Genghis Khan: Turn-Based Strategy Game With Conquests

Genghis Khan the video game

Got to love a video game based on Genghis Khan, eh? From Japanese developer Koei, this 1987 turn-based strategy title launched on the Amiga, NES, MSX, and MS-DOS.

Koei didn’t hold back on this one, you really can go out into this title and go proper mental. Thusly, let’s celebrate this historical simulation with a good old retrospective look.

The Genghis Khan Video Game and the Pursuit of World Conquest

The original title for this game was Aoki Ōkami to Shiroki Mejika: Genghis Khan (蒼き狼と白き牝鹿・ジンギスカン). The aim of the game? World conquest!

Shouldn’t be too much of a surprise there, we suppose.

But this turn-based strategy title was part of a new wave of titles within this burgeoning genre. The likes of Bullfrog’s Populous (1989) would advance digital conquests on further still, although slightly different in genre as they are.

Not to say Genghis Khan the game wasn’t good, though, as reviews at the time were glowing. Computer Gaming World hailed it the best historical sim there’d ever been.

In the title, the player exists in the virtual life of Genghis Khan or a rival—the goal is to do battle and conquest. But around that you also have to:

  • Arrange marriages
  • Populate your world (i.e. have kids)
  • Manage political affairs

But conquering the Old World is the main priority here. Let’s face it, most people will want to manage Genghis Khan’s side of things. And the main gameplay mode is the Mongol Conquest, which begins in 1175 AD.

You take control of Lord Temüjin (Genghis Khan) and you’ve got to go out there to obliterate all before you. And then manage your economic/backstabbing affairs.

Here’s a bit of the Nintendo Entertainment System version in action.

It’s the type of game that will have seemed pretty remarkable in 1987, but was rapidly dwarfed by advancing technology and improvements of concept by other developers.

Again, Populous springs to mind that was masterminded by British games design legend
Peter Molyneux.

Just a note on release dates, as the Japanese version of Genghis Khan launched in December 1987 on the PC-9801. Subsequently releases were in 1988 and 1989, with the NES version launching in Japan from 1989. This didn’t reach North America until 1990.

The European version didn’t launch until 1990.

We mention that as game releases back in the late ’80s were very much like a Genghis Khan conquest. Slow and methodical, gradually leading up to the big attack (launch day).

Whereas these days everything launches at the same time worldwide.

You can play Genghis Khan online with emulators if you want to give it a whirl, although (as you’d expect) it shows its age compared to modern turn-based strategy games.

But it’s an intriguing curiosity and something of a forgotten hallmark moment of quality for the genre.


Dispense with some gibberish!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.