Review Forge of Empires
Build an empire and fight in tactical battles
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 06 Jun 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Good combat system, ability to customize towns
Forgettable art design, overly long tutorial
After years of domination in the market, you would think city builders would have slowly fizzled out, yet we still see iterations pop up that manage to reach millions of downloads while rehashing the same gameplay we’ve seen over and over again. Forge of Empires for Android has taken a new approach to the combat and offered a more strategic turn-based combat system in hopes to carve a name for itself.
So to address the actual city building aspect itself, it’s really nothing you haven’t seen a million times over. You get a small chunk of land and you’re walked through an incredibly slow tutorial that literally never ends. Even after the game lets go of your hand it continues to “guide” you by constantly throwing you notifications for quests that you need to complete. This is a dreadful mechanic that I’ve grown increasingly tired of in games like this because there is never any way to simply bypass it and just play the game on your terms.
The freshest part of the game is its combat mechanic. When you are purchasing troops you only get a few slots for specific unit types which means you won’t be building hundreds of spearmen or whatever the equivalent is. Instead you’ll use one slot that simply represents the troops on the battlefield. The battlefield itself is constructed in a honeycomb grid and you can move your troops through terrain towards combat. In order to get the advantage on your enemies you’ll want to attack from forest or mountain tiles because they give you defensive perks.
You’ll eventually go on to expand your empire by attacking different lands and this is the only way to grow a bigger empire. Fortunately build times were much more manageable than other games I’ve played and I never felt like the game was ever trying to throw their in-app purchases at me, which I appreciated.
Forge of Empires might be worth it if you’re a huge city builder fan but get want a more hands-on experience rather than simply watching numbers on stat sheets change. But the city builder aspect of the game itself is about as generic as it gets.