- Release Date: 2011/10
- Publisher: CrowdStar
- Developer: CrowdStar
Wasteland Empires is a Facebook game combining empire building and tower defense RPG. The game lets you construct buildings like farms, well, and houses in order to provide resources necessary to upgrade base, research new technologies and train troops.
I knew little about Crowdstar, but I did hear about the games of It Girl and Top Girl behind it. Right now the company launched to Facebook its first social game: Wasteland Empires. Not another fashion-themed RPG mainly for female players again, the new title provides real-time strategy simulation for broader audience.
Personally, I feel repulsive to the strategy game if it opens with the most common graphics: a few resembling constructions solemnly stand in the square land surrounded by greenery and pre-set patches for newly-added structures. Luckily, Wasteland Empires presents something different. It brings us into a post-apocalyptic world, most of which is covered by debris, rocks, shrubs and airplanes wreckage, etc. True to its very title, to clear away the rubble and build an empire on the once wasteland is where the game starts.
The back story or setting of a strategy game usually decides the architecture design. Just like the City Hall in the center of those military-themed RTS MMOs, a well in this particular game is in the very heart of the colony construction. Known as the spring of life, it decides the population of colonists, who are not only laborers to build constructions but also resources for military units. There is not much difficulty in the building gameplay. In fact, I just followed the quest journal and effortlessly set up an ever-expanding colony.
The construction on the whole is passable to me. It does take some time to clear away the rubble, especially those with great size and at far distance from the well. But the in-game animation, such as the avatars waving shovels to dig and kick up dusts around buildings worked on, serves as a saving grace, making the waiting time sufferable. And there is no limit on the building queue, only if you have enough idle colonists (population) available.
Passable as it is, the building mechanics in Wasteland Empires still has a large space to better itself. To build constructions, you need to first clear away rubbles to gain vacant land: click the targeted rubble and your idle colonists (required in certain number) will work on it. No problem about that. But when they finish, they appear to stand frozen with an axe-like icon above their head; and only after you click it can they be ‘freed’ and dispatched into other missions as idle laborers. A little bothering, it is not the worst part yet. What really irritates me is that sometimes, quite often actually, I click the icon but there is no reaction, leaving me no choice but to restart the game. Besides, the game provides a limited number of building types, which seems to me no more than those provided in Ravenskye City and Six Gun Galaxy, games not specific in city-building genre, not to mention top strategy games on Facebook like Empires and Allies.
As usual, combat is a staple in RTS games. Defensive buildings such as Stone Tower and the Wall will protect your colony from invasions; meanwhile, initial attacks cannot be missed out. Click the map icon and you can see if there are any Raiders to attack: Raiders respawn every 3 days or so, so sometimes you may find there is nobody to attack.
The combat in Wasteland Empires reminds me of another game Edgeworld, but shows more depth comparatively. Select units available out of the melee, ranged and demolition types and send them to battle against enemies, NPCs or real players. The entire battle revolves taking down as many and important buildings as possible to win resources and reputation before the pre-set time expires. Also, the combat scene is animated to certain extent: I can see my dispatched units moving around, firing whatever weapons, and unavoidably falling down if killed.
After playing it for an hour or so, I am neither particularly hooked to it nor bored. In the statement attached on the top of the loading interface, developers request for FIVE star reviews for the game. Honestly, I’d like to give it a Three.
Players should their colony around the Well, which is the life source of the colony. Not only do players build their colony, they must also do their best to attract as more people as possible to defend it. As the well increases Water Provisions and increase max population.
The dev team also introduced the term of “Idle Colonist”, which has been seen through most Chinese browser games like Evony, Call of Roma and Edgeworld. Idle colonists can help protect and expand colony, construct and upgrade buildings. And they can be even trained into army units to attack other colonies in the wasteland.
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