Ikariam – Review
Ikariam is a free to play MMORTS game from Gameforge, the same developers behind other popular strategy titles such as KingsAge. Ikariam brings many unique features to the MMORTS genre, most notably the distinctly authentic Greek background setting and mythology. Our free online strategy game reviews focus on the new player experience, so during this Ikariam review, we’ll be covering all of the aspects a new player would experience in the game, before giving you our final verdict on whether it’s worth playing or not. Ikariam is highly approachable as there’s no download required and players can make an account in seconds thanks to Facebook integration, making it a very simple and streamlined process to enter the ancient world of Ikariam and begin building your civilization.
Being a MMORTS title, Ikariam doesn’t have any character creation or customization at the beginning of the game, instead you choose your rulers name and you’re introduced to the various features of the game via a highly detailed tutorial. The tutorial does a great job of introducing the basic features of the game, using a number of AI controlled advisers to guide you through various aspects. To begin with you’re tasked with the basics of managing your city, constructing various buildings and hiring civilians to work. The way workers function is quite a unique feature, you can allocate a certain number of civilians to specific roles, such as gathering wood or researching, the amount of civilians increases the potential yield from each task. This adds an amount of depth I’ve never seen in other free online strategy games, most just offer you the chance to upgrade buildings but Ikariam goes even further.
The combat in Ikariam isn’t as fun and innovative as the city construction and management. You’re able to explore dozens of areas outside of your city by going to the world map. The world map is home to a variety of features such as villages and other locations that can be pillaged. Even if a village is directly opposite your city, it can still take up to 30 minutes for your troops to travel, battle and then return, making combat a highly time consuming process. There’s also a lack of any combat animations of effects, a simple battle report tells you the result of the battle and that’s about it. Although this can be seen as a bad aspect, it allows players to send troops to dozens of different combat locations, and then log off for the day.
Overall, Ikariam’s crisp graphics and humorous approach to Greek mythology really makes it stand out from the crowd and there’s a huge array of exciting features to discover after the new player experience, such as in-depth trading, intense diplomatic situations and further expanding your city, definitely worth playing if browser-based strategy games are your thing.
by Blaine Smith