Babylon

This game is disguised arithmetic-drill, but the disguise is remarkably pleasant. The supposition is that you are king of a small Babylonian town, trying to balance food supplies, defenses and population. The monthly progress reports are couched in a kind of cheery sarcasm which is very nearly irresistible over the short haul.

There are no graphics in this game, but it is not quite an adventure either, as these categories are understood. The user must be familiar enough with mathematical operations to enjoy such games as Monopoly before he will get much out of this one.

There is one small irritation: although the grain supplies are measured in bushels and the land in acres, the approach of the enemy is stated in kilometers. This draws unwelcome attention to the question of weights and measures, which we took for granted up to that point. I do not know what system was used in Babylon (shekels and such-like things, more than likely), but whatever it was, it was not to the base ten — the chances are the base was 360, as in the compass we inherit from their Master Mariners and to introduce a conflicting convention in the midst of the game is to partially destroy the sort of semi-belief we lend these games while they are m progress.

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