As I mentioned in my Kingdom Rush mini-review a couple of weeks back I have played Goodgame Studio’s Empire game quite a bit over the last few weeks. This is my first browser game I have played for more than a few minutes. Normally by this time i’m closing the game down (or in this case closing the browser tab) and writing the game off as just a lot of repetitive clicking. Goodgame Empire is a bit different.
Goodgame Empire is a browser base castle building game where you build things in real-time. No it doesn’t take two years of real-time to build your castle wall, but it does take some time for it to complete. What this means is you don’t spend much time actually playing the game. I tend to log in the morning and collect taxes, read any messages and start building. Then I log out. I might come back at lunch time and check progress, etc. Each time i’m logged in for 5-10 minutes only before I go on my merry way. This makes it a great game for people with limited time to play for whatever reason.
Graphics are cartoony and easy on the eye. The interface is a little clunky but most of the basic stuff is intuitive to use. Make sure you click on all the buttons on your main screen at a some stage as you might discover as I did after a few weeks of playing that there are alliances and a chat system in-game :)
You accumulate resources such as wood, stone and food over time and then spend this building stuff and feeding your population and army. There is some limited functionality for sending resources to others and therefore trading. Goodgame Studios have also recently introduced outposts, which are like mini castles you can capture and build up from scratch.
Its not all random building though. You receive quests, which are the only way to get experience, and they direct you to build certain building. Gaining experience means gaining levels. Gaining levels means more types of building and better soldiers to recruit.
Besides building stuff you also recruit armies and build siege equipment. This means, of course, you can make use of this for attacking other players. The combat itself is automatically resolved, but the setup and combat reports are complex enough to be interesting without being daunting. Beating up other players gives you honour (a strange name for it IMO). Ranking within the game is based on this honour.
Overall i’d give this 7/10 and recommend this game to those who are time poor or instinctive turtlers. The interface could use some love but still a decent game.