Enter Japan in the age of warring states. At the center of this role-playing, action-adventure simulation of combat, statesmanship and intrigue, you are a samurai warrior struggling for honor!
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (66 reviews) - 98% of the 66 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 1, 1989

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Includes 5 items: BloodNet, Darklands, Dragonsphere, Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender, Sword of the Samurai

 

Reviews

“The unification of Japan as seen by MicroProse. In the same vein as Pirates, the game was not as successful, although game play, historical research and game atmosphere are near perfect. Duels, melee sequences and set-piece battles characterize this Oriental oeuvre.”
80 – Computer Gaming World

About This Game

Enter Japan in the age of warring states. At the center of this role-playing, action-adventure simulation of combat, statesmanship and intrigue, you are a samurai warrior struggling for honor. More important than life itself, honor is crucial to achieving your ultimate goal: unifying feudal Japan under your noble rule.

Game Features:

  • Computer-controlled opponents make decisions based on your actions - and on the actions of other rival characters.
  • Furious melee action against multiple warriors takes place in castles, villages and rice paddies.
  • Vindicate yourself in duels against rivals who would like nothing better then to diminish your Honor.
  • Feel the drama and immediacy of real-time battles involving infantry, cavalry and muskets on battlefields that vary with every conflict.
  • Untie all 48 warring provinces in common allegiance to you, and earn the title of shogun, military ruler of all Japan.
  • Fun and Easy to control!
  • Four skill levels, plus other starting options
  • An ingenious system of menus, animation and text windows - pioneered by MicroProse in Pirates! - conveys the detail of text with the fun of graphics and animation.
  • Authentic Japanese music and graphics powerfully evoke the mood of Sixteenth century Japan.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 100% DirectX compatible graphics
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: 100% DirectX compatible card or onboard sound
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 100% DirectX compatible graphics
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: 100% DirectX compatible card or onboard sound
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X Leopard 10.7
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card or onboard graphics compatible with OpenGL
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: 100% CoreAudio compatible card or onboard sound
    Recommended:
    • OS: OS X Leopard 10.7 or newer
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card or onboard graphics compatible with OpenGL
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: 100% CoreAudio compatible card or onboard sound
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 100% OpenGL accelerated card or onboard graphics
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any ALSA supported card on onboard audio
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 100% OpenGL accelerated card or onboard graphics
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any ALSA supported card on onboard audio
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (66 reviews)
Recently Posted
derugh
25.4 hrs
Posted: August 13
I bought this game for the fact it was 6.99 and I wanted to play something new. I spent my entire day playing this game. 10/10!!!!!

Starts game: names samurai Saito Hajime.

Game begin: Honorable Samurai with land/warriors.

1hour into game: Fighting with my neighbors over land/♥♥♥♥♥es.


4 hours into game: no longer a petty feif lord, now i am a daimyo and looking to be shogun!!


upon this review: became shogun for 20 years and died of poor health. Son unable to deal with being shogun and my empire fell apart. RIP
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The almighty Moonman
21.0 hrs
Posted: July 1
Still holds up after 27 years. Great game once you get the controls and sword fighting down.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
jmckenziesmith
0.4 hrs
Posted: June 29
This old game is good,
Dated graphics, great game play,
You should buy it now.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SOL
3.1 hrs
Posted: June 28
Old but Gold
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Fenin
2.3 hrs
Posted: June 26
Blood on autumn leaves.
The tale of a samurai.
This needs a remake.
The Army system is odd.
But everything else is good.

Roguelike devs, hear me.
We don't need more nethack-likes.
Angband grinds must end.
We need the stories untold.
This is a good place to start.

Twine ideas anew.
This with King of Dragon Pass.
All of my money.
Not quite CK2 anew.
You should get started right now.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Waniou
4.0 hrs
Posted: May 29
Pretty old game, but pretty damn fun. It's got lots of different stuff to do and different ways to play, and all in all, a pretty enjoyable experience.

