- Release Date: August 22, 2012
- Publisher: Kabam
- Developer: Kabam
- Genre: Strategy
Arcane Empires is an iOS strategy title developed by Kabam behind browser games Thirst of Night, and Godfather Five Families. The game takes on most of the elements from Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North, far from being better than the original.
Arcane Empires fails to offer breezy additions and novelty for the already overcrowded strategy game market. It turns out to be another title where players construct and upgrades dozens of buildings, research technologies, and train troops as preparations for attending battles and fights over domination of islands scattered over the map.
You are in charge of a small island, or rather, a small city, a city with dozens of empty places where you can build training grounds, homesteads, embassy, foundry, Aerodrome, steamworks, relief station, arcane spire and watch tower, etc. Even those existing structures, the citadel and the ramparts for example, need constant upgrades. And all the constructions and upgrades cost resources, including food, wood, crystals, iron, and silver. That is why you must have as many farms, sawmills and crystal mines as possible and build enough homesteads. Besides managing the buildings, you are also to research and upgrade technologies in the laboratory that help increase the production outputs or accelerate the marching speed of your troops.
Arcane Empires incorporates interconnections in those processes. There are times when resources are not the only things you need to start a construction, research, or upgrade. You have to upgrade the citadel, build a foundry, or research smelting to level 2 first. Those interconnections appropriately balance the development of different industries of the city but also keep players making lots of preparations before being able to fulfill the quests. And since most of the upgrades take more than 5 minutes.
Of course everything you do in this game is to attain victories in battles and obtain the ultimate control of the world. But the combat is a carefully calculated act instead of an exciting adventure. The number and competence of your troops determine whether you will win. In fact, you don’t even get to watch the battles yourself, not even if you want to – all you do is choose the commander, dispatch units and then wait for the battle reports, though the time length varies depending on the distances between your island and the destinations. That simplification of combat itself necessitates the complication of battle preparations, such as the trainings of assorted units. And again, they are time-consuming.
The problem is that there is nothing new in Arcane Empires’ gameplay. The endless upgrades and invisible battles merely form a variant of the early text-based strategy games that’s been seen in many titles, Throne on Fire HD, for example. And Arcane Empire doesn’t stand out at all.
To make it worse, the game is provided in such lousy graphics that the limited zooming out function wouldn’t help; instead it just makes the pictures even more blurry. That leads to major disappointment, especially when the game is offered on iOS. And disappointment is all Arcane Empires has to offer.
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