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ParaWorld

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ParaWorld is a real-time strategy PC game released on September 25, 2006. It was developed by the German company SEK (Spieleentwicklungskombinat), based in Berlin. The game features more than 50 prehistoric animals, especially dinosaurs and Pleistocene mammals. The game uses TAGES, and therefore installs a driver on the system for copy protection.

Gameplay

The game-concept is similar to "Age of Empires", which is a real-time strategy game. ParaWorld features food, wood, and stone as resources. Food can be picked from bushes, hunted from animals, fished from the sea, or farmed. Stone is located in limited deposits, and wood, cut from trees, is generally scattered throughout a map. Battles can occur on both land and sea.

The story takes place in a parallel dimension, where prehistoric life thrives alongside diverse human civilizations that are technologically not too far. As a result, dinosaurs take the place of traditional wildlife and livestock, though some of the dinosaurs in-game are highly stylized and not necessarily scientifically accurate. Wild-living dinosaurs can be hunted for food, though some are of dangerous and aggressive species and will attack any player unit that wanders too close. Other prehistoric creatures make an appearance as well, for example woolly mammoths are used where other games might feature elephants.

Players advance through epochs in order to unlock new technologies and upgrades.

Units

Norsemen units:

  • Worker: Workers are the tribe's basic units. They harvest resources and construct buildings. They are poor fighters, but relatively good hunters.
  • Warrior: This infantry unit is effective against infantry units and ineffective against animals.
  • Spearman: Spearmen are infantry units that are rather specialized in fighting animals.
  • Archer: Archers are ranged infantry units. They are effective against infantry and mounted units.
  • Lancer: The Lancer is extremely effective against animals.
  • Druid: Druids are healers that can detect traps and hidden units. They can be provided with spells to scout on the enemy from any location on the map, to harass the enemies' food production and to create replicates of themselves in order to confuse the enemy.
  • Scout: The Scout is a weak, fast animal unit used to spy upon the player's enemies or to boost his army's strength in combat.
  • Chariot: The Chariot is a fast and weak animal unit that can carry one infantry unit.
  • Wild boar: The Wild boar is a moderately powerful animal unit.
  • Kentrosaurus: The Kentrosaurus is a moderately powerful animal unit that damages fighters attacking it in melee with its spikes.
  • Battle rhino: The Battle rhino is a strong animal unit suitable for many forms of combat.
  • Rhino transporter: The Rhino transporter is a strong animal unit that can transport two infantry units on a casket on its back.
  • Ballista rhino: The Ballista rhino is a strong ranged animal unit. Its rider shoots bolts from a ballista attached to its back.
  • Battle mammoth: The Battle mammoth is a strong animal unit that damages multiple opponents with its mighty tusks.
  • Mammoth harvester: The Mammoth harvester is a strong animal unit that can harvest wood and stone more effectively than a regular worker does.
  • Log cannon: The Log cannon is a strong ranged animal unit that is effective against buildings. It consists of a mammoth carrying a large siege weapon.
  • Triceratops titan: The Triceratops titan is the Norsemen's strongest unit. It is a powerful animal unit that can transport four infantry units on its back.
  • Battle ram: This machine unit is very effective against buildings.
  • Battle tank: The Battle tank is a strong ranged machine unit. It can transport up to ten infantry units, but they cannot attack from inside the tank.
  • Fishing boat: This unit does not fight. It collects fish as source of food.
  • Transport ship: This ship cannot fight. It is used to transport up to ten units.
  • Dragon boat: The Dragon boat is a moderately powerful ranged ship.
  • Ram ship: This powerful ship is very effective against enemy ships. It takes them down in melee with a massive ram.
  • Battleship: This strong ranged ship is effective against buildings. It is rather weak against other ships and should to be guarded by ram ships or dragon boats.

