October 3rd, 2011 | By Chris Adkins
When you start the game, you choose a religion and a city in ancient Europe. From there you have to build up your city to make it both large and powerful. You do this by placing tiles on the board as you can afford them. With certain buildings, you get questions about what path that particular building should take. If you choose wrong, you could lose. If you over extend your resources, you could lose. If you play well and keep your people happy then you may just win.
The gameplay itself is not that bad for a “time killer”, however, it just doesn’t go far enough. The whole time I was waiting for some reason to rush through something, or to have to build one building over another. That just wasn’t there. There was nothing pushing you forward and keeping you wanting to go farther. The basic idea and principles are there, but something is missing.
The graphics are really well done; the contrast between fonts leave them easily readable, and the tiles are small enough that you can lay a large number of them out, but still big enough that you can see what each and every one of them are supposed to be. It keeps a consistent theme throughout, as well as the same artistic style. Even the box art is consistent. However, I would be amiss if I didn’t mention the short coming in the graphics as well. It has a great minimalist user interface that only shows you want you need to see and keeps everything divided very nicely into groups. Sadly, this minimalist approach was taken a little too far as the description of what a building does is missing. After playing through the game for the fifth time, I still have no idea what most of the buildings do. That is until I read the included documentation, where it is written out and explained.
Upon running out of resources or making the wrong decision when asked what to do with a building, you will lose. This will bring you to a large screen that says simply “Loser” in big letters with a skull to emphasise that you failed. Again, the graphics are very tidy and stick with the same artistic theme that is used throughout. Upon winning, you are greeted with the chance to choose a mystery box and gain a little knowledge about religion. Still the style of the graphics sticks.
All in all, I would say that this game is a great alpha test, or perhaps even a decent beta test, but it feels like too many of the fine details were not tested out before it was released. With a little more polishing, and some small additions here and there, this could be a really great game. I really hope that the developer keeps working on it and puts out further versions. The ideas are there, with all the basics, and with the right finishing touch, this game could really go places.