Populous meets SimCity... in Outer Space. Your mission is to build a thriving colony on a foreign planet, while wiping out the alien resistance.
A pioneer of Real Time Strategy gaming, Utopia is a truly fun and addictive game. The graphics are awesome, the music is great, and most of the sound effects are really cool, except for a few that can be a bit annoying. And since each mission is different, the replay value is very high as well.
The controls for Utopia take some getting used to, as usual, but hey, what do you want, it's a strategy game.
Buildings are the heart and soul of Utopia. Go to the Hard Hat icon to check out the buildings available to you. New types of building will become available as your technology increases. For most of the buildings it's pretty obvious what they do. The Store should have been named Storage because it holds stuff and doesn't make money. Flux Pods store energy and allow you to build nearby (you need to build them to expand your territory). Hospitals allow you to set the Birth Rate of your colony by using Query Mode (question mark icon). You probably want it on High most of the time. Mines and Chemical Plants produce ore and fuel, respectively, from underground deposits. To find deposits check the Maps screen (globe icon) and press A to cycle through the different views. The Arms Lab is not a separate research center for military technology, it's just the place where guns are made for your tanks and ships. All research is done in Laboratories.
Military buildings: Utopia gives you several choices in attack and defence, the main distinction being Air and Ground. Turrets and missile launchers work automatically, missiles being the most effective air defense. Tank shops constantly build the best available tanks, as long as you have plenty of Ore, Weapons, and Power, and room near the shop for the tank to appear. Ship Yards must be built next to a Launch Pad, which must be next to a Fuel Tank to fuel your ships. These are air ships, by the way, not boats. You must tell the shop which ship to build, and they build one at a time. Also if the launch pad is full no more ships will be made.
Moving Units: Units can be given orders by double-clicking the L button. Tanks can be moved in mass, to any of the 8 Markers (you can put these where you want by pressing Y in Query Mode) or to the Alien City. Interestingly, the Alien City is not on the map, it is located somewhere else. You only see the aliens if they attack you. Planes must be given orders individually. They can be told to go to any of the markers and either Land or Hover once they get there, or they can be ordered to attack the Alien City. Pay attention to your spy reports to know whether to attack with tanks or ships.
Money Management (Dollar Icon): Always Always ALWAYS put money into research (both civilian and military) and spying. Research grants will be used gradually as your scientists work, and of course you have to have labs for them to work in. Spying grants will be used as spy reports come in. Check spy reports by clicking the Magnifying Glass icon. Research breakthroughs will be reported as they occur, and you will be notified when a spy report comes in as well. Go to the little x at the bottom to see the next page of the financial report. It tells you how many men are employed in various industries, and how much they are producing. If they aren't producing, you need more Power or raw materials. the nest page is the Trading screen. You can only trade once per month, and only if there is a supply or demand for the goods you want to buy or sell. Tech is another item that has been badly named. It stands for luxury goods produced by you Workshops.
Council (Face icon): These guys will tell you what you're doing and what you're doing wrong, and sometimes what you need to do to make it right. Listen to them.
|A Button||Build, Bulldoze, Help|
|B Button||Cancel, Toggle between Tool Bar and Map|
|X Button||Toggle between Build, Bulldoze and Query Modes, Change Taxes or Grants|
|Y Button||Change Taxes or Grants, Move Marker|
|L Button||Select Units (click twice)|
|Start Button||Start Game|
|Ships take a lot longer to build than tanks, so you'll need more ship yards than tank shops. Fortunately, you can put more than one by each launch pad, just make sure they each have their own corner.|
|The Council will never tell you you need more Security stations, but it is vital that you build them near living quarters and military shops. Otherwise disgruntled citizens will steal money from the colony's coffers and sabotage your tanks and planes. Bad News!|
|Buy Low, Sell High|
|This advice applies of course to the trade screen. Most things you won't want to buy unless you need them, you'll just be selling extras that you made. However, Gems have a dramatic fluctuation in price, so you can buy them up for cheap (40-50) and sell them off for lots (80-100+). So if you have extra storage and the opportunity comes, buy cheap gems!|