Free Online Strategy Games
Of all the genres in the free to play browser MMO category f2p war strategy games are by far one of the most common, so much so that is often as not even when writing are profiles and articles you could quite easily just change the name of the game and copy paste the features, mechanics and theme of the game and it would still be completely accurate to the developers own description. There is a lot of love for browser-based war strategy games, be they sci-fi themed war games, fantasy themed war games or even the ever popular historical war games
In many of these games will follow a very similar formula; start with a small area you control (village, base, town, country, island), collect various different resources (metal, wood, food, space dust), raise up and train an army (soldiers, ships, robots) and expand your territory through whatever means (conquest, diplomacy, trade). With so many elements that make them similar it is important to take into consideration the subtle nuances that separate some titles from the rest of the swarm.
In this article we are going to take a look at some of our favourite browser-based free to play war strategy games and see what they did differently, including:
Call of Roma
Asterix & Friends
Forge of Empires
The Settlers Online
Travian is going to sit at the top of our list simply because not only is it one of the first successful free to play browser-based war strategy games, but also still remains one of the best. One of the features that Travian founded the game on is that unlike most strategy games there is actually a victory condition and an endpoint to the game. Depending on the server then everyone 100 or 300 days the game enters the endgame mode as players race to build the final world wonder. Essentially what this means is that players can be working towards a goal that takes them almost a year of playing to reach before the clock is completely reset and the round restarts. With an active community that returns time and time again to play through the different rounds there’s something about this game that really just got it right.
Where Travian is loosely themed around three real-world historic factions (Romans, Gauls and Teutons) so too have many other war strategy and management games followed with games such as Call of Roma (previously known as Caesary) which focuses specifically on the Ancient Roman Empire as well as Cultures Online, which revolves around the rise and fall of Vikings as you command over your own tribal village. The thing we like about both of these games is their commitment towards the historical accuracy and capturing the theme of the civilization (though we’ll forgive them for giving Vikings the classic horned helmets which are, in fact, completely fictitious). In a similar vein so to do Grepolis sit, another resource and territory grabbing MMO with some historical accuracy, at least in the way of mythology as the game has an interesting system that revolves around the Greek pantheon and five of its most notable gods.
Supremacy 1914 takes a welcomed step away from the sword and shield rattling legions of ancient times and focuses more on modern day history set in World War I where players can fight as one of 30 historic nations in a battle for Europe. Not only do we love the setting, the historical accuracy but also that they too can a leaf out of Travian’s book by having rounds that last between 4 to 8 weeks.
But for every historical war strategy MMO there are a score of unique fantasy/medieval themed games to accompany them, the likes of Forge of Empires, Evony and Castlot. Each of these games are successful in their own right and have a number of quality features about them, but what we love about Castlot is that actual storyline. Yeh we said it, whilst you guys are building armies and wrecking cities we’re embracing the story-arc and NPCs and the progress and relationships you make with them along the way. It’s different, but memorable, where the characters in many other war strategies take a backseat and are forgotten.
However, if we’re talking fantasy and “characters” then we’ve got take a look at Asterix & Friends, in open beta at the time of writing this article, the characters in this game are in many ways the crux of what makes it appealing. Don’t get is wrong the game has gameplay, it looks great and is true to its comic roots, but the scripts and dialogues for the characters are what we take away the most from the game; and as we said in the title, in such a crowded market it is the little things that other games lack that can often make the biggest impact.