While the gameplay in this strategy sim is the most accessible it's ever been, the high difficulty and complexity of gameplay keeps this game solely for history or strategy fans. Nobunaga's Ambition: Taishi is the latest installment of the long-running franchise, which covers the entire Sengoku Era. Your goal is to take over and unify the land under your command, and fortunately, this chapter of the game has subtle refinements that make the gameplay a bit more accessible. For example, your advisers will put forward policies for you to consider, which can be unlocked on a role-playing-game-style skill chart. This allows you to tailor the advancement of your kingdom based on whether you're focusing on economics, politics, or army strength. The game also offers lots of in-depth tutorials to get your kingdom up and running, especially if you've never played this game (or kind of game) before.
But even with assistance from advisers, players shouldn't be fooled into thinking that this is an easy game. As a player, you're given an illusory sense of being able to control your kingdom as much or as little as you want. There aren't enough options to micromanage, but the general details give you barely enough info to make wise decisions. As a result, much of the gameplay involves allocating resources to different areas around the map: investing in a trade route here, shifting troops there. The effect is essentially managing numbers on a virtual spreadsheet that affects the lives of your people, both during battle and peacetime. Worse, even with tutorial help, you can still lose all of your progress thanks to random events, like floods, trade monopolies, or surprise invasions. With the tutorials, it's easy to start building your kingdom, but it's just as easy to be crushed, and it's practically impossible to recover from these events. If you're not a strategy or history buff, this game won't appeal to you, but if you're interested in a challenge, this sim will keep you busy for hours.