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Grepolis Review

Sara Lau
Sep 22,2011  01:09 by
7

Labeled as free-to-play, Grepolis is paradoxically not a strategy MMO that is made for free players. With its polished graphics, vast map and rich contents, the game just lets down and thus loses many fans that are driven away by its over-emphasis on premium.

The game is published by Innogames,  the maker of Kartuga and Forge of Empires.

After simple registration and login, you can enter the beautifully depicted world. Tutorial is not very helpful, for it provides the self-explanatory messages such as Farm for producing food and Senate for issuing construction orders while leaves out the practical operation like how to dispatch units to wage wars or apply for the membership in an established alliance. Luckily, you can just turn it off to skip.

In contrast to the tutorial, its interface is user-friendly, concise yet informative. Just press the active icons to check out each part and you can easily acquaint yourself with the entire gameplay. To be specific, three types of resources can be gained from time-consuming production in mines, or from quick levy or even loot in conquered farming villages; unlocking and upgrading various builds cost resources and time under the same rule: higher level, greater requirement; cultural activities can be engaged after unlocking various facilities such as City Festival, Olympic Games and Theater Plays; military units not only cover diversified forces on the land but also include varied battle ships in the sea; alliance can be created or joined to gain greater odds in wars. Besides, set in the Greek background, it suitably includes the play of mythological gods as an influence in the results of warfare.

Sounds like an interesting game with depth, right? Just as you impatiently thrust into it, you would soon find the excitement fade away, for the initial resource production brazenly lasts like forever. Only two builds are allowed at one time and the time to complete lasts long even at the low levels; resources produce such low yields that even not suffice to support the consecutive upgrading of the basic buildings not more than six types. Without resources, the whole game just halts in a deadlock. And several hours of grinding cannot get you to a Level 2 Barrack, let alone all those powerful units and vehicles waiting to be unlocked with greater amount of resources, more free population and longer time. Given the difficulty of building up an army, what can you expect from the strategic wars?

Of course, it is another story for premium members, who can pay to spare themselves from such sufferings. To buy an Administrator can immediately get five more slots in construction queue plus eleven overviews covering almost everything from builds and units to culture and gods; to buy a Merchant increases resource production by 30%; to buy a High Priestess can gain 50% more favor production plus 20% more strength for mystic units; and there are also Commander and Captain to buy to bring about cutting-edge in battles, on the land or in the sea.

So Grepolis makes it simply clear: pay to enjoy, or pass after a dip. Any difference from Evony?

7 Comments on Grepolis Review

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  1. Critical says:

    Unfortunately another failure in a long line of MMO failures exhibiting endemic design flaws typical of the genre.
    Strategy? Virtually non-existant: Build up a bigger force than your opponents and crush them. Those players who began early will have a numerical advantage over those who start late. The result. more than 90% of new players drop out after less than a week. Those that continue to play are punished by the more powerful who see them as easy pickings.
    The result? Power concentrated in a few and a world devoid of competition.

    Like its progenitors, the economics is shallow and meaningless, wood, stone, silver, all more or less interchangeable making their distinction redundant, the limiting factor being time, which is scarce for all of us.

    You must ask yourself whether its worth spending any time, let alone real cash, developing cities that will be taken away from you. This coupled with the trivial spreadsheet mechanics of combat and shallow economic system makes actually playing the game quite boring.

    Some effort has been made with the graphics but these are largely simple iconic images, hardly exploring the supposed connection with some fantastic ancient grekopolis. Every city looks the same and is curbed by the same arbitrary limits of development.

    In summary, I would have to classify grepolis as another failed attempt to jump on the MMO bandwagon, inheriting all the flaws of its predecessors and offering nothing new. The designers lack of even a basic understanding of game theory applied to playability makes for a dry, unsatisfying game experience.

    Strategy: 1/5
    Economics: 1/5
    Playability: 1/5
    Presentation: 2/5
    Server:2/5

  2. Constantin says:

    This game is garbage. If you start on the launch of the server and pay you have a chance to survive, otherwise its a waste of time. I spend 1 month playing with it and I gave up. Why? Because you have to spend more hours with it than the hours you work on real life, in order to survive. I couldn't spend more than half an hour a day to catch up with science, spies etc. One day an alliance started to battle my town for few days until they captured it and the game indicated that I lost it. I have many troubles and worries in my real life, I don't need another one in a fake world. For me it wasn't a game to enjoy by creating and organizing (like Ikariam which I really like it), it's a "game" to stress yourself. BIG FAIL!

  3. jamessavik says:

    Looks good but its a terrible disappointment. As soon as you come out from under new user protection, you get swarmed by established players that want to farm you. Every time you get hit, you lose your entire army + resources so you can never build a defense. Just hit yourself in the head with a hammer. You'll have more fun in the long run.

  4. Greg says:

    Although it is advertised as a free game, it is not. You receive the basic features to start. However, to actually play/run your empire, you must pay for the premium features. This can be quite expensive. In fact, if you pay, it will easily add up to much more than you would pay for better games like WoW per month. This is a major flaw and forces people to leave when they realize that they actually have to pay quite a bit to play. No one likes to be tricked.

    One must also devote a tremendous amount of time to this game. Based on real world time, you can be attacked at any time of the day or night. Thus, you could be hit at 2 am or 2 pm. You have a limited window to respond. If you do not, you simply lose. It actively takes advantage of sleep patterns. This is a problem. It is yet another reason people will not stay.

    It is also noteworthy to mention. If you started when the world opens, you will ALWAYS be ahead of people that do not start at the beginning. This is an game of accretion. Anyone starting early will have more opportunities and resources. Late joiners will likely not succeed. So, why bother?

