Mastermind: World Conqueror


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Rating: 4.8/5 (175 votes)
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PsychotronicMastermind: World ConquerorIf you're like me, you hate to see your minions fail you. "If only I had trained him better," you think, as you winch your Vice-Lieutenant head-first into a seething tank of barracudas, "If only I had whipped him harder, or implanted a transformer in his brain with a higher maximum voltage. Maybe he wouldn't have led an elite cadre of Brazilian super-spies to my drawbridge, just as I was putting the finishing touches on my Global Tectonic Reconstruction Laser. There must be a better way."

Well now, thanks to a puny civilian known as The Swain and his clever world domination simulator, you can test your schemes and stratagems without the nagging twinge of guilt that comes with executing legions of your idiot henchmen. It's called Mastermind: World Conqueror, and it takes the form of a humble real-time strategy game.

Mastermind: World ConquerorYou play Mastermind using only the mouse. Your goal is to destroy the world: a worthy exploit, if a bit short-sighted. Your time will be divided between planning and defense. The behind-the-scenes work is driven by a swarm of icons and menus. You can plan and execute missions, hire new vassals from an broad and colorful rogue's gallery (although that color is mostly red), bolster the defenses for your base, and even purchase legitimate businesses to help fund your fledgling empire. Just like in real life.

Periodically, groups of misguided do-gooders will attack your base, and you'll have to attend to self-preservation. This part of the game is slightly more action-packed, but your options are basically limited to "Return to base," "Attack that guy," and "Everyone switch to flame-throwers." As your notoriety grows, the Forces of Good will send larger squadrons with more sophisticated weapons, so you'll have keep pace with your own technology.

Analysis: Mastermind: World Conqueror has some of the highest production values you're likely to find in a Flash game, with some decent animation, a healthy dose of humor (some of which firmly puts this in the PG-13 category) and a startling amount of high-quality voice acting. The overhead battle graphics aren't as appealing as the menu icons or the cut-scenes, but they do their job.

Mastermind: World ConquerorThe level of depth is fantastic; although you always have to devote a certain amount of energy to cash, combat, and science, there are multiple paths to every goal. While you must play a megalomaniac, your choices will define what kind of megalomaniac you are, be it a big-city financier with ties to the mob or a moon-dwelling pariah with an arsenal of lasers and a robot as your second-in-command.

Keep in mind that the game doesn't stop while you are entangled in the menu screens. The next attack creeps closer all the time, and there is no Sit Back And Contemplate The Inevitable Defeat Of Your Enemies button, unless you count "Pause". That means you need to be actively engaged at all times, which somewhat undermines the feeling of being the mysterious puppet-master behind the curtain, but does keep the pacing tight.

That being said, the difficulty is probably set too low, and a handful of unbalanced exploitable strategies make it even easier. Without a significant threat to your well-being, the stakes seem inconsequential, even with the fate of the entire world on the line. This is a fairly long game, and the lack of challenge can make it feel repetitive. One thing that would help is keyboard shortcuts. The entirely mouse-driven menu system can get to be a drag.

Summary: Despite a few flaws, Mastermind: World Conqueror is an impressive and ambitious game. Whether you're a morally ambiguous genius with a penchant for destructive technology, or a simple peon looking to dig into a polished real-time strategy game, you've got one serious distraction in front of you.

Play Mastermind: World Conqueror

40 Comments

I've always wanted to play a game like this. its about time one showed up. thought I would have to make it myself (I have way too many projects on my todo list) Definitely going to play it later, no time now.

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Anonymous October 14, 2008 2:24 AM

It's worth playing the game to get to the very end. Cheesy snacks? No!

Personally, I'd suggest getting to the moon as soon as possible. That really limits the units they can send to attack you. Oh, and you can use henchmen for tasks that aren't their specialty; in fact, some of them are pretty good at other missions.

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nearly 3 o'clock here ill play this in the morn

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I loved this game, it is awesome.

I've been waiting for something since Evil
Genius was released and this fills a hole perfectly.
All the animations are awesome, and acting is great. The ending is fantastic :) love it

Is there something wrong with me for wanting to destroy the world? possibly.

Is there something wrong with me for enjoying destroying the world? Not all.

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I stayed up way too late when this came out just to see the ending. So addicting. You don't get much control during fights (and if there's a tank just outside of that circle, you can't attract anyone's attention to it), but the research/notoriety mechanic is a good idea.

