Goodgame Studios' Best Attempt at a Strategy Sim of the Casual Kind
If you're an RTS fan you've probably lost count of the number of times you've been given not only the keys but the rights to a kingdom and its castle. It also won't be the first time you've been asked to defend the kingdom and expand its borders or inflate its status through sieges and battling. Playing Goodgame Empire will mean that these others game also won't be the last time you're asked to perform such tasks. A strategy-management game of the familiar kind, Goodgame Empire is more casual than most in its approach to the empire/domain management-strategy genre, and for this it should be praised.
Babysitting an Empire
Most games only ask that you go ahead and take control of a single character in order to enjoy their particular brand of fun. Some go a little further and ask you to control a few members of a team or even legions of an army. Goodgame Empire goes a mile's worth of steps further and implores you to take the reins of an entire medieval castle kingdom. For many in the gaming world, this is the mother lode of all gaming brilliance, the pinnacle of fun regardless of genre. For those people, Goodgame Empire is going to be quite the fun experience since you must manage a kingdom by building almost from scratch, expanding, defending, and generally existing in an online world that's more competitive than you may initially think.
Those that have any kind of background in games played on Facebook will be at home with the format of Goodgame Empire. It's a much more light-hearted approach than games like Tribal Wars in both an aesthetic and functional sense. Your main responsibilities are the usual things such as production and managing resources in order to then build and expand your kingdom. Don't worry: clashing with other kingdoms is also on the menu in Goodgame Empire; the game isn't quite as toothless as you may be thinking from my description of it thus far.
A Standard Affair
The gameplay is largely task-oriented in that you are given objectives to carry out, which are along the lines of what a tutorial would ask you to do: building a castle and certain other structures, producing various quantities of wood and stone, and producing troops in order to create an army with which you will defend your empire as well as attack those of other players in the long run. Cash is of course an essential component of your empire, and this can be collected in the form of taxes from your population. These people need to eat however, so you'll also be forced to produce food in order to feed your population/army and keep them happy as well. This is the kind of balance that's typically struck in these kinds of games, and in this respect Goodgame Empire doesn't attempt to break free from the crowd.
Even more typical of a title in the castle defense type games to check out with www.castletowerdefense.com is the time that things take to complete. This can be anything from waiting a few minutes for a building upgrade to waiting multiple hours for the structure you just ordered the building of to be completed. This means either waiting this quantity of time or spending premium currency, which in this case comes in the form of rubies. You do get rubies from time to time for completing tasks, but the only way to get a quantity of them that's substantial enough to lessen the time it takes to get a serious empire going is to fork out your own money to buy them.
Not Quite the Usual
Where the game departs from the usual money-grabbing trap that many of these games fall into is in careful teetering between being casual and being a game of simplicity. There is no shortage of things to do, and even though it can take you a lot of time to get things done without premium currency, it still doesn't feel like www.goodgamestudios.com is reaching into your shirt and squeezing your nurple 'til it's purple. In other words, there are plenty of things to do such as building different structures, training troops, and besieging other kingdoms, but your arm isn't twisted into forking out real money to do so.
Goodgame Empire also has a very slick look, and though it leans towards the cartoonish side (as opposed to the grimy, dark, and often all-too-authentic look of games like World of Warcraft) in its aesthetics, it still feels like a fairly serious affair, even if the gameplay is a little more casual than most other titles. The game is worth a look, even if you're experienced with this genre - it's fun to play, it doesn't demand cash from you, and you can drop in on the action as frequently or infrequently as you'd like, provided your castle defenses are strong enough and your kingdom is mighty enough to withstand attacks from outsiders that is! Have a go for yourself here - https://empire.goodgamestudios.com/