I bought Evil Genius a long time ago, back in 2009 to be exact, and fell in love with it. Since then, the publisher of this indie game (Elixir Studios) has been closed down and development of a sequel, Evil Genius 2, has been cancelled. During the height of the studio’s success, they had about 60 employees but due to the common independent game industry limitations they were forced to halt operations, which is a shame.

Now to the game, Evil Genius is a game about being the bad guy, yes finally a game that puts you in the shoes of the super villain instead of the spandex clad superheroes. You build and manage a fleet of henchmen and workers to build your own little secret evil lair. You can also send people in missions to slowly take over the world and make money for you to use. Albeit its not for everyone but I honestly love the concept, graphics is not revolutionary but I genuinely think its enough to make it extremely entertaining.

I am also going to do this review a bit differently, first of, we have decided that from now on we will only give scores according to “Fun” level based on our experience. More about this in an announcement soon but it all comes down to the fact that it is difficult to give a universally accepted opinion for sub categories like Graphics and Story etc. Second, since I have played this game before, I will do my first impression as I felt back when I first bought it in 2009, then I will do another second impression section to show how much has changed and to keep the review up to date. However, the rest of the review will┬ábe a strange mix of time frames if anything from 2009 becomes relevant to the state of the game now.

Evil Genius is one of those games that blurs the line between an indie game and a mass market game, however Elixir Studios portrayed themselves as an independent studio until the last minute of their operation so we can call Evil Genius an indie game.

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First Impressions (2009)

As I can recall my first impression from 2009 was a pleasant and welcoming one. After playing so many games where you play as the good guy, it was a nice change to shift sides and cause some trouble instead. At the time I really liked the visual approach, though not specifically styled in anyway, the minimalist allowed for me to focus more on the technical side of the game. To me, the main selling point of this game was it’s theme and mechanic which was very unique. You hire fellow henchmen to do your bidding, start laying out your underground base on the side of a mountain and send agents to complete your evil plans. The best part though was still to come, though it did take me by surprise the first time, the goods guys started coming to my door step and knocking with machine guns. If they are allowed to kill everyone, you lose. So now there is a defense requirement as well and not just offense; after a while they even send super agents, you can guess what they are like.

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Second Impression (2015)

6 years later and now I am back with Evil Genius. Not a lot has changed since unfortunately development has been halted for the indie game and the intellectual property has been sold to Rebellion and they are now handling publishing. It would be nice to see an open source integration to enable mods for the game so the community can contribute to its survival. Regardless of its faith, its still an amazing game and definitely worth checking out.

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You are the bad guy

The major appeal for this indie game is the position that it puts the player in, combining with the James Bond-ish style you take the role of a Bond villain hell-bent on taking over the world. Sending henchmen left and right on the map, targeting nation-states to steal money, kidnap talent & earn a infamous reputation to progress in the game. Of course you will get agents coming to your doorstep to try and stop you, which is where the military henchmen comes in. The game balances the defense & offense procedures extremely well making it a joy to switch between fighting the world and defending your base.

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A true Bond villain

Before the start of the game, you choose from 3 stereotypical Bond villain characters, each with unique skills and starting henchmen. They don’t make too much of a difference on gameplay, regardless of which you choose, if your character dies you lose. Not only that you get to make your base inside a mountain in true James Bond style architecture too.

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The world for the taking

The game revolves around the conquest of the world, taking one country after another through stealing, plotting & performing missions. Progressing in infamy earns a sort of experience which helps progress you to your next tier of villainy which in return unlocks core campaign missions.

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Rounding it up

In general Evil Genius is a great indie game that promises to burn away a lot of your time. The later levels are not easy but the game does get incrementally more difficult, wait until you meet the super agents, they will test your skills to be a mastermind.

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