Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kingdoms of Camelot

Review: Kingdoms of Camelot

Yes - you have to be a member of Facebook to play...

Kingdoms of Camelot is just another one of the many civilization type games that one can play on line.  It has the usual Gold, Food, Wood, Stone, and Iron of most of the others. 

One of the most interesting features of KoC is the fact that the buildings change as you upgrade them.  I found out that the storehouse changes three times. The graphics are good and it is easy to tell the difference between types of buildings.

One of the things that kept me playing this long is the relative lack of attacks.  I've been able to build a quite large city without being attacked by another player very much.  For instance, I was away over a weekend recently.  Although my cities were attacked (some several times) in Travian, Kingory, and once in Evony, I experienced no attacks at all over a tree day weekend.  This made it very easy to build.

However, I've been unable to build certain things above certain levels.  I cannot seem to store enough stone to raise my walls to level 8 (ten is the max) no matter what I try.  Although I used that time to build other things (such as the watch tower) I would still like to figure out why my stone quantity isn't moving despite storehouse at 9 and shrinking powder at max.

Kingdoms of Camelot isn't for everyone, but lovers of civilization games may find it more of a challenge than others of its ilk.

Next time - the 600 pound gorilla.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Empire Craft

4th civilization-like web based game review

Empire Craft

(Yes, that's the right URL :-)

Empire Craft is another foray into the web based civilization type games.

Graphics are not the greatest, with a strange monotone theme which occasionally makes the buildings look similar.  About on a par with Civilization II or so.

Game play, however, is good, with the resources Wood, Stone, Iron, and Food.

The unique thing about Empire Craft is the ability to take many of your buildings and advance them to beyond level 10.  There is only one Sawmill, one Quarry, one Iron Mine, and one Farm.  There are no cottages, and you only need one barracks of each type (Infantry and Cavalry) and buildings for the usual City Hall and others.  There are a number of buildings you cannot build until you reach a high level in previous buildings.  For instance, the Water Wheel requires a number of other advancements to be built and improved upon until you can build it.

Another nice feature is the levels of troops.  Troops can learn new skills and advance in level just like buildings.  The Armor Workshop and Weapon workshop will quickly become your friend.  A level 2 Swordsman can beat a level 1 swordsman, and so forth.  There is a hospital and Infirmary for hurt and injured troops and heroes. 

Still another nice feature is the separate Grainery and Warehouse.  There's even a storage room for when the Grainery and Warehouse overflow with goods.

On the other hand is the "Lucky Wheel".  Like most of its kin, Empire Craft has ways in which you can spend real money on the game.  I've never found it necessary to spend real money on this game - I have fun without it.

My suggestion for Empire Craft is to at least try it out.  The graphics may be unappealing at best, but the many features of the game more than make up for it.

Next Time: Kingdoms of Camelot


 3rd in the series...

Another review of a web based civilization type game.

Ikariam has very pretty graphics and there doesn't seem to be as much emphasis on war and battles.  In fact, the mines and lumber mills are shared between players on a single island.  The resources you need in this case are: Wood, Grapes, Marble, Crystal, and Sulfur.  You'll not need anything but wood initially, and building is a little confusing to a new player, but I finally got it figured out.  There are a number of buildings to build, in fact, too many for the building zones available.  You need to research Bureaucracy to build on one lot, and the Academy will help you get there, but getting to Bureaucracy is a very time consuming procedure.

Right now, I have a Town Hall, an Academy, a Palace, a Tavern, a Warehouse, a Trading Port, a Shipyard, a Glassblower, a Forester, a Hideout, a Barracks, a Carpenter, and, of course, the town wall.  Over half of these are at level three or above, and I have almost half of my population in the academy helping me research new technologies.  And it takes a =lot= of research points to advance your technology tree very far.

I shan't be paying much attention to Ikariam, there are other games out there that are a little faster on research and slower on building.

