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Game of War

Game of War: Fire Age is a mobile MMO strategy game where players are the king of a barren city, tasked by Athena to build a great empire. Players can join alliances to protect themselves from attack by other players, as well as band together to take over enemy cities. The game features a unique social system in which chat is automatically translated into the player’s chosen language, making it possible to communicate with others from around the world.

  Publisher: Machine Zone
Playerbase: High
Type: Strategy
Release Date: July 25, 2013
Pros: +Polished gameplay and interface. +Good equipment crafting system. +Unique social system
Cons: -Pay-to-win elements.

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Overview

Game of War Overview

Game of War is a 2D Strategy MMO (MMORTS) available on iOS and Android platforms. Build your own empire in Ancient Greece!  Players can upgrade structures, train warriors, and join Alliances to get help from others or even participate in group warfare.  With plenty of RPG elements in this strategy game, you can level up, equip armor, and customize your Hero. Chat with users from all over the world with the game’s built-in translator and international servers.

Game of War Key Features:

  • 2D Strategy MMO – mobile empire-building strategy game with a focus on PvP.
  • Alliance System – band together with other players to become the most powerful Alliance in the world.
  • Hero Customization – level up, equip armor, and customize your Hero.
  • Robust Equipment Crafting System – craft and improve your weapons to have the strongest empire.
  • Unique Social System – built-in translator allowing international players to communicate.

Game of War Screenshots

Game of War Featured Video

Full Review

Game of War Review

By Margo Sikes

Game of War: Fire Age is a free-to-play, 2D Strategy MMO (MMORTS) developed and published by Machine Zone - a California-based developer.  The game was officially launched on July 25th, 2013 on iOS, and was ported to Android in early 2015. It is notable for its high-profile advertising campaign featuring model and celebrity Kate Upton as the face of the game’s tutorial character, which has aired frequently on television alongside Clash of Clans commercials.  Kate Upton has since been replaced by Mariah Carey, but Upton has been the face of the game for some time. Those familiar with other empire-building games (such as Empire: Four Kingdoms and Wartune), should find Game of War easy to pick up and learn.

Beginnings of Your Empire

Game of War begins with the Goddess Athena (played by Upton) who instructs the player on the many city-centric aspects of the game: how to create new structures, how to upgrade structures, and how to make use of them.  You are also given the choice of a Hero. The game's tutorial uses large visual cues to move the player through the process, blacking out all non-relevant information.  It's a relatively short tutorial, ending after just a few building modifications.  Athena suggests that players follow the recommended quests, notes the 24-hour shield protecting the player’s castle from outside attacks, and stresses the importance of joining an Alliance to be able to defend later.

Reinforcing Your Army

Recommended quests progress in a similar fashion to the tutorial: build a barracks, upgrade a mine, build a total of four farms, upgrade a watchtower, etc.  Each of these comes with resource rewards and experience for the player’s Hero.  If players decide not to follow the recommended quests, there are a large amount of secondary quests found underneath the recommended quest tab that correspond to nearly any action available in the game.  As is common in freemium strategy games, taking any action in the game sets off a time limit that can be reduced by using items, which are either bought from the premium shop or received as a reward.  A special feature of the game that helps with timers is the Alliance Help mechanic, which becomes available once players join an Alliance.  They can click on their timer and ask their Alliance for help, which allows other members to send aid and reduce the duration on the player’s timer.

Heroes are another aspect of a player’s empire and strength; they gain experience individually and level-up to add to the power of a player’s army.  They also allow players to perform specific tasks, such as fight monsters found out in the fields, boost troop stats, or equip armor forged using the game’s crafting system.  Fully-utilizing the crafting system in conjunction with a hero maximizes potential stat benefits.  The downside to heroes is this: as unique characters in the player’s army, they can be captured and thrown into enemy prisons, and held for an amount of time based on hero level.  During this time, opponents can decide whether or not to execute them.  If you happen to capture an enemy hero, remember that executing heroes offers benefits such as hindering the growth of your opponents, the completion of quest objectives related to execution, and possibly a limited boost to one of the your buildings.

Research and Skill Trees

One of the game’s most customizable, RPG-inspired features is its multiple skill trees related to the Academy building and the Hero.  Selecting the Academy opens a large menu full of different aspects of the game to explore, such as Economics, Combat, Wall Traps, Heroes, and Crafting. Some of these only unlock at higher Stronghold and Academy levels. Players can pick and choose this research to customize their strengths in the game, in a way similar to the Hero’s skill trees.  While the Hero focuses more on combat and monster-slaying, its skill tree is relatively the similar to the research tree. However, instead of requiring timers to acquire new abilities, Heroes gain talent points with every level.  This allows players to strengthen their hero in the areas they wish instantly.

