This map consists of a human "host" (player 1) essentially playing enforcer/referee for all the other players. He is in charge of upholding the author's designated rules and creating new ones. All the other players must break out by mining enough gold, establish towns, and then try to defeat each other while obeying the "host" or being punished. the "host" also serves as a sort of trade facilitator, providing resource swapping and other services.
The game is interesting theoretically, but it simply doesn't work in the real world. The role of "host" is essentially a boring role, it basically consists of telling other players what to do and dealing out punishment for actions.
The game revolves around this human "host" (player 1) lording over other human players, which can be downright horrible if an annoying player is playing as the "host." The host has the final say in pretty much everything. The rules are not game-enforced, but "host"-enforced, meaning that the game can easily be tainted in terms of fair play, especially since the host can tribute and trade resources, among other functions.
The lack of independence for all other players takes much of the fun away; they must obey the "host" or be punished. Of course, more often than not, I found that no one followed the rules anyway and all the game's intentions go completely out the window. Overall, the game idea simply doesn't work out online with real people behind the controls.
Additionally, the number of triggers and complexity of the map itself makes for some serious lag (and occasional freezing) on a slower connection, especially at higher pop limits. This makes it very difficult for anyone without a high-speed connection. Although I'm not gradnig heavily on this point, it is a serious consideration an a multiplayer map.
The balance was decent, but the entire concept of "host" takes some of this away in actual gameplay. Additionally the areas in which players settle factors heavily into what advantages or disadvantages a player will enjoy. The trigger-controlled options available to all players appear to be the same, so in that regard the balance seems to be well-engineered. With the game being as complex as it is, it was difficult to tell exactly how well the whole thing is balanced.
The map is very creative and includes many unique ideas, most of them executed with an extensive trigger system. The entire concept seems to be unique; I haven't seen these ideas implemented like this before. Although I personally thought there was too much, the map is definitely creative.
The map is fairly well designed overall. Terrain mixing and elevations don't appear of a much greater quality than those that would be found on a random map in most areas; much of it feels somewhat slapped-on. The seemingly random distribution of snow, desert, and grass seems a bit odd, as well. There is some nice handling of elevations in several places, however. The map is open with an abudance of resources, which are distributed well. There are also a couple of highlights, including a nice-looking graveyard on a hill with flowers and rocks, that offer some mild eye-candy.
This was my biggest issue when playing the game. The instructions are extensive, and could definitely be more concise. It would probably have been better to include that information as the player went along; it is not helpful to have to read through that much in a multiplayer scenario.
Additionally, there are a number of small (but important) omissions. For example, it is mentioned that you can buy units, but it is not made clear exactly how, which really puts a damper on buying anything until you can figure that out.