Ikariam

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I don't play many strategy games nowadays, real-time, turn-based, or otherwise. After long days at the office I'm typically unwilling to commit myself to any activity that demands more than near-comatose, reflexive twitching. I consider it one of my greatest failings as a gamer.

I'm currently playing Ikariam, a browser-based empire building game that looks and plays a bit like Civilization lite, to assuage my guilt. Ikariam puts you in control of a single town on a tiny island and tasks you with familiar resource gathering, construction, and research activities that eventually enable you to trade, pillage, colonize, and the like with other island-dwellers that inhabit the same world. Ikariam runs round-the-clock in real-time, slowly drip-feeding you resources and new options. Managing your miniature empire doesn't take more than 5 or 10 minutes every few hours, so it's an ideal short-term, web-based cure for office ennui.

Unsurprisingly, the free-to-play Ikariam offers "plus" options that give paying players clear advantages in terms of trading and resource gathering. I haven't felt the need to plunk down cash money to accelerate the pace of my own civilization, and whether I'll start complaining about the player imbalances such systems create remains to be seen. I'm very early in the game, so I've yet to engage in serious trading or send bands of henchmen to pillage my neighbors' settlements. Regardless, I'm still hooked by Ikariam's charming presentation and simple, stripped-down mechanics. My only complaint so far is that I can't automate all of my workers' activities from a single screen. Given the game's simplicity, though, it's a minor gripe.

Click "Read More" to check out some screenshots. If you feel like jumping in, keep in mind that there are two English versions: one via the UK at ikariam.org, and the US version, at ikariam.com. They're both running the exact same build, although the UK version has more open servers.
My town, Moscalia, is on the Iota World server at ikarium.org, on the isle of Chehios (coordinates 88:57).

Comments

Neat, I'm the proud ruler of Stengaria, on Noekiios [95:70] on Iota for the UK one. Now we need to start a Goodjer army and conquer the world.

I'm the ruler of Polis[89:70] in the IOTA server.

The depraved monger o'er Novinha [32:16] on Iota.

That looks right up my alley. Thanks.

So, LaMosca's city is Moscalia, Stengah's is Stengaria, and Novin's is Novinha. If I'm wandering around and I come across a city called Mansonia, I'm out of there.

Must. . . not. . . succumb to Travian-like. . . beautiful game. . .

Travian ended in tears for me--I'm sure this will do the same. . .

Hey, this looks neat.

I have a city named Teabag Junction, on Nabios (19:71) on the Iota server.

There is a Colossus on my island and my special resource is Crystal Glass.

The buildings build pretty quickly. I'm having to log in more than I'm comfortable with. I hope that will peter out once I got the initial buildings built.

This is pretty slick-looking. Not sure I'll be able to keep up on it though.

Anyways, I'm Ranger Rick on Drikeios[17:66] on the Iota server.

Kolbo on Iota Server>> Nikios (91:64) >> Kolbonus

Alien13z wrote:

I have a city named Teabag Junction, on Nabios (19:71) on the Iota server.

Ironically, Teabag Junction sounds like a quiet, pleasantly domestic place to live.

Travian has made me sad lately. Farming culture is a bit too bloodthirsty for me. I wonder if this will be less draining.

I have Huntsvegas on Iota.

Travian burned me out as well. Two of my buddies still play quite heavily, but anything that ended up being more work than play. I suppose I'll try this out later today and add to the Goodjer nation.

Ooooooo!

I just created one.

My game name is Cube, my town is at 79:28.

Ruler pyromanfo of Wodyios[79:28] reporting in!

Kittsburgh on Wodyios[79:28]. This island ain't big enough for the 3 of us.....

OK, I'm a little worried that it just told me that I "don't have enough wood!"

Now I am boogle of boogleburg on iota island Dounios[67:97].
%edit%
And now I accidentally killed it. Oh well.

It is one of the best browser games out there and probably the best looking. I was playing it from not long after its release on the Delta server. Haven't played for about a week though as it was getting to the "getting a bit too the repetitive" level. But along with http://www.knightsdivine.com and http://www.renaissancekingdoms.com this is one of my top three and I've played dozens of them.

I am Elliottx, the ruler of Xandria[22:18] on Iota.

Scaphism, proud ruler of Heartbreak City on Slijios. No, the "iji" isn't difficult to read at all, really.

*Edit*
Location [48:9]
Anyone nearby I can trade with? I guess I'm going to beeline for Wine.
I've built one of everything I can, I'm sure that's horribly inefficient but there's not much in the way of explanation. I'm going to have to ferry my citizens between the sawmills and gold mines.

I am Backsheep (without the "l") and am the consul of Goodjer Gardens in 22:18 also... Elliottx and I are neighbors! Excellent --

Yeah I just saw that BlackSheep. The island shall feel the fury of our goodjer goodness.

Edit: Wait, do the people on the island work together against other islands or do they fight amongst themselves?

WesWilson and I are on the same island as well [Nikios (91:64)] and we were discussing GWJ Alliances already. According to the help, you have to research Foreign Culture (Seafaring tree) to get an embassy that will give you diplomat points that will allow you to form an alliance.

Elliottx wrote:

Edit: Wait, do the people on the island work together against other islands or do they fight amongst themselves?

I was wondering that, too. You at least work together to improve your resource gathering by improving the lumber mill to allow more workers. Outside of that i'm not sure.

My proud settlers have founded Topsy-Turvy, on the island of Nomoios [8:57]. Doesn't look like I am particularly close to anyone else.

It looks like the great majority of options require research before they are avaliable.

Elliottx wrote:

Yeah I just saw that BlackSheep. The island shall feel the fury of our goodjer goodness.

Edit: Wait, do the people on the island work together against other islands or do they fight amongst themselves?

Now I suppose I'd better buckle down on the research now that I've got my basics set up. I was researching warehouses, a la Travian (crannies) so that if I get attacked early, I'll be able to keep a few of my meager resources.

I'm not sure if there is a 'grace' period or not.

Tannhauser wrote:

My proud settlers have founded Topsy-Turvy, on the island of Nomoios [8:57]. Doesn't look like I am particularly close to anyone else.

Check the Eastern coastline! The humble settlement of Mudis has been founded. Let's overthrow the rest of the chumps on our island!

Adam "The Fly" LaMosca wrote:

I don't play many strategy games nowadays, real-time, turn-based, or otherwise. After long days at the office I'm typically unwilling to commit myself to any activity that demands more than near-comatose, reflexive twitching. I consider it one of my greatest failings as a gamer.

You are not alone on that point Adam, I feel that way frequently.

armedbushido Culuios[60:96] > Polis