Alliances, Your New Family

One of the Game of War’s best defenses against enemy attacks is to join an Alliance. Alliances serve a similar function to "guilds" in other MMO games. Thanks to the in-game translator, Alliances can communicate with each other seamlessly.  Communication is the key to success in Game of War, as the game’s social aspects drip down to many of its combat mechanics. For example, the ruling Alliance may declare all-out war and stipulate that attacks may only be made on a certain day of the week.  Offenders who intentionally or unintentionally go against this ruling may be invaded relentlessly by the Alliance and their allies as punishment for disobeying.

Alliances are also a great source of help, and reward to players who continue to participate and help others with their empires.  The Alliance menu consists of multiple sections, a few of which are of particular interest.  The Alliance Store is a leader-operated store, which means that leaders stock the store as its members flag items in the catalog.  Its items, varying from basic boosts to player renames, are purchased with Loyalty: a currency acquired from doing Alliance Quests.  Alliances also offer many other benefits, such as sending reinforcements in to protect against attacks, helping reduce the length left on building and research timers, and a private chat system that allows new players to ask questions and get answers.

World PvP

A player’s first introduction to the game’s PvP aspects will likely be the day that their peace shield runs out, and they are attacked by nearby empires.  The game’s tutorials only extend to building and upgrading, meaning that beginners are left high and dry the moment their shields run off, further proving the importance of joining an Alliance.  Alliance players can send help and give tips to new players, as the game leaves many mechanics unexplained. One such mechanic is Power, a number that all players can see that determines how strong the player’s empire is and can be a deciding factor in an opponent’s decision to attack or relent.  Players can boost their Power by training troops and expanding their armies, making sure they produce enough resources, and ensuring they have enough hospitals to heal their armies as they defend the city.  As is common in this genre, troops can be sent out into the world on a timer to scout, attack, and acquire resources from enemies to further support their own growth efforts.

Cash Shop

The game’s cash shop is tied into its Inventory, where players can purchase VIP subscriptions that boost build speeds and reward gain, offer instant experience for Heroes, further peace shields, and provide materials for crafting.  The game rewards Gold (the game’s premium currency) while questing, but it does not reward a significant enough amount to balance out the inevitably extreme spending of other players.  While it is possible to get ahead in this game without spending a dime, it requires a very determined and patient player to rise to the ranks of players who don’t mind spending money.  It is also worth noting that this game is notorious for its overly flashy and repetitive attempts to get players to spend money. You'll find an advertisement for cash shop promotions and bonuses on nearly every game screen.

Final Verdict - Good

Game of War has a poor reputation for its pay-to-win elements and the fact that its user-interface constantly attempts to find new ways to get you to pay does not help it. The absurd Kate Upton commercials are only icing on the cake. The game itself is not well explained for beginners and players new to the genre, instructing you to endlessly build and upgrade structures without explaining the meaning of your actions or telling you what the game's goal even is.  With its lack of in-depth tutorials and online resources explaining its features, for new players the game is more of a clicking-and-waiting game than a strategy game.

Despite all of this, Game of War is one of the highest grossing games on the App Store (just under Clash of Clans) for a reason, as it boasts a massive global player base. It is packed with many features, from its significant and unique social system, to its robust skill trees and crafting systems.  It can offer strategic play for patient, determined players willing to spend the time (or money) to dig into and understand its breadth of content, making it a solid game for players who can get over its learning curve.  That said, it has a specific audience and its pay-to-win elements are a deterrent to many.

Screenshots

Game of War Screenshots

Videos

Game of War Videos

Links

Game of War Links

Game of War Official Site
Game of War Wikipedia
Game of War Wikia [Database/Guides]

System Requirements

Game of War System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Android 2.3.3, iOS 7.0 or later
Hard Disk Space: 88.2 MB

Music

Game of War Music & Soundtrack

Additional Info

Game of War Additional Information

Developer: Machine Zone
iOS Release Date: July 25, 2013
Android Release Date: April 20, 2015

Development History / Background:

Game of War was developed by Palo Alto, California-based game studio Machine Zone for both iOS and Android mobile devices. The game launched in early 2013 but gained huge attention after a $40 million marketing blitz in 2014 which featured Kate Upton as Athena (a character in the game). The game was heavily advertised both online and on television. As of April 2015, the game began raking in over $1 million a day in revenues, making it one of the most profitable free-to-play mobile games on the market.

  • Eh. I feel like if you've played one of these mobile strategy games, you've kinda played em all. They all play like their browser-based counterparts. Anyone else remember Evony? Game of War is basically just like it. As are other mobile "strategy" games.