-Economic aspect is great fun
-Not many similar games out there
-AI is hyper aggressive
-AI possibly cheats
-Game has a time limit and little game customization
I hate this game.
Not because its horrible, but because its one of those games that are great in so many ways but then somehow are able to ruin the fun with just 1 or 2 stupid design decisions.
Imperialism is a turn based strategy game where each game has 7 empires compete with each other on a randomized global map. They compete for resources, land, and influence over "minors" (small unplayable nations). The player must collect resources and industrialize his nation by using said resources to build factories.
The economy in the game is handled in a manner that is really good and fun and there is a considerable amount of depth. One thing I like a lot for example is the fact that resources actually have to be connected to the capital with railroads and supply depots and in order to transport more resources the player has to invest valuable resources to expand his transport capacity. Its a fun and a good system and easily the best part of the game.
In order to win the game, there player must be elected ruler of the world by the other nations on the map. Elections are held every now and then, with the big imperialist powers voting the most powerful nations while the minors vote nations that were nice to them. If no victor is obtained by 1914 (the game starts somewhere around 1814) then the nation with the most votes just automatically wins.
What really drags this game down however and spoils most of the fun, is the hyper aggressive and unfair AI.
Make no mistake, if you do ANYTHING wrong you will instantly die. The AI is so blood thirsty that it will instantly attack you the moment it feels you are weaker then it.
Just to give an example, in my last game I was playing a nice game, and then all of the sudden I was dow'd (declared war on) by every nation on the map on the same turn. A couple of turns later, a MASSIVE army landed on my shore and I was pretty much instantly defeated.
Now, I understand that it makes sense for the AI to detect weakness and try to exploit it, but it doesn't make any sense to me that literally the whole world can just attack you out of the blue at once simply because you weren't 100% as powerful as they. This isn't helped by the fact that I suspect this may be one of those games where there is some kind of an AI bias against the human player, since during most of my games the AI appears to attack me more often then the other AI nations. All of this seems to happen regardless of difficulty as well.
Another thing that also puzzles me is how the AI is able to become so much stronger then me no matter how I run my country. Even as I spend all of my effort to build my economy even at the expense of negleting my army, my AI advisor will keep warning me that the AI has twice my industry and army. Secret AI cheats/bonuses?
Another less serious though still a bad problem are the tactical battles. Basically, its a simple turn based system where you and the enemy take your turns to move your units and attack the enemy. There is one big problem however. During one side's turn, the units of the side that isn't performing it's turn gets a free "reaction shot" if enemy units move into range. In addition, when a unit is shot by a reaction shot, it instantly stops moving and has to be moved again which in return allows the defending units to take more reaction shots.
This means that the game is massively biased towards the defending side, since the attacker needs to get into range before attacking and can easily be completely blown into pieces before he gets to do so. You can just auto-resolve the batles to get past this problem, though.
Its also worth mentioning that there is little game customization. You can generate a random map to play on, but you can't control what kind of map is created or how many factions there are on it. You only get one map type and there will always be 7 factions plus minors on it.
In the end, Imperialism makes me sad. It makes me sad because there is a great game here underneath the problems with it. I would LOVE it if it were not for the super aggresive (and cheating?) AI and the broken tactical battles.
I will give it a 6 simply for the fun economic aspect, but I can't score it higher because of the problems that it suffers from.
-Open ended sandbox gameplay
-Vast amounts of items and weapons to obtain
-Can suck a lot of your time away
-Good value for money
-1.2 patch did not make many meaningful changes to the gameplay
-There is not much if anything to do once you unlock hard mode
-Early game can be a major grind
I have owned Terraria for a long time now, but never actually bothered to write a review for it.
Now however with the massive 1.2 patch which added a great deal of more stuff into the game out, I took enough interest in the game to play it some more and decided to write a review for it which takes the 1.2 patch into account.
Terraria could be described as a mix of Minecraft, 2D action platfomers, and RPG's. You explore a large world filled with monsters and mine and dig your way through the world's landscape, looking for resources and metals which you use to craft items and weapons.
While the game is a sandbox game like Minecraft, it is different in that there are in fact goals to strife towards which gives it a sense of direction that minecraft doesn't have. This gives the game a big advantage over minecraft, because it means that I actually find myself going back to this game while I have ignored Minecraft for ages and don't have any desire to play more of it.
In addition, Terraria is also better in terms of graphics. While 2D, the well drawn sprites look much better then the ugly 3D box graphics in Minecraft.
Your "goal" in this sandbox game is basically to make your character powerful enough to defeat various bosses which can be either found or summoned in the game world. The final boss is the "wall of flesh", which once defeated unlocks "hard mode", which makes the game world more hostile and tougher. Once you have entered hard mode the game turns into a true sandbox game with no goals, with the player being free to do as he pleases.
While this game can easily suck away dozens of your hours, it still suffers from some of the same problems as minecraft does, though not as badly.
The biggest problem is that after you unlock hard mode there just isn't anything to do. If you want you can keep building things or try to explore more parts of the world while looking for more resources, but there is no point.
What the game desperately needs is more endgame content, something for the player to actually do after he has unlocked hard mode. Before entering hard mode, trying to obtain more weapons and abilities to make your character powerful enough to defeat the bosses is the main motivation, but after hard mode is unlocked you are basically superman before too long and have no obvious reason to keep playing.
Another problem is that the early game before you have any powerful tools can be a real grind. Without any advanced mining tools it can take FOREVER to dig through terrain so a lot of time is simply spent slowly digging tunnels. Some of the best tools such as the power drills aren't even unlocked until after you have unlocked hard mode, but then what is the point of having them at that point?
This problem can be solved by starting a new game with a old character, which allows you to start working in a new world with all of the items you already obtained in your last game, but that just completely defeats the whole point of your quest to become powerful enough to defeat the world you are in in the first place.
The game also really needs to give the player the ability to just skip nights by sleeping in the beds like you can do in Minecraft. Nights can go on for over 10 min, and if you have nothing to do in that time (like when you are exploring the terrain and dig yourself a hole to stay in while the night lasts) you will be VERY bored.
I am also rather unhappy with how little the 1.2 patch actually changed in terms of gameplay. There are lots of new items and enemies sure, but almost no new actual gameplay elements. The only really meaningful gameplay change I have noticed is the new map feature.
Overall, Terraria is a great game, but still needs further improvement.