and there’s so many hours of fun in it. As I said, back in the mid-late 90's, this game was something I absolutely loved - play it, enjoy it.
Definitely on my "All Time Top 10 Video Game's List", if I had one.