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This is a great flash game, the shows of these that he made are funny as well. Time to go steal myself some science.

@Mystify

Look up a game called "Evil Genius"

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@ensoul:
You can click on any enemy (like that tank) during fights and all of your guys will attack that enemy.

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Two real time strategy games in a row? THIS IS MADNESS!!!

Madness? THIS, IS, JAYISGAMES.COM!!! *kicks random person into a pit*

But seriously, hurray for RTS...es. This is going to be fun, the phrase "moon-dwelling pariah with an arsenal of lasers and a robot as your second-in-command." greatly intrigues me...

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Menschenjaeger October 14, 2008 12:32 PM

Hm hm hm hm hahaha MWAHHHAAAAHAAAA!

How I've waited for a game like this! One fault that I can see: Almost too easy. I stayed in Philly, bought plenty of businesses, moved to the skyscraper, blew up the Earth, badabing, badaboom. I think the key is to stay low profile until you've amassed beaucoups sorces of income. I only had something like five World Events the entire game.

Also, how does one dispose of a henchman? The first one i picked was with me to the end. He did great, but I would have liked to try some of the other characters just for fun.

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The Great Dane October 14, 2008 1:09 PM

What a fantastic game. And I usually don't like this genre.
I found it annoying that there wasn't a button to fire the henchmen and the patsies. But in the end I found out, that you can kill them:
Patsies: Hire two of them for a mission, and if the latter one doesn't improve the success, he will be killed.

Henchman: Empty your base of men, so only the henchman is left. Then wait for him to be killed and fill the base with men again. Now you can hire a new henchman.

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tenkuchima Author Profile Page October 14, 2008 2:50 PM

this game is no where near as fun as it could have been. I don't regret the time I put into it, but chances are I'm not going back to play it again. the game seems to follow a strict formula of minimal risk/minimal rewards. all the money you get is put into buying more minions so that you can steal the technology you need to upgrade your minions, which is rather unnecessary, because your minions are set to handle just about anything right from the start of the game. Its a nice try, and all of the art work and sound/voice overs are nice, definitely a notch above most browser based games. but its not enough to hold interest to the end of the game

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Menschenjaeger October 14, 2008 2:50 PM

Oh, I did find a "glitch" of sorts. After the second attack on my skyscraper base, I was permanently "under attack." My minions (and my Mexican hit man) would end up wandering over the horizon if I didn't check in from time to time to make them fall back to the base.

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Pandragon Author Profile Page October 14, 2008 3:47 PM

I pity those fools who were foolish enough to side with our ENEMIES!

Simply the best flash game I ever played!
However, destroying the earth could have been more special with more efforts required to execute.

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Love it. The humor and atmosphere is spot-on, and the gameplay is very good. You pretty much have to decide on a contingency plan early on, otherwise you'll end up stretching resources too thin trying to buy everything. Very good game.

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Hand-E-Food Author Profile Page October 15, 2008 1:46 AM

I absolutely loved this game! Three hours vanished without me even knowing. The cut scenes are very well made and the ending made it all worth-while, not just "yet another game finished." Now I'm off to try The Mastermind Game.

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Bandwidth Limit Exceeded...

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Anonymous October 15, 2008 8:14 AM

Noooo, bandwidth exceeded. I knew I should've just kept on playing last night instead of taking time to "sleep".

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@jimbog:

For anyone having a problem with the bandwidth limit at Swain's site, the game can also be played at Newgrounds:

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/463278

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This game is fantastic. A little easy, but the cutscenes more than make up for it.

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A Regular October 15, 2008 5:39 PM

Cutscenes. Are. Hilarious. The minions are priceless, and it adds the stereotypical villain humor. My favorite so far has been "Alright everybody on the floor! This is not a drill! We are actually robbing you!"

It is a bit frustrating when a 99% success mission fails, but at that point it's more of an inconvenience. Instead of "Great, there goes half an hour of progress", it's "Great, now I have to rob another bank to more than make up for this."

It's very easy once your economy/stealing gets rolling, but the atmosphere makes it worth it.

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This is going to make me sound very stupid, but how do you get your minions to switch to flamethrowers once you buy them? :(

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Yes, it's the shield in the corner. From there you can deploy your #2 henchmen, your powers, and your weapons.

