Review: New 1000 AD – An Online Text-Based Strategy Game

Review: New 1000 AD – An Online Text-Based Strategy Game
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Platforms:

Web Browsers

Game Name:

New 1000 AD

Developer(s):

Ader Software

Genre(s):

Text-based Strategy

Developer Summary:

Welcome to New 1000 AD. Relive history in this free online multiplayer turn based strategy war game, it is also a text based game. Lead some of histories most famous civilizations of medieval times into war, all from the safety of your web browser.

The object of the game is to lead a medieval civilization from a small empire to the top of the leaderboard.You can win two ways by attacking your opponents into submission or exploring past them in this text based game.

What We Think:

A 100% web-based game with no standalone application, no pictures and simply just text on a site is a rare find these days. Most web-based games moved over to Facebook with “improvements” in graphics and sound. There are, however, still some ASCII types like Hyperiums around, which would be far too complex for a simple port to Facebook.

New 1000 AD is a rather plain text title in which each game starts off in the year (wait for it) 1000 AD. I recently played through the two types of games on offer – Standard and “Blitz,” in which the only apparent difference is that in Blitz, the turns come quicker, you can store more turns and the game ends sooner.

In a session of New 1000 AD, you have to manage variety of factors: population, resources, army, research and of course the social aspect of it, alliances. I never got into any alliance because they were all locked, but wanted to note that they are there. I have no clue how they might work. Population management allows you to gain builders to create buildings in are rather plain terms. Why not call them peons to summon pylons or such.

But I digress.

Population has a max limit for how many houses you can build. Houses require a few resources: two basic land plots, some wood and some gold. The wood and gold are simple to gather; you build woodcutters and gold mines to gain gold. The land plots are a bit more difficult in that you must build town centers that give you explorers which you can then send out to scout for other types of land – mountain, plains and forest. Things like mines require mountains, hunters require forests, and houses plains. Simple enough right?

As I progressed through the game I kept thinking “You are not playing a game, this is a screen with text, how is this fun?” I realized that all I had been doing so far is building up my town. I hadn’t built an army or used much research. Diving into research, I expected to find out how to make gunpowder or create bombs or in some way extrapolate a more interesting technology tree.

What research there actually is, turns out to be just a boost system. For example, you can research explorers that leads to the message “Your explorers find 20% more land” – small things like that to allow you to have an edge. The percentage of finding more land is impacted by how many “mage towers” you build. At this point I had only twenty, which is what you begin with. This alleviate my recurring thought “This isn’t really a game”.

So time to build an army of horsemen and take some randomly selected person down. Or so I thought. In the beginning you get a protected period: in some games they will let you throw unit upon unit at a non-damageable player. This game, thankfully, doesn’t let you do that. Instead you just can’t send an army to that player. I randomly selected one player after another to find that my 196 horsemen would have to wait until I could actually find a player that could be attacked. This game actually has a “recent battles” page, and, as you can’t be in protection and simultaneously attack someone, this is actually a great way to randomly select a person to attack.

So I gear up my horsemen with all my wine and send them off to die in a drunken fight, as any good leader would. Turns out I had selected a rather higher ranked player and got slaughtered. I am not sure if all fights only take one turn, or if I was simply outnumbered, but I never got the satisfaction of a battle. I never saw bloodshed or felt that risk/reward experience. It then took my army of 0 horsemen four months to travel home.

All in all there are plenty of Web-based games in which a decently-paced game can be had. This one too often felt like data pulled from a spreadsheet. I was user number 64 with 2 million gold. The experience never felt “game-like” nor did it ever become immersive in any real way. As I remember playing Hyperiums and loving it, I was really hoping that this game would bring me the same feeling, albeit with an intriguing “1000 AD” setting. I never saw my empire or experienced any sort of downfall when half my population died from lack of food, and without the feedback of graphics or audio, would have hoped that the text would do something to jostle the imagination. Ultimately this was an engagement with a database, lacking any emotional resonance.

Try out New 1000 AD Free at the official site

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 

Michael Brune

I love programming, writing and gaming. I always am working on several things at once and am very ambitious but I usually have www.mjbrune.org up to date.

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