Following on from the angle of the Dungeon Keeper series, Evil Genius spins the secret agent genre on its head by placing you in the role of the titular character; an increadibly intelligent, resourceful yet utterly twisted leader of a crime syndicate referred to only as "The/An Evil Organisation".
Using nefarious traps, a horde of faceless yet (usually) loyally minions and a cast of colourful and unique henchmen, you must face off against the world's alliances and their agents whilst also trying to pull of your ultimate gambit and securing your prize: world domination. Be careful though; as you grow in notoriety you'll inevitably attract the attention of Super Agents, the top spies the world's alliances can field and nothing at all to be sniffed at.
Ultimately the game is fun, witty and intriguing, offering you the chance to be the world's biggest jerk for nothing more than the lolz. The graphics are stylised and clean whilst at the same time offering minimal lag on even sub-standard computers (probably thanks to being 6 years old now...) and the sound is masterfully done and enjoyable, with music hinting at all the James Bond classics.
The humour is also a plus, the game happily parodying and exploiting all the famous secret agent and action films there are, from James Bond to Charlie's Angels and Jackie Chan to Rambo. There's also a fair share of playful prodding at your own role as a supervillain, in which you'll not only be kidnapping hostages and stealing the world's treasures, but also blowing up Nashville to forever rid the world of country and western music.
The animations are also brilliant to watch, just take a look at some of the interrogation animations to see what I mean. Clearly the game's creators were having fun with this one.
There are downsides of course. For one thing, the lack of micromanagement in regards to your minions means that you'll often be left unable to deal with certain problems. For example, there could be a squad of soldiers blowing up your entrance's defences, yet all your guards are busy playing table tennis in the staff room. Or worse, all your skilled minions are dashing to gather bodybags, running straight into their line of fire. Likewise those agents will keep on coming, and there's no effective way of deterring them from your base.
In addition, there doesn't seem to be an active save option; leaving you reliant on autosaves. While you can adjust the amount of time between autosaves, it leaves you unable to have multiple games between the three evil geniuses available.
There is also little replay value from what I can see; there is one, linear campaign, with no sandbox mode, mission editor or multiplayer. This will quickly leave you bored as soon as the main campaign is complete.
There are also a number of bugs: for example certain henchmen will have stats that supposedly decrease the danger or time of special missions (called Acts of Infamy), but in fact INCREASE those values. Fortunately, there are fanmade patches that deal with those problems.
All in all, Evil Genius is a fun game for the price you're paying, and certainly worth a look into. If you're a fan of Dungeon Keeper, James Bond films or laughing manically at your foes' impending doom, then you'll love this game. Those who aren't will also be entertained by the humourous, twisted entertainment the game has to offer. Otherwise, the samey gameplay, bugs and lack of proper control over your minions will probably have you reaching for that notoriously placed "Base Self Destruct" button.