If you like solving problems and planning, strategy games are for you. This genre has you build cities, manage resources, command battles tasks that put you in control.

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness

$50, Blizzard Entertainment
800-953-7669
Complete with orcs, elves and humans, Warcraft II has you manage the resources of battle. Once an oil-scavenging, island-hopping battle on land, air and sea gets really hot, there's a pleasantly weird feel to this medieval yet modern combat.

Panzer General

$20, Strategic Simulations, Inc.
800-234-3088
Panzer General puts you in control of the German armies at select periods be- tween 1939 and 1943. With over thirty-five progressive scenarios, all of which can be played from either the Axis or Allied point of view, and 350 unit types, it definitely does not lack complexity.

Over The Reich

$70, Avalon Hill Game Company
800-999-3222
Over the Reich mixes blood-and-guts mayhem with strategic thinking, turning dogfights into aerial chess matches. The game simulates 100 World War II missions. This level of thought isn't for everybody, but neither is chess.

Caesar II

$50, Sierra On-Line
800-757-7707
Caesar II is more fun than a toga party. Set in ancient Rome, it is actually two games. The city simulation has you manage ancient Rome and can be played independently from the full game. You can also manage an army to kick barbarian butts.

Conquest of the New World

$50, MacPlay
800-462-2752
Like Risk with added dimensions of diplomacy and colony building, Conquest of the New World plops you in a fifteenth-century setting in which you command either a European colonizing expedition or a native civilization, bent on growing and surviving. You compete with other expeditions and established civilizations.

 

Capitalism

$45, Interactive Magic
800-559-0434
Capitalism could also be called "MBA in a box." It's an incredibly thorough educational simulation of running a modern mega-corporation, yet it manages to be easy to play and quite fun.

Close Combat

$45, Microsoft
800-426-9400
Close Combat is the most realistic war game available, bar none. It's played from a detailed top-down viewpoint that enables you to see individual soldiers, subtle terrain features and even plumes of smoke coming from your soldiers' rifles.

 

Command & Conquer

$50, Virgin
714-833-8710
Command & Conquer puts you in charge of fast-paced, single-unit-level military operations using a wide variety of troops, ground vehicles, base installations, air strikes and production facilities. All battlefield action is real-time and command-based, and must be juggled simultaneously.

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