Cultures is set hundreds of years ago in a small Viking village in Greenland. A cold rain pours for many weeks down on the village, and the people give up hope of a prosperous harvest. Hunger ensues, and consequently the population becomes bitter and depressed. They are given a glimpse of hope when they think they see the sun begin to shine through the clouds, but this is cruelly snatched away when it turns out to be a comet in the form of a huge ball of fire. The comet suddenly explodes into six pieces upon entering the atmosphere and tumbles down to earth, paralyzing the villagers with fear. The objective of Cultures is to create a settlement--laying the foundations for a thriving colony--as you advance across your new home of America. You must prepare your tribe to soldier across the wilderness of this newly discovered continent: trading, uniting, and fighting until the six essential elements of the comet are retrieved. A thriving economy and powerful military will only achieve so much; success hinges on the player's ability to balance his or her wider strategic aims with the needs of individual members of the tribe. In Cultures, the villagers depend on players from the moment they are born. Players must care for their health and wealth, give them tasks, and bring up their little ones, while always keeping an eye on their overall strategic goals. Plus, each and every one of the game's characters is unique. Visually, they have different hair, clothes, and physiques, but more importantly they are encoded with their own personalities--they have individual characteristics and talents. This gives them the ability to fully interact with other characters, as they marry, have their own children, and take on different jobs. It's important for the player to acknowledge the unique qualities of the villages, as each and every one of the game's characters is important to the growth and welfare of the community. The game puts a new spin on the real-time strategy genre, opening it up to a wider audience. While the player undertakes 13 complex missions with multiple objectives, serious gamers will be guaranteed long-term gameplay. The intuitive control system and effective artificial intelligence ensure that even novice gamers will find instant gratification.