Quest of the Amazons is the latest add-on for Settlers III. For those of you who don't know Settlers III is a real-time strategy game where you are a civilisation and you must settle and expand you race and conquer the other races in the game to become ruler of the land. The standard game gives you a choice of three races to choose from, the Romans, the Asians and the Egyptians, each with their own buildings, characteristics, strengths and weaknesses.

The Quest of the Amazons add-on brings a new race to the battle for all out control. The add-on gives you the choice to be the Amazons or the others, (the Romans, Asians & Egyptians have joined forces to defeat the Amazons).

Very Hard! You need to build guard towers to expand your territory over unclaimed land and fight to occupy your enemy's towers to expand into their territory and once you have occupied all of their towers you win. Sounds easy! If only! To occupy their towers you need to build any army for that you need people to recruit and resources to make weapons. Recruiting isn't the problem, you just need to build residences to make sure you have enough spare people to recruit from. Making the weapons is a little more complicated.

Firstly you need to build a Woodcutters Hut, Sawmill, Foresters hut and stonecutters Hut to make sure you have enough wood and stone to build all the structures you need. Once you have enough raw materials you can then build mines to get iron ore and coal. Before you can build a mine though you need to have expanded you territory enough to have come across a rocky or mountainous area. Once you have done that you need to recruit some geologists to take samples of the rocky area to find the best place to build a mine. After you have built an iron ore and coal mine you need an iron smelter to make the iron ore into iron. Once you have iron you then need a weapon smith to make the iron into weapons. So you now have weapons and people, next you need a barracks then the weapons will be left at the barracks and spare people will come along, pick up a weapon and become a member of you army.

I admit that that doesn't sound particularly hard, the thing is you can only carry on to make weapons while you have enough iron and you can only make iron if you have enough iron ore and coal. And to keep the miners working you need to feed them or they will go on strike. Coal miners eat bread so all you need for that is a bakery yes?

Err no afraid not! Firstly you need a grain farm to grow grain, then a water mill so the grain farmer can water the grain to make it grow. Then a grain mail to make the grain into flour and then, then you can build a bakery to make bread for the coal miner. The iron ore miner needs meat so firstly you build a pig farm and feed them with some of the grain from your grain farm then when the pigs are fat enough they can be taken to the slaughter house to make meat for the iron ore miner.

The mines won't last for ever so you will have to build new ones and other twist in the game is that most buildings that get occupied need a tool for them to be used. For example a mine or stonecutters hut needs a pick axe to get the coal or iron ore out of the mine or to break up the stone so it can be used, a sawmill needs a saw so the logs can be made in to blanks of wood etc. You will start off with a few tools but once they have been used up you need a tool smith to be able to make new ones. And can anyone guess what a tool smith needs to make tools? Yep you've guessed it iron and coal.

So as you can see everything depends on everything else and this would be hard enough to do on its own but you also have to contend with constant invasions from your enemies. That is it if you are on the same island as your enemy, if your are not then you will have to build boats to get over to the island they are occupying. When you begin your invasion of their territory, assuming you have survived long enough to build an army, you will need to use transport ships to get you army to their island and then take control of some of their territory. Once you have done that you can build a second civilisation on their island. This is easier said than done because you won't have any tools or people already there to start with. You will have to build a landing dock on your island and set up a transport route to get enough tools and materials to get your self settled on the new island. When you are settled and you have assembled an army on the new island you can finish off you invasion and become victorious.

The graphics are quite good but you can change the resolution at all so unfortunately you can only see quite a small part of the map at a time. The sound is ok but the game would be better if the characters talked, to make the game more interactive. The only thing they say is ARRRAH! When the enemy kills them.

Average game, good idea and quite realistic but very difficult to play. There is no settings level so you can set it to easy when you first start and increase the difficulty when you get better. These downfalls will drastically effect the games lastability because players will just get quickly frustrated at how difficult the levels are to complete and will just put the game back in the draw to collect dust!