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Imperator: Rome is free to play until Sunday

Imperator: Rome, released earlier this year, is an outstanding grand strategy game: It's "huge, inventive, and the reason I'm sleep deprived," Fraser said in his 92% review. Despite that acclaim, it's also the sort of game that some players might be uncertain about. That's less to do with Imperator: Rome specifically and more to do with the grand strategy genre as a whole, which can be intimidating for newcomers—the mainstream success of the Civilization series serving as the exception.

If you'd rather not commit to a full-price purchase without having a good grasp on what it's all about (and speaking as someone who sprung for Europa Universalis: Rome on a whim, I can tell you that doesn't always work out), you can get a feel for Imperator: Rome this weekend on Steam. Until 1 pm ET on December 8, just pop 'round to the Steam page, and click the "Play Game" button. Download it and you're off to build your empire for a few days on the house.

If you enjoy the experience, you can pick up Imperator: Rome on sale for $27/£23/€27, 33 percent off the regular price, also until December 8. And if you don't, nothing's lost but a bit of time.

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.