By Jason Van Horn from mpogd.com
Forge of Empires starts you off in the Stone Age with nothing more than the idea of a community and a few sparse buildings; you can build huts to increase your population, create different types of pottery to improve your resources, and make a monument in order to raise the happiness of your tribe. Like many games in the genre, you'll have some helpful advisors - who will give you quests (of a sort) - guiding you down a generalized path you need to walk in order to improve yourself and steadily grow in power.
Growth is accomplished in two main ways: war and research/development. In terms of war, after gathering enough troops together, you can scout neighboring areas and attempt to overthrow them using the strong power of your army. Once you've decided to go to war with someone, battles are presented as a large map featuring hexagonal tiles that you can move about on. For the most part moving around is based on positioning and staying outside of the enemy's reach while getting in to get your own attack off. The one exception is that some tiles are blanketed with things like trees, which can give your troops a defensive advantage if they're there during a fight. Troops also have a Paper, Rock, Scissor mentality to them as some troops have advantages over some and weaknesses to others. While you're limited to just spear throwers during the early portions of the game, you'll earn access to later units like warriors, soldiers who use slingshots, horse riders and more. If a unit takes damage during the course of a fight, they can heal up until they're back at full health, but if a unit is lost it's completely lost and you'll have to train some more.
Unlike some other games in the genre where plots of land are already in place and you just have to spend money in order to build there, Forge of Empire's building system harkens back to the old SimCity games as you can't place structures about your plot of land without giving it any thought, as you must connect structures to your main base by using roads. So if you place a building in the farthest corner of the map and don't have any roads connecting to it, the structure will simply sit there waiting to be completed until you have managed to get a road attached.
Forge of Empires should be going into closed beta sometime relatively soon, so if you're looking for a new, more all-encompassing look at the growth of a civilization through the ages, Forge of Empires is one to keep an eye on.
You can read full review here.
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