Next Time: Empire Craft.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Civilization Like Web Based Games 2


Kingory is the 2nd of the browser-based civilization type games I shall review.

At the first, let me say that I don't like the web ads for it.  Currently they're showing a rather bosomy oriental looking animated character which doesn't convey anything about the game.  They're very eye-catching, and may get a few click thrus expecting more of the same, but once those people find out it's a computer game, they'll leave in droves.

Next, let me say I like it.  I loved Civilization and it's various clones.  Kingory has a rather oriental flavor to its buildings and art, and graphics are ok but not outstanding.  At least it's easy to tell the difference between the various buildings...

Like other Civ-based web browser games, the resources needed are food, lumber, stone and iron.  You'll wish you had twice the lumber mills I bet...  Like almost all of the web based Civilization games, it's free to play - BUT - I must stress that it's harder to compete if you spend nothing.  You can spend real money to buy coins which you then trade for items.  I wish I had coins for armor...  Unlike any other game I shall review, your hero can wear armor to protect him/her self. 

The thing that gets me the most is the construction time.  By the time you start getting to be a real powerhouse, building upgrades will cost 75 hours of =real= time, not game time.  Waiting 3 &1/4 =days= for one construction to be done gets a bit tedious.  But there is, at least, a two building building queue, from which you can have more than one building going on at a time.  There's also a item that will temporarily give you five buildings in the queue.

A player familiar with the Civilization computer games has a real advantage coming into this game.  If you've played some of the multi-player options, you've got a taste of Kingory.

I shall be keeping my city.  I find Kingory endlessly fun planning the city and the stages of construction that will lead me to be able to build an army that could conquer the world - but there's one game I like better and I'll be reviewing it shortly.

Civilization Like Web Based Games 1


Travian is the first of the browser based games I shall review.  It's also by far one of the simplest as far as graphics are concerned. 

Like all others, you need resources - in this case, wood. clay, iron, and wheat.  There's a convenient icon for food (wheat) consumption in case you wonder where all your wheat is going.  You start with pre=planned spaces for your resources to be placed.  Six wheat spaces, and four of everything else.  There's also a city you must start to build, with places for things like your main building (sometimes called a Town Hall) and other things such as a barracks, marketplace, warehouse, cranny, grainery, embassy, trapper, and others.

You have thirteen days of beginner's protection - you cannot be attacked by other players during this time.  And you'll need it.  It's been almost a week for me already and I haven't built so much as one warrior.

You'll need the warriors and other troops for protection and fighting.  As is the case with other Civ-based games, you will be eventually fighting with other players for dominance of the area. 

I can't say I liked the graphics - they're kinda cartoonish and not very appealing to gamers in the 21st century.  It's also one of the slowest to get rolling - the 13 day protection should have given you a clue about that.  As for me, I'll be folding up my tents and getting out of the lands of Travian.  But, as with all my reviews, Your Milage May Vary.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Evony Notes 2:

Pat yourself on the back. If you followed my suggestions about Evony so far, you should have over 200 prestige, 7K food, 4K lumber, 5K stone, and 7K iron.

Don't forget the Comforting and Levies.

Train 10 workers in the barracks.

Turn production of all resources to 100%.

Turn tax rate to 20%.

Rename city. Change Flag. Use Wheel of Fortune.

Build Marketplace.

Train 10 warriors.

more next time...
Evony Notes 1:

Build 9 Cottages, 10 Barracks, 2 Warehouses, and 1 of everything else.

Build 1 Cottage and raise it to lvl 2.
Then build the Inn.
Then build 1 Farm, 1 Sawmill, 1 quarry, and 1 Iron Mine.
Raise your Sawmill to lvl 2.
Build 2 more lvl 2 cottages.
Build Rally Spot.
Build Barracks.
Build Feasting Hall.
Don't forget to take a Hero out of the Inn and put him/her in your Feasting Hall, and appoint that Hero as your mayor.
More later...