Dustrider units:

  • Worker: Workers are the tribe's basic units. They harvest resources and construct buildings. They are poor fighters, but relatively good hunters.
  • Spearman: Spearmen are infantry units that are rather specialized in fighting animals.
  • Warrior: This infantry unit is effective against infantry units and ineffective against animals. It can be provided with an aura that decreases the damage dealt by enemy units.
  • Archer: Archers are ranged infantry units. They are effective against infantry and mounted units.
  • Poisoner: Poisoners are suicidal infantry units carrying a jar filled with poison. Upon death, they release the poison to all enemy units around.
  • Shaman: Shamans are spellcasters that can detect traps and hidden units. They can revive killed units and support the player's army. Their scouting, immobilizing and damaging spells are of greatest use in big battles and siege alike.
  • Scout: The Scout is a weak, fast animal unit used to spy upon the player's enemies.
  • Ankylosaurus: The Ankylosaurus is a moderately powerful animal unit that is mostly used to take down enemy buildings.
  • Ankylo catapult: The Ankylo-catapult is a moderately powerful ranged animal unit that shoots either poisoned stones or dinosaur eggs that velociraptors hatch upon landing, attacking enemy units independently.
  • Stegosaurus: The Stegosaurus is a moderately powerful animal unit. It is effective against infantry units.
  • Stego transporter: The Stego transporter is a moderately powerful animal unit that can carry four infantry units on its back.
  • Brachiosaurus: The Brachiosaurus is a strong animal unit that damages multiple opponents.
  • Brachio transporter: The Brachio transporter is a strong animal unit that can carry four infantry units on its back.
  • Mobile camp: The Mobile camp is basically a brachiosaurus with a huge camp-like building on its back which shoots arrows like a tower. Strong in ranged combat, it is able to produce infantry units and serves as collection point for resources harvested by workers.
  • Bracio catapult: The Brachio catapult is a strong ranged animal unit extremely effective against buildings. The poisoned stones it shoots can also harm infantry units.
  • Allosaurus: The Allosaurus is a strong animal unit that is extremely effective against infantry and mounted units.
  • T-Rex titan: The T-Rex titan is the Dustriders' strongest animal unit. It deals a lot of damage.
  • Floating harbour: The Floating harbour is a harbour that can be moved on the sea. It harvests fish as source of food and produces amphibic and sea animals and ships.
  • Transport turtle: This unit is a bad fighter. It is used to transport up to ten units. It is amphibic, that means it can walk on land and swim in water.
  • Cronosaurus: The Cronosaurus is a maritime animal unit that can be very dangerous if built in masses. It takes down enemy ships in close combat.
  • Torpedo turtle: The Torpedo turtle is a suicidal unit that, once produced, takes off in a random direction in search of enemy units. If it encounters them, it explodes and deals a lot of damage. If it does not find any enemies, it dies after 45 seconds.
  • Catamaran: The Caramaran is a versatile ship that can be used to siege as well as to fight enemy units with its poisoned stones.

Dragon Clan units:

  • Worker: Workers are the tribe's basic units. They harvest resources and construct buildings. They are poor fighters, but relatively good hunters.
  • Archer: Archers are ranged infantry units. They are effective against infantry and mounted units. They have many upgrades to enhance their strength.
  • Samurai: This infantry unit is effective against infantry units and ineffective against animals.
  • Spearman: Spearmen are infantry units that are specialized in fighting animals.
  • Mortar: Mortars are infantry units that attack from a very long range. Their attacks deal damage to all units in the area their missiles explode and are mostly effective against buildings.
  • Ninja: Ninjas are infantry units that are specialized in fighting infantry units. They deal a lot of damage and can attack from a small range as well, dealing less damage, however. They can receive upgrades that provides them with permanent invisibility and the ability to lock open an enemy gate.
  • Monk: Monks are healers that can detect traps and hidden units. They can learn a spell to scout and reveal hidden units in a large area around them.
  • Scout: The Scout is a weak, fast animal unit used to spy upon the player's enemies.
  • Gatling rider: The Gatling rider is a parasaurolophus mounted by a gunner that shoots bullets very fast. It is a moderately powerful animal unit.
  • Baryonyx: The Baryonyx is a moderately powerful amphibic animal unit that.
  • War drums: The War drums is a parasaurolophus that pulls a war drum like a carriage. Its drum sounds provide a damage bonus to nearby units.
  • Salta transporter: The Salta transporter is a strong animal unit that can carry three infantry units on its back. It can be provided with a skill to make it invincible for some seconds.
  • Seismosaurus titan: The Seismosaurus titan the strongest animal unit the Dragon Clan has. It fights with a huge cannon on its back that has a very long range. In meelee, it fights with two gatlings. The equipment is located on its back. Its entire body is surrounded by light metal armor.
  • Smokebomb thrower: The Smokebomb thrower is a vehicle unit that can cannot fight. It surrounds nearby units with smoke, making them invisible if they stay close enough.
  • Trike: Trikes are fast vehicle units that damage multiple opponent units with their flamethrower.
  • Scorpion: The Scorpion is a strong vehicle unit and an extremely effective wood harvester.
  • Dragon tank: The Dragon tank has the longest range of all siege units. Its bombs deal a lot of damage to enemy buildings.
  • Fishing boat: This unit does not fight. It collects fish as source of food.
  • Transport ship: This unit does not fight. It is used to transport up to ten units.
  • Flame ship: The Flame ship is a ship that damages multiple opponent units, like the Trike, just on sea. It is dangerous if built in masses.
  • Muraeno submarine: The Muraeno submarine is a maritime animal unit that is invisible until it attacks. Its torpedo deals a lot of damage.
  • Rocket boat: The Rocket boat is a long-range ship that fires salves of rockets. Those rockets explode on impact, dealing damage to units and buildings. Rocket boats are effective siege units.