Is there any way to get rid of turrets?

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The ending is awesome.
you normally don't get to see what happens to the evil villain after they destroy the world... normally the hero stops them

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Does anybody know if you get a different ending

by living on the moon base?

It seems like you should, but unfortunately my game wasn't saved and I can't go back and check without playing the whole thing over again.

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This is really a 2D clone of Evil Genius, but isn't it fantastic! :D

The gameplay is great, graphics are catchy etc

I would definatly reccomend Evil Genius for PC if you wanted more :)

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Really appreciate the feedback on the voice work ;D

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Nathan B. October 16, 2008 4:43 PM

Other Nathan: Nope, still just the "raze and destroy the world and get away in a space pod" ending. I wish it did, though.

Really, once you get to around science level 3, just move to the castle and the sheer cheapness of minions and the huge minion cap can let you just permanantly keep 30 out while the other 40 help around the base and go on missions or serve as backup. Really, after a certain point, you never even need to leave the menu.

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@Ribs: That's strange then. Maybe it's just a browser thing, or a Mac thing, but if the enemy was outside the circle I couldn't draw anyone's attention to it.

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Nope. Outside the circle they "Aren't a threat" so it doesn't really matter.

And I must say, I LOVED the Dark Ophelia reference.

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I love the ending.

"Nope. Destroying is conquering. It's true. I looked it up." "Wait a minute... where are my cheesy snacks? NOOOOOOO."

It's worth it to win the game.

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Aw. The game is very fun, however, it bugged out on me when I was rocking.

Somehow it appears that minions and enemies on the battlemap kept walking to the lower left without reason and without limit. That way, 20 of my 30 defenders just walked away, I was under constant attack and could not change weapons/switch base without losing everything/... :(

Anyone experience something similar?

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hk: the only way out of that is to go back to the menu then hit continue but i will start from where it started to bug hth

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i think its weird how your minions have like flamethrowers and their scared of cops. another thing i dont get is how when the police arest you for trying to capture a criminal they arrest your guys but not the criminal.

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nick parker December 9, 2008 7:42 PM

if i had a notoriety level maxed up the united nations security had voted to declared war against mastermind and his minions my minions armed with laser rifles and a henchmen to fend it off and i have six laser turrets for defense the allied troops consist of army special forces superman esque superhero james bond special agent and pesky ninjas sometimes they have main battle tanks mammoth tanks and marv tanks to attack my hideout but i managed to fend them off

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Does anyone know how to get the last two patsies

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the easiest way to win the game:
a hint:

don't do mission in the territories except south america,which is the easiest place to do missions

when you accomplish a mission there missions will be easier to accomplish later

so will the science missions be

walkthrough:

first fill up the minion limit

then upgrade everything available in the financial room

don't forget to steal money when you need

if there are new patsies kill the ones you have to get a new one

do step 2 and 3 again and again

when you finished all economy room upgrades switch your zone to the moon

give all minions firethrowers and build aa guns everywhere(has the biggest range so it is useful against spec-ops while the repeater turret can't)

in thşs step you don't need to bother with the world events anymore.

now advance in science without a stop(until genesis)

use genesis to destroy earth

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for the ones to how to switch #2 Henchman:
this is a bit risky but usually no harm to the base occurs:
I recommend you to do this in the moon(nothing except infantry)
BEFORE YOU DO THIS BE SURE THAT YOU HAVE NO MINIONS OUTSIDE THE BASE AND HAVING 50 MINIONS(you can leave the ones in the rooms(financial,etc.) AND YOU HAVE A TURRET IN ALL OF THE TURRET SPOT(recommended turret is the aa gun)and you HAVE YOUR HENCHMAN OUTSIDE

first use the defensive power "gas battlefield"

next choose an enemy by your henchman neither far away nor very close to your base.

your henchman will die shortly

what evilness

*evil laughs*

nhahahahaha

then evacuate all your minions when they destroy your turrets and approach your base(this is the risky part)

watch your minion flush kill everything in their way.

now you can buy another henchman form the meeting room(a sad skull on the previous one)

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Anonymous October 23, 2011 9:19 PM

what time interval is the income?

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Since I see no one else mentioning it, I will note that this game is based off a whole series of flash animations by the author (in the Mastermind series), so if you liked his humor, you can find more of it.

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