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Crusader Kings

Crusader Kings - Kludgy and Unfinished, Bugs and bad I.A.

This game is marred by incomplete and poorly organized documentation, a disorganized and unintuitive interface, and serious bugs. The information architecture is atrocious. But most important - it's not ready for release. It should not be on sale at all.

First, the digital download you'll get needs to be immediately updated (you'll go on an adventure to find the update). After you update, you'll find that your game still makes no mention of loading saved games in the documentation. The main menu has a "Save Game" item, but no "Load Game" Item. When you relaunch the game after quitting, there is a list of saved games, but clicking them just brings up the new game prompt.

In-game the messy and unintuitive interface leaves the user perpetually asking "What do I do next? Have I done what I should? Where is the thing I'm looking for?"

There is nothing in the documentation or one-page help file (ridiculously called a "tutorial" by the developer) that outlines what a typical series of actions would be for a new player.

If you go to the developer's site to get help, you'll have to register twice - once to access the site as a user and once to get technical help. The web site is marred by the same bad interface design as the game. Help entries refer to places you should go, or things you should get, but don't tell you where those things are. For example, a help response told me to go get the latest patch from the file library without providing a link or explaining where the file library was. I eventually found the library (after registering again on their web site), only to find that the file I had been referred to was for a different game.

In short - this game has been a chore from the moment I downloaded it. It is not complete and the developer should not be charging money for it.

by Tom Dearie, Canada - Nov 10th 2006
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