Only downside is the controls are a bit iffy. No mouse control because of the age and the technical supplement is kinda required to know what you're doing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
rexus300
6.8 hrs
Posted: May 15
THIS GAME NEEDS A MODERN REMAKE! IT WOULD PROBABLY BE THE BEST SAMURAI GAME EVER!

Many might criticize this game for having such old school graphics, but it dosen't matter. Despite being a little dated what is impressive about this game is how it managed create a depth of character for the player.

I thought the game well executed the experience of starting of as a local landord samurai who eventually ascends through ranks and later become capable of uniting Japan as Shogun. During this ascention there is plently of opportunities to display your might as a Samurai by crushing bandits, rescuing damsels, stopping assassinations, preventing kidnapping of your own family members, winning numerous duels, and winning numerous battles in the war for Japan. All the while you have to manage to rival clan members who also aspire to become daimyo or even shogun while also ensuring that your heirs are safe and capable of taking your place when you retire and thus can continue the campaign.

I must say for an old game, it did a really great job of immersing the player into the role of a samurai lord, what with the many adventures, risks, and responsibilities that becoming a shogun entails.

Do not let the graphics make you shy away from this game. Its still a worth while experience once you get into it.

I must say it is a shame that this game didn't get a modern remake. In fact i would say that if a game like this took its original immersive experience, and employed the graphics and fighting style like that of Mount and Blade, also managed a politics and dynastic experience similar to Crusader Kings II, and just maybe tried to employ some of the battle styles of Total War, then we got oursleves a really good samurai game right there.


Ahh heck, in all likelyness such a fantasy might not happen, if anything if we are lucky, Mount and Blade bannerlord might inspire a really good mod instead.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
RPGesus9001
0.1 hrs
Posted: April 24
tom cruse one time played this game, lets just say theres a reason it was called last samurai.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lord Inquisitor Sandman
1.8 hrs
Posted: April 23
Awesome Game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Right0us_Man
4.3 hrs
Posted: April 12
The best game I cannot figure out how to play.

Right down to the options for what settings to use i'm completely lost. When I gain control of my pc I have tried not attacking not exploring and not assassinating people. I've also tried doing all of that, and I simply cannot figure out what is going on. lol Its rather funny but I still love the game and feel it deserves a full fledged remake with a brand new GUI and some half way decent graphics. Buy this game only if you have the patience to learn to play it. Its not a bad game, its just really old.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
101 of 113 people (89%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2014
I absolutely love this game and was suprised to see it getting released on Steam. You start out as a lowly samurai doing jobs for your daimyo (fighting in top down zelda style battles, battling in one on one sword duels and even going on assassination missions and whatnot) until you're promoted to Daimyo yourself at which point it becomes more of a strategy game where you have to birth heirs (or face game over with your death) and slowly start conquering every province of Japan until you can claim yourself emperor in one giant RTS battle. There are so many facets to this game and even in this crude state it still brings me hours of fun. Check the credits closely and see even the great Sid Meier worked on this one. It'd be a definite classic if they'd put his name on it but I don't think he had that kind of clout yet back then. I have looked for years and can say there is no game out there that fully encompasses everything this game has to offer and I wish someone would make an updated remake or at least try something as ambitious as this game was.
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32 of 33 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2014
I appologize, this ins't so much a review as a love story.

When I was interviewed at game companies well into the early 2000's I was often asked what my favorite game of all time was. At the time, I immediately answered Sword of the Samurai. It was an immediate buy for me when I discovered it tonight. It was (is) a very deep game for it's time and had many different, and fun elements. Heck, if you are ok with minecraft graphics, then you should have no problems with these. And don't forget, Sid Meier was invloved with this game. He helped develop the AI and the dueling. Long Live Microprose! And that! Don't forget the long history of amazing Microrpose games. Look it up. Who can't afford a few dollars for an amazing classic?
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22 of 22 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
I originally bought this game in 1990 while I was on vacation with my family in Bermuda at age 13. Despite the tropical paradise surrounding me, I spent a lot of time sitting in the hotel room reading through the extremely well done manual, excited to get home and give it a try. And, of course, when I finally did get home to try it, I played the living crap out of it.

