These days it seems as though you can't get to the end of this magazine without stumbling across at least one substandard, clumsily thrown together RTS, so in a bid not to disappoint, here's this month's token offering, Persian Wars.
You play as Sinbad, the legendary Arabian seafarer and film character, who for some inexplicable reason, doesn't actually do any seafaring, instead preferring to hang around the desert getting into fights with skeletons and rival tribes. Simpleton.
Persian Wars offers you the choice of two campaigns, the first one revolving around the somewhat disconcerting theme of Solomon's Ring, which proves to be rather less sordid and much more orientated around finding a magical piece of jewellery than first impressions may suggest. The gameplay is split into two sections, tactical and combat.
The first allows you to move your troops around a map, which can be roamed around fairly freely as you search for magic items and treasure. Combat is utterly mundane and relies on little more than the size and strength of your forces, making tactics and organisation pretty much pointless.
To make matters that little bit worse, your units are about as visually appealing as an exposed scrotum on a harsh winter's day, while some of the Al's about twice as hairy. Most missions rarely prove to be more than just a passing distraction, although, to be fair, there are plenty of mission goals such as rescue attempts and attacking and defending outposts and strongholds. There's also a well thought out collection of units ranging from the magical to the mythological, which actually encourages you to persevere for at least a couple of hours. Ultimately, though, Persian Wars is still an uninspired RTS which should be avoided unless you have an unhealthy love of Arabian sailors and simplistic strategy games.