Goodgame Empire Review
The evolution of browser-based MMO strategy games is pacing and Goodgame Empire is one of the latest steps. In the usual style of "you have a piece of land, and you have to turn it to a wealthy kingdom", you are presented with your town and your first instructions. It doesn't take much time to notice that something is different about this game. Graphics are so nice and polished that you can even zoom very close to your people (who walk around town) and have a clear and detailed view of them. There is a pretty funny story that keeps you constantly questing and building, there are outposts to conquer, alliances to be made...
First things first, you must attend your town, expand it and raise an army. All the typical buildings that are needed to produce resources and housing for your... tax-payers are here: farm, woodcutter, stone quarry, dwellings, and houses for your people. To produce an army you will need barracks, and siege & defence workshop, where you can train soldiers and construct war machines. Your castle walls are expandable by using resources and have watch towers, depending on their size. A ton of other buildings are available, such as the flour mill, stables, marketplace, and storage. All buildings are upgradeable as you reach higher levels and produce more resources.
On the fighting side the game, you start by building your defences and soldiers to guard your castle. As soon as you feel safe, you can start building a raiding army. On the world map there are other player's castles which you can attack blindly, or try to spy their defences before marching against them. There are also plenty of Bandit Barron castles, which level up the more you fight them so they are a constant challenge. Of course, you can travel further to reach low-level castles for an easy loot, but that will cost you more since there is a cost for moving your army.
Unfortunately, you don't get to play the battles, but you get to do a thorough strategic planning before they happen, by choosing where your troops will attack between the gate or the sides, if war machines will be used, or attack in multiple waves. By careful planning and spying you can loot enemy castles with minimum casualties. In bigger levels you can attack and capture an area with resources and establish an outpost there, which you can manage like a second town, giving you the change to extend your kingdom. Alliances are a must if you either want to thrive in this warmongering place, or you just want some resources quick and/or need help defending your honour.
The pace of the game allows you to play at your convenience, without requiring your constant attention. As I already mentioned, its graphics are eye-easing, but, on the other hand, I consider the design of the gameplay a little tough, since I noticed that most of the buttons are small and easy to miss. Overall I would say that the game is fun, but -as in the majority of online free games- you will probably need to reach for your pocket if you want to reach the elite in a timely manner.
Try Goodgame Empire now for free and find out if you got what it takes to climb its hall of fame!