I've always felt this game never got the recognition it deserved. I'm glad to see that it's available on Steam at a low price so those who missed out can give it a shot. Obviously, this is an old game and if the older graphics are a problem for you, you may not enjoy it. But if you are into the kind of gameplay provided by other Microprose games like Pirates!, you don't want to miss out on this.

Personally, I think a modern remake is in order.
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20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 12, 2015
This game has been a favorite of mine since I first played it over 20 years ago. The depth, especially for a game of that time, is simply amazing. Diplomacy, duels, warfare, and personal missions exploring an enemy castle to sabotage, humiliate, assassinate, or take a hostage (or get one of yours back!). And while the graphics show their age the writing is still well done and I think the artwork in the still shots is still enjoyable. But it's the gameplay that I'm buying this for, not for pretty pictures.

There's some tricks to the game of course and the enemy AI has its weaknesses. The battles especially are easy to win at once you learn a few tricks. The enemy AI isn't very aggressive and will sit there and let you surround it and hit it's army from both sides at once, guaranteeing victory. And with the duels you can pretty much win by just hammering away. But the AI is much stronger in the diplomacy section with enemies working against you. The first time someone shows up with a pack of ninjas to kill you, you'll probably die.

It's in the over-head battles/adventures that the game's AI really shines especially while sneaking into an enemy castle. If you're not seen or kill the guards before they sound the alarm you can actually succeed just by stealth. Usually tho you'll end up with the alarm being sounded and you'll have to fight your way through. That's when you learn to hate the spear wielding enemies and that's when you see the enemy AI be smart, especially on higher difficulty. I generally will set up in a long hallway and use my bow to kill enemies as they charge at me but after a while the guards will notice the pile of bodies and do two things: they'll try and work their way around and hit you from another direction and they'll start to wait for you as reinforcements arrive. Time is on THEIR side and if you wait until there's three swordsmen, an archer and a spearman waiting for you, you're in trouble Charlie. On higher difficulty settings the number of enemies increases until even today I find those types of fights a challenge on highest difficulty.

And on that note I'd like to recommend the roleplaying aspects of this game. When you're in that type of battle you can take two hits before losing and/or dying but when you get hit the first time your character starts to move noticeably slower as his wounds slow him down. Your enemies have morale and if you slay enough of them the others will run away like cowardly dogs! The writers had a good understanding of Japanese culture and it shows in the diplomacy and how you go about getting ahead in society. That's the kind of thing you just didn't see that often in games of that time. There were individual games that had these aspects, but few that combined them all.

So... if you're more interested in gameplay than graphics, give it a shot! You'll be glad you did. And of course ignore the limited number of hours it shows me as having played this game, I've played it for hundreds and hundreds of hours, just not on steam ~_O
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24 of 28 people (86%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 9, 2015
Please do a remake! Also, fully compatible with the XBox 360 Controller in case anyone wondered.
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33 of 45 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
To be honest I really liked this game! It's replayable, it's interesting and its also really fun. One of the things that annoyed me though was working out the controls since there was no tutorial. Definitly recommend it though.
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24 of 31 people (77%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
One of my favourite games growing up. Combingin RPG & RTS. Lead your troops, defeat your enemies & gain land. Start a family to ensure your dynasty. Kidnap your enemies children to cause problems. Rescuse damsals in distress. Defeat bandits. Game has it all.
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21 of 26 people (81%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2014
its like mount and blade almost 20 years ago.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
26.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2015
Sword of the Samurai is an unbelievably deep and charming game. The ancient graphics hardly distract from the incredibly solid mechanics, especially since retropixel style is all the rage these days. Sword of the Samurai offers essentially three minigames under an umbrella of casual strategy roleplaying. The one-on-one duels, one-on-many melees, and full-scale battles all have their charms, but by far the most satisfying (and difficult) play experience is to be found in the melees.

