Ikariam.UA Shut Down

As announced in the forum, the Ukranian Ikariam server is scheduled to be closed at the end of the month. Certainly some of the players will be migrating to different servers, but either way it is very unfortunate for all of the players who have spent years nurturing their island empires.

To celebrate, the players decided to throw one final battle, and the whole world is invited! From what I’ve heard, the battle is well beyond round 1,000 now, and each round is taking the server 50 minutes to calculate. You can check out the overview report or the detailed report, though the detailed report is definitely having problems loading. Hopefully I’ll get another update once the battle is over.

To everyone on ua.ikariam.com fighting until the bitter end, на здоровье!
Oliver

New Games

I finally updated the List of Games again. Today’s additions include Baltheo, Excalibur Online, and Warflow, as well as Clash of Kingdoms and Glory of Rome which I neglected to add earlier.

I feel pretty confident when I say I won’t have time to do a full review of Baltheo or Warflow. Far as I can tell from the screenshots of Batheo, it’s the same as Warflow but set in Greece instead of China. Also, based on the few minutes I spent with Warflow I know there are much better games worth your play-time.

For example, Antzzz, which is a great game, just opened a new server. Despite the low graphics, the game play is fun and refreshing. I’ve also been spending a lot of time with Clash of Kingdoms lately, but more on that later.

Cheers,
Oliver

Best Browser Games of the Year 2010, pt2

Well, it looks like I’m going to have to take back everything I said earlier: Browser Game of the Year is back! Though curiously they skipped 2010. Anyway, this year things are different as there don’t seem to be nominees yet, but you can vote for whatever game you want. Definitely check out the Strategy Category and vote for your favorite game. I know I’m going to have a hard time deciding which was my favorite game this year, but I’ll keep you updated!

It’s a good thing that BrowserGameOfTheYear.com decided to come back, because BBGsite’s Best Browser Game of the Year 2010 is really dropping the ball. Not only do they have a special icon to indicate which games are bribing you to vote for them, also 1100Ad is obliterating most of the competition, not only in Best Strategy Game, but in Most Popular BBG. 1100AD? Really? BBGsite.com also mysteriously removed the link to my review. Curiouser and curiouser…

Cheers,
Oliver

Lord of Ages on Facebook


At long last, the premier online strategy game, Lord of Ages, has graced Facebook with its presence! Recently I was purusing Facebook when I saw this ad: “15 Build at Same Time; Click here to enjoy fastest growth!” Finally, a game that addresses the ranks of Travian players who are sitting around with enough resources to upgrade 15 of their structures, but are unable to do so. Surely the best online strategy game is obviously the one that lets you build the most at same time, so I quickly clicked to find out what this epic game was.

The next screen that greeted me brought a smile to my face. While some players might scoff at the idea of recommending a game to all of their friends before actually playing it, since I recognized this as Lord of Ages I knew it was something all my facebook friends would appreciate. Especially the game’s unique take on English.

My excitement was growing and now it was time to choose my image. What face shall I show to my enemies? How about Eomer? I bet New Line Cinema and Tolkein himself were thrilled at the chance to donate their work to such a great game.

Finally I had to chose which Nation I would join. I was really looking forward to lording over my new kingdom, but unfortunately each Nation I chose returned “Error: 1025005”. Alas, I guess I am not worthy enough to behold the majesty of Lord of Ages on Facebook.

Cheers,
Oliver

Stone Age Kings Releases English Version

Finally, after almost a year of waiting, Stone Age Kings has finally launched an English version. I’ve started an account and should get a review out soon.

I’ve also been really impressed with the translation. A lot of online strategy games, most of which are developed in Germany or China, end up with some horrible engrish, but it’s clear Stone Age Kings actually spent some time on this. I’ll leave you with some great text from the tutorial:

“My Son! For more than 50 winters, I was the Boss of this family. Now my time is over. Our ancestors are waiting for me. Now it’s your turn to lead teh family and our tribe.

“Unfortunately, we both know, you’re your mother’s son. To prevent a complete fail of yours, I’ll have a look at your first steps. Don’t disappoint me, or I’ll haunt your dreams.

“Hell, it’s about time! At least it wasn’t a complete disaster. I’ll reward you with the promised raw materials.

“Now let’s see if you can handle the next quests.


“Have you really found someone who will do the dangerous hunt for you? Perhaps that’s better – everyone would have starved if it had been left to you.”

This has been the most insulting OSG tutorial I have played, but it’s hilareous. Great job, Gorilla Gaming.

Cheers,
Oliver

Civ News 2011

2011 greets us with some more news from Civilization. First, is that the Civilziation Facebook game, now called Civ World, is entering Closed Alpha today. If you’re interested in getting in on the Alpha, definitely check out the facebook page.

It will be really interesting to see how Civ World adpots the classic Civlization Turn-based strategy to the Facebook platform. I’m hoping, really hoping, that they don’t follow the formula of City of Wonder or City Ville, where you finish construction projects by having your friends click on them. Lord knows USSR would have won the Cold War if more of Stalin’s friends had signed up for Facebook. However, this seeems promising “in Civ World you will be joining your friends to form nations, which will compete with other player-nations to rule the world”. So at least we know that there’s actually competition. That’s a good sign.

You can also read more on Inside Social Games.

In other Civ-related news, Jon Shafer, lead designer for Civilization V, has left Firaxis. Gamasutra has an interview that’s worth a read.

Cheers,
Oliver

Best Browser Games of the Year 2010

Merry Christmas! I’m sure it’s still Friday in some parts of the world (which means my Tales of Aloriah isn’t technically late 😛 ), but for the rest of us it’s Christmas. Though interestingly enough, in Ukraine Christmas is celebrated on January 7th. But anyway, as the year comes to a close, it’s nice to look back on what has happened in the world of Online Strategy Games. But, until I have a chance to put down my own thoughts, let’s have a look at what other sites are doing.

Last year, I really appreciated BrowserGameoftheYear.com. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that they will be doing this for 2010. However, BBGsite seems to have picked up the mantle with their “Best Browser Games of the Year 2010”. Alot of Online Strategy Games are represented here in the strategy category, and it would be great if everyone would vote. The list is a little shady, with some games represented several times (for example, Imperial Warfare, Ministry of War, and Terra Militaris are all the same game), some games aren’t on the list at all, and while Stronghold Kingdoms is a great game, it’s not actually a browser game. Nevertheless, you should definitely check out the contest once it starts.

Also, if anyone knows of any other similar contests going on for the end of the year, definitely let me know!

Cheers,
Oliver