After spending a year in your own lair working on your own ploys and plans to fend off the outside, surely you'll be a whizz at Evil Genius 2: World Domination. Released today, it's the surprise sequel to 2004's villainous lair-building management game. Once again, we're put into the executive chair of a Bond-esque villain to build a base and team able to execute our dastardly plans while fending off would-be heroes. Except your in-game fortress will be built of concrete and muscle, not Argos boxes.
Evil Genius has Dungeon Keeper-ish vibes, about building bases, forces, and elaborate traps while lousy ne'er-do-ills try to foil you. Except here it's a spy-fi spoof, inspired by bases from films like You Only Live Twice. So yeah, a James Bond-y spy is one of the lousy jerks who'll try to invade and foil your plan of eventually building a doomsday device.
Our boy Brendy said in his Evil Genius 2 review that the game "is at its best when you're building freely, designing perilous Rube Goldberg machines." He concluded:
"Speaking as a very large child, the cartoonish art style, theme, and even flavour text, speaks to me. I'm not so fond of the timers and the economic drain pipes that slurp up your minions like bath water. Too much of the game resides in the world map and not enough on the floor of the lair. Sandbox mode feels like a soothing ointment after going through the bee gauntlet of normal mode, and although it lacks challenge, questy threads and basic storytelling, it is far more playful, cheeky and enjoyable. If you're picking this up, that's where to go. It might feel like cheating to give yourself infinite cash, but isn't that what an Evil Genius would do?"
While the original was made by Elixir Studios, the sequel is made by Rebellion, who bought the series in 2006. After an ill-fated Facebook game, now they've done it proper. Our Imogen recently spoke with folks from Rebellion and the makers of Spacebase Startopia about reviving classic management series started by other people, and why now.