Genghis Khan (NES)

Genghis Khan Box Art

Genghis Khan

System: NES

Release Date: January 1990

Developer: Koei

Publisher: Koei

Genre: Strategy

It’s the third Koei grand strategy title released on NES, this time the ruler/conqueror is Genghis Khan! Take it all the way back to 1175 AD in the shoes of the young Temujin as he grows his power and influence to take over the world! Or step into the roles of the English, Byzantine, or Japanese rulers and attempt to become the one great power.

Take your pick between conquering Mongolia or the known world. If you start with the Mongol conquest, you can build your army up into a formidable foe and transition to the World Conquest mode. I can’t say I made a whole lot of progress. The gameplay loop is similar to Nobunaga and Romance, but to me it seems a lot less involved. In those games I could manipulate the statistics of my towns through different actions, but here, there’s a lot less of that.

You assign the number of people working in town, which will increase the economy level over time. This should help your tax collection in spring. The number of masons increases the defensive strength of the nation. The number of farmers increases the amount of food you receive in fall. The number of artisans leads to producing more of the specialty item of the region. The rest of your populace is assigned to the army.

Once you do this, you can either train or trade with your three turns. There are three different traders that you can buy and sell from. I settled into searching for an arbitrage opportunity each turn and when I found one, pounced. If I didn’t find one, it became train the troops and train myself. I could have trained my princes, but didn’t see the value, as I couldn’t conquer any enemy armies.

The battles are just about the same as the predecessors. The map looks the same. It’s a little easier to move around the map. The individual fights run exactly the same and I still don’t understand why my high skilled and armed troops lose all the time. I played for far too long, got nowhere, and decided to move on.

Graphics: 1.0

The colors are what make this game look so bad. The portraits are nice, as usual.

Sound: 0.0

Oh god, the music is terrible. I had to turn it down in order to play as long as I did.

Gameplay: 1.0

There are dozens of options, but most of them do nothing beneficial for you.

Difficulty: 1.0

It’s hard to get into and figure out what’s going on.

Fun Factor: 1.0

My time with this one was a total drag. It was just the same two menus and options over and over again.

Overall Grade: 0.8

Genghis Khan earns a D. I think this is by far the worst of the three Koei games we’ve seen. I know this will be someone’s favorite, but just play Nobunaga’s Ambition.

Genghis Khan Video Review on YouTube