“The day of empires has come.” -Chamberlain
Armchair generals and history buffs have new territory to conquer with EvaTraveler Studio’s Game of Empires:Warring Realms. Those familiar with strategy greats such as Age of Empires and Civilization will feel right at home while Clash of Clans fans will find the mechanics familiar. With over one million downloads, did EraTraveler break through the line?
GoE is an online strategy base building game where you can recruit famous figures from antiquity to grow an empire. You can choose a civilization and traverse through ancient eras of mankind by acquiring new technologies to unleash upon your opponents. Each hero comes with special skills and each civilization with a unique early game unit. Simply put, you gather resources to gather strength then send your armies forth through a variety of ways to earn goodies and more strength.
The first thing you’ll notice with this title is the excellent art. True to life historical characters are represented in an exciting Asian animation style and the graphics of the main game are a soft blend of retro isometric that borrows a lot from AoE. The musical score is excellent, which is good, because it doesn’t really vary.
The tutorial will then lead you through the basics of growing your empire through resource management. A few taps and a few menus automate most of the process. The developers do a great job leading you through the basics and soon you will be starting your campaign against those pesky barbarians.
After a few hours most should feel comfortable and strive to unlock all the goodies that are always hiding just around the corner. A constant flood of freebies is tucked away in literally dozens of menus, and you can always buy more power ups to speed your development. GoE really hits this one home for the first 30 hours or so. This title really lures you in with steady progression, easy battles and tons of freebies. It’s like marriage and then the honeymoon ends…
All empires die from within…
Where this game falls apart is going to be beyond where most mobile gamers will take it. To ask for a solid 30-hour campaign of any free title is a glorious achievement, but once a player hits the early feudal era they crash into a wall.
Development times skyrocket, barbarians become impossible to defeat and if you don’t have at least four or five alliance buddies to help you, the bigger challenges of the game become unobtainable.
It’s at this point that you also realize the mind-numbing effect of cycling through so many menus. You can receive awards for completing the same certain task from three or four different menus. The number of different resources is not only poorly explained but grow as the game goes on. There are several different stores that use different kinds of currency and of course, they always take cash. The sheer volume of “stuff to tap” is so grotesque it was like trying to clear the cache on my mom’s tablet.
Battle of Attrition
I spent two days trying to break through this wall to ensure our readers that it wasn’t a paywall. The good news is that it is not. You can bust through that wall with some good old-fashioned grinding. The bad news is that there isn’t much on the other side.
Once you hit the high feudal era you unlock a few more mini games for your armies and generals. Unfortunately, they are just disguised fetch quests or it’s just downright broken. This was also the only time I noticed any bugs or server slowdowns. Ultimately, it all falls flat.
I really wanted to like this title and for the first little bit, I did. But the longer GoE goes on, the more it drowns itself. This is a deep title that is more like 5 games working together as one. I am positive I missed some part of the game that was either interesting or horrible, but it was buried under an avalanche of icons and menus. Wait times for research and troop training times have become so long that you must either pony up for speed ups or check your queue when you get back from Jakarta.
EraTraveler’s Game of Empires: Warring Realms is a great first game for them and can certainly kill a lot of time. As with real war though, the longer it goes on the more you suffer.
Is It Hardcore?
EraTraveler sprints in a marathon with a great beginning and then hits a wall. With the only real strategy element being to overwhelm your opponent, this title is a time management nightmare buried under a mountain of menus.