|Platform Reviewed||IBM PC|
|Number of Players||1|
|Length||Moderate to Long|
|Difficulty||Moderate to Hard|
|Skills Required||Tactical Decisions|
|Game Design and Playability||Average|
|Type Of Fun||Tactical Squad Mech Conflict|
|The Best||Really beautiful Anime/Manga warrior women|
|The Worst||Some difficulties with sound, obviously an older game|
|How much I’d Pay for This||25 bucks|
PowerDolls is a simulation of futuristic Anime style Mech combat. The game is squad level, involving a handful of Mech Pilots against an armada of invading enemies.
In the future, ‘undesirables’ and free-thinkers are shipped off Earth to colonize alien planets. After several centuries, Earth decides to reclaim it’s lost colonies. The PowerDolls are an elite team of Mech Warriors who defend their homeworld from imperialistic Earth forces.
MegaTech is best known for importing and translating mild Hentai Manga style games such as Cobra Mission, Metal and Lace, and Knights of Xentar (originally Dragon Warrior) from the Japanese PCFX machine to the American IBM PC. ‘Hentai’ means ‘pervert’ or ‘deviant’ in Japanese, and with regard to Anime and Manga is usually politely abbreviated as ‘H’. Megatech has specialized in very mild ‘H’ games, but PowerDolls is a bit of a departure in that there is essentially no cheesecake to be seen. PowerDolls is very much a ‘G’ rated war sim, but does feature the usual incredibly intelligent, beautiful and powerful women that are the trademark of Japanese Science Fiction Anime and Manga.
Although the game is undeniably pretty, and the Mecha are fairly interesting, the game itself is obviously showing it’s age. This is probably due to the difficulty in getting rights to translate Japanese games, only older titles would be affordable to a smaller American company. MegaTech has tried hard to make PowerDolls work on an IBM PC, but your author has noticed several problems running the game on her Pentium with Windows 95, and Awe 32. For one thing, installation could have been easier, and the vast amount of voice that should be heard in the game seems to be missing: the samples exist on the CD, but the program seems to try to access them from the hard drive: it would appear that the program has a few bugs in it. A shame, because the vocal tacks would add much to the experience.
The game itself is a pretty straightforward war sim, each Mech is allotted action units per round of combat, which my be used to move, fire, shield and such. There are a multitude of missions, with unique objectives, and an assortment of ordnance to accomplish them with. One interesting touch is that if a Warrior is killed, she remains dead, and is replaced by a new PowerDoll from the lower ranks. Run out of fighters, and the revolution is over.
Overall, PowerDolls is an average strategy game by the standards of today, a might antiquated, but not unenjoyable. The Manga artwork is beautiful, but the actual play graphics of the Mechs on the battlefield are uninspiring. If only the sound worked correctly, I would enjoy the game quite a bit more. In the Japanese release, eight women provided voice for the game, this Megatech version features only one voice actress for all parts. She does a good job, but she is singular.
Acceptable to Mech and Manga Otaku’s but may not inspire the average wargame buff.
Reviewed by Jennifer Diane Reitz, March 13, 1996