Earth: Empires is the game I'd like to share with you all. It was its predecessor Earth2025 which originally brought the world of online gaming to our CRT screens (at least for me and Norn Girl) and we enjoyed just about every minute of it.
Earth 2025 had faded from our lives after the game stagnated due to its ownership maybe not giving it the treatment it deserved. Thankfully though, when the doors finally closed on that Earth2025, the community and 15 years of History wasn't lost. For up stepped some dedicated members of that community who had the required skills and resources to do something about it. They created a game familiar to that of the old but with changes we had all been wanting and waiting for for so long. Earth: Empires was born. This was all only last year and the new game is still in its infancy but the main thing missing now is new players to grow the party to be the best 5 minute distraction of the day again like it was back in its hay day.
So what is it?
First and foremost its a web browser game, it can be played anywhere you have web access.
The concept of the game is to build a country and try to grow it as big as possible in the time period (familiarly known as a set) that each game is given (usually 2 months for the main clan based game) measured in Networth. Alternatively you can build a country ready to go to war and to take on others, usually in co-olitions of clans because reducing a country to rubble by yourself is not an easy task.
Earth: Empires is comprised of many screens where turns can be used to perform various actions such as:
- Exploring for land
- Building various types of structures on that land
- Researching various technology
- Cashing turns to make more money
- Adjusting the government (type, tax and production levels)
- Buying and selling military, comodities and technology privately or on the public market.
- Allying, spying and attacking other countries in various ways - some to benefit your own country, some just to be destructive.
Close to a decade ago, to me, the clan structure within this game was somewhat comparable to what social networking is now, though obviously more restricted. In that respect, the various clan sites still hold their own as a great place to meet people you'd maybe not get to know through the likes of Facebook. For, if you're like me, you'd not readily start chatting to people from other nations from all around the real world because you tend to mix socially with people you know in real life. The game is something we all have in common that spanned international boundaries and breaks those barriers of social networking. Inter clan relations have developed over time to the point where there is some political infrastructure in place and conventions that have developed within the game. Thankfully unlike a lot of other games of its nature, due to the fact the game is text based, in this the generation of instant gratification gamers, the game isn't over run with 12 year olds. From my experience, its generally higher education students and people with full time jobs who play, though obviously there are people from all walks and stages of life.
Its also a game that doesn't take up much time or eat into real life too much because of the way the turns are given out and able to be played at your own convenience.The game is real time but the turns used to perform actions are given out every so many minutes and are stored up to a certain amount, usually around 2-3 days worth. That means you can go a day or two without logging in if you so desire. Not only that but you can put your country in a protected vacation mode if you're going to be unable to play for longer.
What can eat into your time is the social aspect, but like blogging or social networking, connecting with real people and making friends isn't exactly a waste of time.
It might not be for everyone, those who like instant gratification in games might not enjoy it but for fans of Strategy games its one of the hidden jems on the web... hopefully not hidden for too much longer though as there is talk it might make it to Facebook at some stage in the future.
If you'd like to read more, take a peek at the Earth: Empires Wiki and if you would like to give the Earth Empires a try head over to http://www.earthempires.com
On a side note, the Clan we were always a part of is back in action, its name, The Fist of Odin. If you would like to come join us and enhance the experience you'd be more than welcome and we'll teach you all we know about the game.
Here is The Fist of Odin site, hosted by Boxcar (created by another section of the Earth community) which is mainly a forum that is tied into the game with tools to aid us. If the ride is anything like our experience with the game so far, it'll be worth your time :)