Playable factions

  • Norsemen: Based on Viking legend, the Norsemen are stout warriors. They rely on heavy armor and thick, solid walls. They have the strongest close combat infantry fighters.
  • Dustriders: Loosely based on African cultures, the Dustriders are desert-dwelling nomads, to the extent that some of their "buildings" are actually mobile units. They are the most flexible of all tribes as they can take down their buildings, recovering the resources used for their construction. In addition, Dustrider infantry units (as well as workers) can construct buildings.
  • Dragon Clan: Derived from classical East Asian societies, the Dragon Clan is technologically ahead of most other game factions, being the only native faction equipped with gunpowder weapons. They specialize in machine units and hidden traps as well as ranged combat.

Plot summary

ParaWorld ("parallel world") is an alternate universe where dinosaurs and ice age creatures never became extinct. A group of 19th-century scientists, the SEAS (the Society of Exact Alternative Science)led by scientific genius Jarvis Babbit, discovered the parallel world where dinosaurs and primitive human tribes coexist. When they subsequently learned that people don't age in this dimension and that the concept of electricity is inexistant, they decided to remain there to rule. Later, three young scientists are led to Jarvis Babbit: the American geologist Anthony Cole, Swedish biologist Stina Holmlund, and Hungarian physics genius Béla András Benedek, all of whom having discovered elements in the "real" world that point toward the existence of a parallel world. Jarvis Babbit decides to send the three scientists into "Paraworld", seemingly for an expedition. However, when the three heroes discover the true intentions of the SEAS, they have to rally all the parallel world's warring inhabitants in order to defeat the SEAS.

The three scientists serve as the game's core "hero" units. Their main goal is to return to their home world, but to do this they will need to enlist the aid of enlightened natives and battle against the hostile creatures, tribes, and ultimately the masterminds trying to stop them. Along the way they'll meet several characters who are seemingly based on classical scientists such as Nicola Tesla or Charles Darwin ("Nikolaj Taslow" and "James Warden" in the game). They eventually discover that a man named David Leighton, who is one of Babbit's men, is orchestrating events on the parallel world, and pursue him. They also learn of a plot to permanently seal the world away by moving the planet out of orbit, which will also trigger a cataclysm.

In order to save the planet and secure their own escape from ParaWorld, they are forced to assault Babbit's fortifications. They manage to stop the countdown and Cole kills Leighton in battle. Babbit makes a last-ditch effort to stop the heroes by using a giant robot. Having failed, Babbit falls into lava and presumably dies. The heroes finally go back home. However, Cole is awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call of Béla telling him that the dinosaurs have come through as well. The chaos of ParaWorld now ensues on planet Earth.

Reception

Upon release the game was met with fair reviews with an average critic score of 72% at Game Rankings. The developing company SEK shut down due to insufficient sales, and Sunflowers ended their partnership with it. The previously announced expansion pack was cancelled. A Booster Pack for the game was released, containing new maps, heroes, and missions, and was only compatible with German copies of the game. However, members of the ParaWorld gaming community have provided an unofficial downloadable version of the Booster Pack for all regions.

References

External links

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