The people at Gameforge contacted me about Ikariam and asked me if I wanted to check out their game, after a major update. I thought “meh, I don’t really care for web based games because they always seem like they’re not quite finished and they don’t really ever seem to work very well”.
I do, however, enjoy reviewing games – good or bad – so I figured I’d buckle in and take her for a spin. To be honest, I’m glad I did.
First, let’s talk about the game itself. Ikariam is a web based strategy game in which players build a thriving community and strike out to expand their empire and become the thriving, all powerful, unforgiving master and ruler of the universe.
Ok, I made up that last bit but you are there to build and expand your empire…Just on an ancient island, not all around the universe. And you’re really a nice guy, not mean and unforgiving.
Here’s what Gameforge has to say about Ikariam:
In Ikariam, players can colonize a fantasy-filled ancient island, establish flourishing communities, increase riches and resources, and cooperate or fight with neighbors. After an intensive testing phase for the newest content update, Gameforge developers have completely revised Ikariam‘s layout; the game’s interface now uses the entire browser window allowing a broad overview of the carefully sculpted buildings, lush nature and a number of new, carefully crafted animations.
They’re not kidding when they talk about the carefully crafted animations and sculpted buildings. When you set out building a new structure, you can see the guys sawing lumber, hammering, etc…It’s really quite nicely done and when the new buildings are finished, they look like what they’re supposed to be so you don’t have a warehouse that looks the same as an academy which you can’t tell from a dry-dock.
Of course the screenshots you see here are a bit small due to space limitations so I’ve zoomed in a bit on one so you can see the details…What you can’t see is the animation of the flags flapping in the wind, the guys mulling about in front of the town hall, the birds flying and the fish jumping in the bay. Very well done!
When you first start out, you’ll have the opportunity to go through a short tutorial which will walk you through constructing buildings, training troops, hiring researchers, attacking and pillaging a barbarian camp and, finally, using a particular resource for premium services.
The game runs on a F2P / Microtransaction model which allows you to play at no cost but will give benefits for those who choose to purchase a resource called “ambrosia”. The ambrosia can be spent on in-game items like steam-presses and drills which will make manufacturing and production of resources more efficient. Of course you don’t HAVE to use ambrosia at any time but doing so will tend to give you a boost in the building of your empire.
Speaking of ambrosia…We have some codes to give away which will entitle the bearer to 120 units of ambrosia (that’s quite a lot, in game terms, considering most upgrades cost 10 ambrosia or less). This could mean quite a bit of enhanced gameplay, in terms of higher production values.
And before I forget, I should mention that there is a PvP element to the game as well. Once you have upgraded your city to a certain level, you are able to do combat with other players and pillage their towns, which could turn in to heaps of fun…Because smashing your neighbors is just about the most fun you can have with your clothes on!
So here’s how we’re going to do this. If you are interested in a code for the 120 ambrosia (who wouldn’t be?) make sure you have a game account set up at www.ikariam.com and then send us a message on twitter. We don’t have a whole warehouse full of codes but so long as we have them, we’ll DM you one as soon as we can. This means you’ll need to be following us on twitter as well so make sure you are before you send the tweet.
If you’re a fan of strategy games, I highly recommend checking out Ikariam. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it so far and look forward to being able to play some more. Get on over there and make an account so you can join in on the fun and maybe someday we’ll have the opportunity to smash each other!