Roads of Rome 2 is a fun follow-up that should please resource management fans.
If you already have built the roads of Rome, what can be done to exceed this already impressive achievement? Roads of Rome 2 provides the simple answer – you have to build roads to the Gods. Again the player follows the Roman general Victorius, who is enjoying married life with Caesar’s daughter, but when Caesar gets poisoned unexpectedly, the Gods are Victorius’ and Julia’s last hope to save Caesar’s life. While we had some complaints about the predecessor, this latest installment offers a more varied and altogether pleasant experience.
Roads of Rome 2 features 41 levels and a relaxed along with a challenge (timed) mode. (You have to finish all levels in expert time to play the last level in challenge mode.) In the beginning of the game it might seem as if nothing has changed compared to its predecessor; in fact, the first stage feels and looks exactly the same. I already began to wonder whether the developer accidentally released the same game a second time, but my suspicion was proven absolutely wrong pretty quickly when arriving at the second stage, but more about that later.
The basic gameplay will be well-known to players of the first part of this series, or My Kingdom for the Princess. The main goal in each level is to build a road from one corner of the level to another corner. But this sounds much easier than it really is. Your way is filled with varying obstacles, and you need resources for nearly every action your workers perform throughout the game. Those resources are stone, food, wood, and gold, and they can be either collected or produced at related structures, such as the sawmill, the quarry, the goldmine or the pig farm.
Not much has changed in this respect, and other features like the boat house or the hot air balloon that will enable you to reach isolated parts are still there, too. Apart from the main goal there are also varying additional goals for each level, such as collecting rune stones, flowers or other objects to please the God of that stage, or to found whole settlements, which sometimes consist of a lot of structures and require huge amounts of resources.
Aside from the similarities to its predecessor, there are a lot of good things to say about Roads of Rome 2 – although the similarity to My Kingdom for the Princess is still absolutely apparent. The stages are really diverse this time around, with the underwater world being the absolute highlight. You will collect seaweed and driftwood instead of cutting trees or harvesting berries, and the whole atmosphere is very convincing. Later on you will also be able to construct a workshop or a smithy, which both increase the speed of certain actions performed by your workers.
These new features make Roads of Rome 2 much deeper strategically, and it is highly entertaining and challenging to trying to prioritize which buildings to construct first, which path to open in the beginning, and which parts of the map can be neglected until later. What is even more important is the fact that in contrast to the predecessor you won’t be able to get stuck deep within a level, at least not in our experience, which lessens possible frustration notably. Despite the hectic pace and the overwhelming number of tasks and possibilities, Roads of Rome 2 never gets too hard and is definitely a level easier than My Kingdom for the Princess even in challenge mode.
However, we still had some issues with the game that should be mentioned. It’s not possible to chain actions, nor cancel anything, which can be particularly annoying when you accidentally click on a structure and waste a large number of resources even though you didn’t actually need that until later on. In a game with levels as long as in Roads of Rome 2, the ability to cancel actions should be a basic feature. But those are only minor issues, and it is nice to see that a lot of the problems of the first part have been solved.
All in all we can definitely recommend Roads of Rome 2 to fans of the resource management genre. The story is mildly interesting, and huge innovation is still lacking, but the large number of features, the strategic depth and the charming presentation are enough to make this game an enjoyable experience. If you already liked the first part of this series, you will without a doubt love this new installment, and it might be worth a look for other players, too.