Sometimes you'll be minding your own business when you come across a band of uppity ronin whose heads need to part ways from their necks. Sometimes you'll be stealing into your lord's mansion in the dead of night to stab your way to a promotion when a tripped alarm turns your stealth mission into Kill Bill Volume 1. Sometimes your psychotic father-in-law keeps breaking into your house to kidnap your son. It's delightful!

That said, the strategy roleplaying layer that connects these minigames is nothing to sneer at either; even taken on its own, it's more interactive than some RPGs. What's truly remarkable about Sword of the Samurai - especially for its age - is the depth of agency it grants to the player. Your goal is to become Shogun, naturally, but your means of doing so are entirely up to you. Diplomacy, conquest, and subterfuge are all valid paths to success, and a successful player can make use of whatever tactic suits the present moment. It's little wonder that a young Sid Meier (yes, *that* Sid Meier) had a hand in its creation.

The least attractive aspect of the game has to be its control scheme, which is somewhat opaque and unintuitive even with the help of the manual and technical supplement. (PROTIP: The keys you will be using most are the arrow keys, Enter, Backspace, Escape, and F1 through F3.) Even once you've figured out the controls to duels and melees, the battle interface is so unwieldy that in battles with more than three or four units to a side, mostly you will wind up watching your troops do the fighting for you on autopilot - attempting to intervene directly usually does more harm than good.

All things considered, Sword of the Samurai is a forgotten gem that's worth at least one playthrough. $7 may be too steep for any game from 1989, no matter the quality, but if you see it on sale (like I did), be sure to snag it.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
21.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 12, 2015
Introduction

Enter Japan in the age of warring states. At the center of this role-playing, action-adventure simulation of combat, statesmanship and intrigue, you are a samurai warrior struggling for honor. More important than life itself, honor is crucial to achieving your ultimate goal: unifying feudal Japan under your noble rule.
_________________________________

Story

Basically, you lead a lineage of noble Japanese lords as they ascend from simple local leader to conqueror of the entire realm. During your voyage, you will have to perform numerous feats- from leading your armies in combat to sneaking in kidnapper hideouts, wishing to rescue the maiden worthy of your family's name. You will also enter in furious duels, and take part in court intrigues which never cease to threat your position in game.

Your goal? To ultimately become the Shogun.

Gameplay

Sword of the Samurai is a fantastic mixture of strategy and action elements, which can teach a lot of lessons to modern gaming titles.

It is up to you to use your wits, followers and skills to usurp, assassinate or befriend the opposition. You can also dishonour your opponents, and force them into ruin by nefarious means- but beware! Any treachery resulting in failure to slay your superiors can mean loss of face and honour, forcing you and your family to commit seppuku, ritual suicide.

You can take on a wife and create a dynasty, that will one day inherit the title of Shogun, lord and master of all Japan, unified under your banner.

Graphics | Immersion | Sound

Sword of Samurai is remarkable at giving you the impression of really "being there". Despite old graphics and rudimentary sound, it somehow manages to immerse you in its fascinating world, as you anxiously think of your next move.

Difficulty

Fortunately the game is very unforgiving on higher difficulties, but never frustrating. You always blame yourself for failures, angry that you succumbed to your greed or agression.

The drawbacks? Sometimes you build your character to a very high level, only to die in a duel or lose prestige due to a bad choice. Then you are put in position of your character's own son, whose stats might annoy you at first. But luckily, thanks to quick progression the game doesn't bore you too much with this.

Price

Normally the game will hold you back $6.99, I bought it on sale for $0.97 however.
_________________________________

Conclusion

In any case, I highly suggest this game to everyone, especiallly those who value gameplay and immersion in a title. The controls may be a little wanky, and the graphics may not have aged incredibly well, but if you put your mind to it and take the time to settle yourself on the game you're in for a good time.
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