Sparta: War of Empires

management historical war

Sparta: War of Empires brings you to an ancient greek world, where city-states endlessly fight or unite for domination, glory and cash. Apparently, the reference historical setting is the one of the Second Persian War (made famous by the movies), at the time when the greek cities (or poleis) united to face the persian ... read >>


Supremacy 1914

war 1 strategy 1 historical 1

In Supremacy 1914 each player is the leader of one historical nation, and can use diplomacy or force to subjugate enemy territories, build powerful economies, and rule entire continents. Although many other browser-based games promised us the same exciting experience, this game by Bitro Labs is by far above them all. ... read >>

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Thirty Kingdoms

war strategy historical

Thirty Kingdoms  in short
pros cons
strategic sort of clone
true multiplayer slow paced for the setting
long tested mechanics
originality 6 details 7
care 7 diversity 7
experience 7 longevity 9
graphics 8 multiplayer 9
would you recommend it?

Thirty Kingdoms is a MMO by Bytro Labs, the developer that brought you Supremacy 1914. If you love that title, as we do, then you'll definitely like this fantasy reincarnation. But don't make the mistake of expecting anything else than this, as Thirty Kingdoms does not go much further than it's predecessor in almost any way: mechanics, gameplay, strategy. "Don't change a winning team" they say, but Bytro Labs took this quite literally.

As you create a new account, you'll be able to immediately join one ore more game rounds, which are the actual games. As the pace of the game is very slow, this is something that you'll come to appreciate on day 1. In each game you'll be the lord (when you play in Europe maps) or the king a small kingdom (on fantasy maps), and you'll have to slash, scheme, trade and bribe your way through the land and subjugate your surrounding rivals. Now an interesting thing is that, as said above, the standard map actually is northern Europe, although the setting is completely fantasy. Indeed, some more maps are available to play, including maps with a different style that looks substantially more fantasy than the good old Europe.

Each game has up to 30 players (a fact that gave the name to something... probably some polish softdrink), so there is plenty of other people with whom you'll need to interact. A game is divided into real days, and it can last several weeks. To give you an idea, moving a regiment of foot militia from a village to one of its neighbours can take quite a few hours, depending also on the terrain and morale, which are just examples of the many factors you will have to take into account: if it was all about numerical superiority, they wouldn't call it strategy. But as you must have guessed, there is not that much to do in this game when you are online, apart from devising you cunning plans of greatness and glory. Military strategy is of course the main ingredient, and diplomacy it's less grandiose sister.

Unlike other games, but exactly as it's predecessor Supremacy 1914, the interaction with other players is essential. An average lone wolf doesn't stand a chance of survival for more than two weeks, so messages, pacts and other forms of communications make this game a true multy-player game. There is, however, a known phenomenon: players dropping a game because (a) they didn't get the kingdom they wanted (buh-uh!), (b) they joined a few days too late, and suddenly realised they can't compete anymore, or (c) they just suck at strategy and want to have a fresh new start. All this means that from around day 5, around half of the player will have left the game, letting the AI to take over.

All in all this is a good game, but somehow it fails to replicate the success of it's big brother. The main problem, in my opinion, is that the setting of the WWI was a perfect fit for the slow-paced action in Supremacy 1914, while a fantasy strategy game wants some more fast-paced action. So the idea is not original at all, but still many of you will appreciate the complexity of the strategic setting as well as the social aspect, and the map is various and big enough to require many games before feeling that the game it's repeating itself.

Sadly, the premium currency in Thirty Kingdoms (the emeralds) give a substantial advantage to those players that are willing to invest their pennies, which is something that sometimes gets frustrating ("wait, and now where did you find that dragon!?").

In conclusion give this game a chance. It is also beautiful to look at and entertaining, up to the point in which you wake at 4AM to check if those little guys on the map made it to the destination after 20h trip or starved on their way.

Thirty Kingdoms ()
VideoGame > Browser Game (web browser)
Thirty Kingdoms, war, strategy, historical browser game
Score: 77 out of 100

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