Game Site: www.ikariam.org
Game Developer: Game Forge
Ikariam has become one of the most popular OSG’s released recently, and for a good reason. The game excells because it is very inviting and encourages player interaction.
The graphics of Ikariam are very warm and inviting. Set on a Greek isle the game starts the player as a ruler of a colony where everyone seems pretty happy. The details in the city screen, especially the troops and the little people working presents a place that is full of life. The city image also grows with your main building, as you slowly transform from a small town to a thriving Greek city.
The resource system in Ikariam is quite unique. Each colony is on an island that only produces two resources. Every Island produces Wood, and then one of four other resources: Wine, Marble, Crystal, and Sulphar. Each resource mine is shared by every city on the island and it will usually require several players contributing to upgrade them. This encourages players to communicate and also to trade for resources they may not currently be producing.
There is a slight downside to dividing up the resources in terms of balance. In the early stage of the game Marble is used far more frequently than any of the other resources, so players who happen to start on a Marble island have a definite advantage. This is eventually minimized, however, as most players try to get a colony on an island of each resource.
The battle system in Ikariam is very complex. There are land and sea battles and each type of battle has a number of different slots on the battlefield where units are placed. At any time if the enemy breaks through one of your slots you are pretty much doomed. Alot of players have been dissatisfied with the battle system as it is incredibly difficult to launch a successful attack, which has made combat a very small part of the game.
The UI in Ikariam is one of its strong points. Everything is very easy to find and is very intuitive. The four advisors are also very appealing and light up whenever there’s something new to report. Overall Ikariam is a great game that is very polished and quite friendly to the casual gamer.