84 - Millennium 2.2 (Atari ST)

Here's another example of a game having just the right balance of depth and simplicity. I was hooked on this back in the day and despite (or perhaps because of) its straightforward accessibility I still consider it one of the best 'static screen' strategy games ever made.

Earth has become uninhabitable and as commander of a solitary moon base it's your job to repopulate the solar system. Starting out with 100 colonists, no spacecraft and barely more than a battery for power you have to research technology, gather resources to build improvements, spacecraft and defences, and finally reach out to the other planets and moons with fresh colonies. Before long however you find you're not alone in your ambitions and a race for supremacy begins.

Millennium 2.2 concentrates solely on the expansion of the colonists. There are no elections to worry about, no provision of food or entertainment, no economy to manage. It's a streamlined number and it's all the better for it. I've since played strategy games that take micomanagement to insane new levels, and I always drop out overwhelmed and bored. Millennium 2.2 does get slightly bogged down in the end game when you have dozens of spacecraft and colonies to oversee, but the interface is so intuitive and the visuals so refreshingly simple and functional that never becomes too much of a chore.

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