History is a tumultuous tug-of-war between destruction and utopia. Grand civilizations have flourished and crumbled at the whim of great leaders. Would things have turned out the same if you could go back and step into their shoes? Would you rewrite the chapters of the past if you had the chance? Luckily, that opportunity is a reality thanks to InnoGames. Their latest title Rise of Cultures puts you at the helm of your very own civilization. Build cities, command armies, and progress through the ages in this charming semi-idle strategy game. Lead your people through the dawn of civilization, the Middle Ages, the Industrial Revolution, and more. InnoGames outdid themselves in terms of visuals and gameplay mechanics. Moreover, they have promised to take this addicting game into the future. This is an alternate reality you won’t want to miss.
By the People, For the People
As leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety, happiness, and productivity of your civilization. Indeed, it’s a lot to think about. Fortunately, your constituents are eager to help. Workers are the backbone of your construction efforts in Rise of Cultures. Open the Build menu to craft barracks, farms, homes, and cultural sites. Drag your selected building to a space on the grid and put your workers to the task. Some jobs require multiple workers and they all take real-world time to complete. Small tasks like building homes may take only a few seconds whereas large projects may need a few hours.
In the meantime, activate farms to ramp up food production. Naturally, food is required to keep your workers focused. Additionally, the area surrounding your city is full of incidents that need solving. Whether you encounter a hidden chest or a sleeping mammoth, you have the authority to dispatch workers to investigate. Solving incidents generates food, research points, and money. Cultural sites boost the happiness of your structures’ inhabitants when placed in close proximity. Toggle the happiness display at the top of the screen to see which buildings need a morale boost. Happiness is indicated by sun-shaped icons and satisfaction meters above each structure.
Be sure to schedule your projects wisely because you only have so many workers at your disposal. Sending all of them out to complete time-consuming tasks leaves you waiting around with nothing to do. Effective leadership certainly takes strategy.
History is Written by the Victor
In order to expand your civilization in Rise of Cultures, you must conquer and claim new terrain. However, much of the land beyond your border is inhabited by other tribes or factions. Some are friendly but most aren’t interested in sharing. Defeating them in battle is the only way to secure a future for your people. Tap the map icon to begin your expansion. A loading screen directs you to a bird’s-eye view of the world. Tap on unexplored territory to scout it. This takes upwards of thirty minutes.
Newly scouted territory gets divided into regions which you must claim one by one. Tap each region to view the battlefield. Enemy icons appear before you engage in combat. These help you choose where to position your troops. Drag your battalions to the grid on your side of the battlefield and arrange them as you please. When you’re ready for an epic battle, press the combat button. Your troops and the enemy will automatically charge and begin fighting. Victory earns you new territory, money, food and gems.
The More You Know
Not all progress is the result of war. After all, the pen is often mightier than the sword. Rise of Cultures brilliantly captures the symbiotic relationship between research and battle. Success in battle grants you research points. Spend these in the Research menu to adopt new agricultural, construction, and military capabilities. These include the ability to level up structures which increases productivity, bigger crop yield, or greater warrior capacity. In turn, this research makes it easier to face more menacing threats on the battlefield. It’s an intricately beautiful feedback loop.
Immense Fun, But Beware the Hidden Pay-to-Play System
Rise of Cultures is a captivating experience, but suffers from one glaring pitfall. For the most part, it operates as an idle game and a real-time strategy simultaneously. However, players frequently have no choice but to treat it exclusively like an idle game. Much of your progress depends on the completion of quests, which largely require building or research. Each task offers players the option to complete it instantly by spending gems. Unfortunately, gems are exceptionally hard to come by without purchasing them in the store. Additionally, expediting construction comes at a steep price. So even if you were to purchase a stash of gems, one build may very well wipe out your whole supply. That being said, you’ll spend a lot of time waiting if you aren’t willing to shell out cash.
All in all, this is no reason to shy away from this diverse strategy title. Hopefully, InnoGames will tweak the payment system as they move forward, but the future looks bright. Snag Rise of Cultures from Google Play and establish your civilization in time for the promising additions on the horizon.
Is It Hardcore?
Rise of Cultures is a semi-idle strategy game for Android and iOS that combines city-building, large-scale battle and resource-collection in a charmingly immersive historical timeline.