Browser Game Advertising in 2011

It’s nice to know that in the new year, the proud tradition of online strategy game ads hasn’t been lost. I ran across this gem the other day for Caesary. “Seize what’s yours!” Caesary. Seize. Nice. I also did a quick search for “Caesary ad” and found this one from before the game’s launch. Classic.

Also, Bio Break posted a great one for Lord of Ages featuring the guy from 300. 2011 is turning out pretty good so far. And just to save you from searching, here are some other articles about infamous browser game advertising and art theft:



Heroes of Gaia Surpasses 1M Active Users

A recent article at Gamasutra reports that OSG Heroes of Gaia has passed 1M active players on Kongregate.

Kongregate is a game portal that hosts a LOT of games, including Caesary. I’m not personally a fan of Kongregate because it adds so much junk around the actual game, but I definitely see the benefit of having all of ones achievements, profile, etc., in one convenient place. Like Steam for browser-based games.

Heroes of Gaia is also available on other game portals, such as Web MMO. I’m also still looking forward to Ministry of War, a forthcoming OSG from the developers of Heroes of Gaia.


OSG Advertising Fail

Perhaps I pay too much attention to ads. You would think though, after the whole ordeal with Evony, that other OSG’s would be more careful with their advertising campaigs.

Something struck me about these sets of ads, on top for Caesary, below for War of Legends. Regardless of whether they sound a might like Theodor Geisel, do they come off as a bit similar? Now, if this were Travian and Imperion or any other set of OSG’s run by the same company, it certainly wouldn’t be an issue. But as far I know Jagex (War of Legends) is one of the few OSG companies not to purchase a copy of Caesary, so they’re definitely competition.

So what happened here? Did one game copy the other? Did they both hire an outside advertising firm who figured they’d kill two clients with one Ad?

Then there’s this one:

Clearly that’s Sagat. Moreover, it’s a cropped painting of Sagat by Enrico Galli made over a year ago. This is perplexing. Putting aside any ethical issues about ripping off an artist or the possible legal battle with Capcom, War of Lgends has a number of their own characters they could have easily used in these ads. Look, I created two ads for them just now by stealing art off the War of Legends home page. It only took me 5 minutes and I’ve potentially saved Jagex a law suit.

You’re welcome,

Site News

Just a reminder, 6 more days for the Battle Narrative Contest!

Also, I’ve once more updated the list of games, adding Antzzz, Caesary, Lord of Ages, WW2Assembly, and Verdonia. Verdonia is another OSG for Facebook by Playdom, the same developer that did Social City, which I was totally addicted to for a month or so. I’ll have a review in the near future.

I also found three more sites where you can play Caesary, brining the total up to five. I wonder if each of the game portals knows Caesary is seeing other sites on the side?


— Edit —
Whoops, I forgot This game gets around.

Caesary Review

Game Site:
Game Site:
Rating: Worth Checking Out

Caesary is essentially Evony in a new dress. It features the core OSG mechanics with great graphics, but suffers from a crowded UI and some annoying balance issues.

As far as I can tell, Caesary was developed in Korea and then exported to a number of game portals, including Aeria Games and Kongregate. Both versions are practically identical and run inside the gaming portal, so you’ll need either an Aeria Games account or a Kongregate account. Having these games integrated into the portals means a few things. If you’re already playing other games on either site then you don’t need to remember a new username and password, which is always nice. On the downside, both portals run ads next to the game as well as their own links, which just adds to an already messy UI (which I will rant about soon). Both version are of coures free-to-play, but you can only purchase in-game currency with in-portal currency. This makes for a very complicated transaction!

Step 1: use actual money to purchase Aeria Points or Kreds
Step 2: use Aeria Points or Kreds to purchase Caesary Gold
setp 3: use Caesary Gold to purchase your desired Ceasary Item
Step 4: apply item to receive affect (speed up a construction or whatever)

Again, if you already have an account on either portal this might be a nice feautre, since you can use the same in-portal currency across a number of different games. But for the rest of us… oi.

As for the game itself. As mentioned, it’s basically Evony. You’ll gradually build a Roman village. You’ll need to build a lot of cottages to increase your population which is used to create jobs which produce Crops, Lumber, Stone, and Iron. You also have to balance your tax rate, which produces Sesterces (coins) but also decreases allegiance. There’s a strong emphasis on the Hero, which every army needs, there’s a strong quest system, which I still dislike, and the game constantly… encourages you to spend money.

There are a few changes: “appease criticism and levy on resources” has been moved from the Palace (or “Rectoarate” in Ceasary) to a new building called the Temple. The Temple is actually a cool building that lets you pick one of several dieties to worship, and each one gives you a different affect. “Juno” increases your city’s population cap by a percentage (based on the level of the Temple), another diety increases your attack, etc. Allowing the player to only have one of these at a time is a great new strategic element.

I found the pace of poduction to be off balance. My empire is usually very much lacking in Sesterces but drowning in everything else. I simply can’t build fast enough to properly spend all my Crops, Iron, etc. Since most resouces sell for about .02 Sesterces in the marketplace I’m led to believe this is a game-wide problem. Also, it seems each building level has a number of prerequisites that restricts a lot of freedom when choosing what to upgrade next. For example, to upgrade your Rectorate (Palace) to level 6 you need a Wall of level 4, which requires a level 4 Cottage or something of the sort.

The UI is also a mess. There’s just too much information bombarding the player at any given time, especially when there’s a sub-window open. To Ceasary’s credit, at least the sub-windows don’t cover up any important information like they do in Evony. On the other hand, the graphics and art are fantastic. There are little animations of people working, and the passing clouds even cast shadows.

Overall, Caesary certainly provides an engaging game experience, but there are definitely stronger OSG’s already on the market. However, most of the game’s shortcoming seem to stem from the use of Evony’s base code as a foundation. Caesary’s unique additions (most notably the graphics and the Temple) are definitely a step in the right direction. It would be interesting to see what game the developer could create if they started from scratch.


Preview: Antzzz, Caesary

I’ve stumbled across two more new OSG’s. Antzzz is a very original game where you play as the ruler of an ant hill. Despite the lack of flashy graphics it brings some original game mechanics and is quite fun. Caesary is clearly built off the same base code as Evony and the like and has added some pretty nice graphics. I’ve also been making some progress in Aloriah, so look for a slew of actual reviews next week!