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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action 1 RPG adventure 1

KingsRoad  in short
pros cons
PC-level game aligned with genre
addictive flat world
great multiplayer easy
originality 7 details 8
care 6 diversity 4
experience 8 longevity 8
graphics 9 multiplayer 8
would you recommend it?

This is the kind of games where players can choose a class (here Archer, Knight, Wizard) and explore levels and levels in solo or party mode, fighting their ways through endless villains, monsters, thugs, wild beasts. The weaponry at their disposal is the most usual: arrows, merciless steel, magic. And then skills, perks, and all sort of special abilities. As customary, equipment is one of the core points. Each enemy will give you coins, equipment, weapons, gems. You would harvest these until your inventory is full, boost your character with the ones you need, buy some more (dumping the rest of your gold to some bank system), visit the town and talk with handy town-folks, forge and craft unique equipment by attaching gems, etc. Potions play a big part as well, which the usual interface design that allows you to drink those little vials whit one finger, whenever you need one. Using powers eats up mana; being hit by foes eats up health. Mana and health, health and mana. 'So it goes', once Vonnegut wrote. We all saw this at some point. And I mean: it works!

If you think about that, the (in)famous Diablo series was all about that. But as much as I loved 'Diablo-games' -as I used to call them-, and probably because I liked and played them so much, I perfectly know where the problem dwells. Farming enemies, experience points, colour-coded loot in the form of wands, boots, belts, helmets, chalices, books, gloves, swords, relics, etc is funny at the beginning, then they all become just numbers. Players stop even looking at images: they only see numbers. Tiny little coloured numbers. In the first levels you are like 'look, a cool fire sword!', then it becomes 'aww, a red weapon which does 1 damage more of the blue one I have'. And collecting equip, compulsively clicking all over the place, while the enemies' blood is still fresh becomes addicting.

However, KingsRoad lifts sone burden classically posed on players: coins are automatically sent to your pockets, the game compares pieces of equipment for you, signalling you when a 'better' item is in your inventory, exploring is less stressful, as there is 'one big road', at the title suggests. This comes at the price of a reduced flexibility and diversity of the game. And if the game needs to scientifically compare two items to determine which is best, this obviously implies that the measure has to be purely arithmetic: each weapon, protection, artefact, has a number attached to it. There is no decision between different balancing factors, but yet numbers. Balancing simplicity with a rich set of features is not an easy job though, and I think it is sort of inevitable.

Also, the limitations imposed by the obliged path, and the choice of having levels instead of world areas, reminds a bit too much of those old-school arcade machines. On the other side, splitting the game in 10-minutes quests allows more time-flexible, office-friendly gaming experience, still satisfying the compulsive clickers who like all-night sessions.

The (very) good news is that, although there are two distinct forms of premium currencies in the game, you don't need those so much in the first place. Special currency is needed to speed up you character's progression, use equips reserved to higher levels, open some treasures, have larger bags, etc. So it is my impression that this is more attracting for experienced characters, who for whatever reasons do not want to go through the earlier stages in the game over and over, for all their characters. Also, premium currency can be earned in-game by completing missions and levels, which diminishes the need to take out your wallet.

The multi-player is very well integrated in the solo game (one click-away), and it fits very naturally in the setting. It definitely adds a lot to the experience and fun, so I would recommend to try it on your first or second session. I notice also that loot seems to be divided between players by the system, as party members did not show so much interest in loot lying on the ground in front of them.

If you're a fan of Diablo (and the like), KingsRoad is made for you. This is not a new genre, nor it is bringing anything new to the gaming world as a whole, but one aspect is very remarkable: KingsRoad offers you a PC/console-level gaming experience, at the 'price' of a browser game. I honestly saw this happening only a few times, and never with a game that can be played also on Facebook.

KingsRoad ()
VideoGame > Browser Game (web browser)
KingsRoad, action, RPG, adventure browser game
Score: 72 out of 100

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