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    " 'Blast Damage- 150.0'. 150 what? 150 times the distance I could fling this book? "

   Title: Star Trek: Armada Hint book by Brady Games

   Format: PC Hint Book

   Reviewing Monkey: Monkeymus Prime

   The Hype: This is the Official Hint book. It promises to teach you "Everything you need to know, including Basic Training, Exploration, Fleet Actions, and Resource Management."

      What This Monkey Thought...

   Layout: Chapter-wise, this book is ordered very well. It starts with the basics, goes into types of ships and installations, and then covers the missions. The mission chapter is nice, with a small map of the level included, and a summary of the mission objectives follows. Unfortunately the other chapters seem cramped, with no clear and easy reference. When you want to look up a particular starship, you have to flip until you find the proper race, then flip till you find the right ship. The different races arenít distinguished from one another by starting on different pages, nor are the headings that list a change of race really different from the individual starship listings. 3 out of 5

   Usefulness: Being a veteran Strategy player, I didnít need it much. There arenít many places to "get stuck" that a hint book can help you get out of; odds are youíre probably going to need to restart the level regardless. I found it nice to read for fun, and a few tips in the missions are good as far as where the best place to put your initial base were useful, but on the whole it seemed to totally advocate overkill. It recommended several hot-keyed squadrons of battleships (which equals out to about 20-30 ships) in order to defeat the enemy. I never had to use more than 10 battleships and 10 cruisers to engage the enemy. 2 out of 5

   Desired Content: This hint book had most of what Iíd look for in a strategy game. It just had a few glitches. The main one I hated was that the maps were full-color screenshots put in a black and white book. This meant that some enemy stations (which, unlike yours, are not white) and nebulas (which are color-based as to their effects) either disappear or are rendered completely uninformative by the switch to grayscale. Also, in the Starship section, shipís guns, shields and other information are left in format that is unhelpful. How strong is a Klingon NeghíVar battleshipís phasers compared to a Borg Cubeís? I donít know. The book uses a number system to rate damage, then rates shields as a descriptive, i.e. "Medium." It also lists blast damage and recharge times with numbers, but no units of measurement. "Blast Damage- 150.0". 150 what? 150 times the distance I could fling this book? 2 out of 5

   Accuracy: Everything in this book is dead on, if not terribly efficient. Aside from the aforementioned tendency for overkill and the bad map design choice, all the info contained is correct. 5 out of 5

   The Verdict:

       If you really feel the need for a hint book...

   The Good: Contains everything youíll need to become a savior/conqueror of the galaxy.

   The Bad: Of course, if youíve played and beaten any other real-time strategy game, you already know how to do this.

   The Overall Ugly: If youíre a newbie, or like to have maps for all the levels of a game, go for it. If you have beaten Warcraft/Starcraft/Age of Empires/Civilization/et al, you can pass on this one.

   What it's Worth: Market

Buy it now from Amazon.com

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