    Likewise, this game has a real issue with its moderators. They are unpaid and also play this game. They can be quite petty. As such, they take action against those that have harmed them and seek out reasons to punish. Banishment is a viable option and rampant. You will receive NO warning. They do not care because they are the ones that banished you. Thus, the game is also a game of kissing tail in that you must stay on the good side of moderators or be punished for some transgression at a later time. Not to mention, their rules on shared connections. Even if you have different devices, they will claim entire areas cannot be shared and banish accordingly. At any given time, large numbers of players are under banishment proceedings. Oftentimes, the islands on this game are made up more of vacant spots than real players.

    These issues are real problems for this game. It is why very few people stay. They start, quickly realize this game is not very good, and they leave. If they stay, they will likely be banished at a later point.

    Overall. Cool concept. VERY poor delivery, application and administration. I give this game 2 of 10 stars. I do NOT recommend it. It is a very poor choice.

  5. hw........ says:

    They call this a strategy game, but it is not:
    -This games is about micro managing . E.g. you need to farm to get as much resources as possible. This means in fact just pushing buttons. If you want to be high on the ranking then farm every 5 minutes throughout the day (and distroy your private live). The longer you play the more cities you have and the more you are pushing buttons instead of thinking about strategy. Grepolis is about pushing buttons not about strategy.

    – In between pushing the buttons you will find yourself waiting until you actually can do some thing of building or attacking. Boring!

    -The moderators are recruited in game and are some young guys that like and mis-use the power they have been given. Decisions are often biased and communications of moderators are often rude, not a way you would like to be treated as a paying player.

    – Paying for a games is a normal thing to do. However when you play a 10 euro a month for this game, you still do not have any chance of playing in the top. A paying gamer spending around 10 euro a month (which make the game more expensive than a DVD game) should have a game where the good strategy makes the difference. Innogames is so fond of earning money that they give players an unlimited possibility to spend money (and players are doing that). Innogames is selling the top rankings in the games to the highest bidder. In fact it is not gaming contest but a shopping contest.

    – The games does not have a decent end game. A world is continued for years and only ends when so almost everyone has left because it became boring. At the at of the game the only thing you find yourself doing is attacking player that are no longer active. There should be a moment where a winner is declared after which the games stops.

    – The game can be played from pc and also mobile phone. On your phone you will be get messages that you are under attack. this will happen when you are on work, playing with your kids or do nice activities in real live. To make a chance in the game you should react on the message by arranging your defense. It will ruine your private live or cost your job.
    – It is nice to play games when you have some free time. It can be relaxing or exiting. The important thing is that you choose when you play. When you start with grepolis that is how it is. Grepolis is however a 24/7 game and after some time you will find out that you are playing at times that you did not want to play. You might found out that after some time the games is getting you to play while you did not want to.
    – It is nice to play with alliances. You have a group of players with a common goal. But again this is a 24/7 game. You find out when you do not play for several days (because you have not vacation days left) that the enemy takes some of your cities. when your “friends” see this the will prevent the enemy from taking more of your cities by attacking you and take all your cities. Innogames give you the opportunity to buy more vacation days. Yes you read this correctly, you will be paying to be able not to play.

    – Only players that started when the world was opend have a real chance. Starting a few months after the first players is pointless when you want a high ranking and play in the top. It is not about strategy, it is about starting from the beginning.

    Be smart do not start with Grepolis. At first it looks nice, but you will find out it is not.

    Even better, don't play any Innogames. In their game payment is a to big factor in the game.

  6. Amefeu says:

    I have to completely disagree with every single complaint listed above because a majority of what was written in the article was biased and many commentators here do not understand the subtlety of the late game because they have not experienced it.

    The first and the most important thing is that you need to join a strong alliance near you it is the key to everything if your being attacked your alliance sends support simple as that most alliances towards the start of the world are less concerned about you being above a certain number of points they are going to understand that you have just started and usually are willing to help you because they were in the same position one time or another.

    Yes one does have to devote immense amount of time to this game but that is the same for WoW or any other major mmo in the first month of the game are you anywhere near max level no unless you buy their instant upgrade to max personally I myself am playing grepolis with no gold to speak of and I am surviving and growing as are many other players who are much larger than I am and interestingly like WoW players who are willing to shell out cash can actually speed up their growth so quickly they overtake players who started earlier
    I know a long list of people who's real lives are unaffected by playing grepolis and people do attack in the time that you are asleep but if you are unwilling to wake up at odd hours to defend your city you can have an ally who is up when you are asleep or at work to support you with troops and it will notify them when your city is attacked when you are not around and they will send more help

    Points and time started do matter but only in that they are larger and typically stay larger but normally the game does not throw your city right next to these guys instead putting your city right next to other small players so if you don't put in the time to build up your city as fast as the other guys eventually they will be stronger and farm you for your resources no problem the game favors defense and if you build up your wall in the city and recruit more defensive troops the other players will stop farming you when they realize that they are losing more resources than gaining

    The subtleties of grepolis comes in play later typically when you break the 10 city count at that point you begin to do major operations in an overall war with other alliances with your own alliance there is a large amount of politics and strategy in fighting them we don't count individual battles as won or lost we usually count cities and at many times I haven't thought about or worried over is the really strategy doesn't emerge until you are fighting someone with 20 of your cities 20 of theirs and an alliance each your talking about timing attacks, supports, conquering attempts, keeping your cities building troops then there's the usually rarely seen poltics of grepolis who's fight who who has a pact with who and overall makes it extremely confusing when the enemy you are now fight was a few days ago any ally.

    I hope you take these other commentators comments with a grain of salt they most likely didn't conquer even their first city and are under informed on the subject If you want to ask me more join me on world Rhethymnhos us server my ingame name is amefeu pm me and I can show you how fun grepolis really is

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