Game Site: www.imperion.org
Game Developer: Travian Games
Imperion is one of the best space themed OSG’s released in 2009. From the makers of Travian it carries many of the same core gameplay elements, but also introduces a lot of new concepts that compliment the space theme quite well.
The most obvious difference between Travian and Imperion is the graphics. While Travian has kept its rather simplistic graphics over the years, Imperion presents beautiful 3d renderings and a stunning splash page.
Similar to Travian players can choose between one of three races, the Terrans, the Titans, or the Xen. These feel very similar to Starcraft’s Terrans, Protoss, and Zerg. One of the interesting new concepts is the planets with different climates. Each player controls a planet that is positioned in a Galaxy, (similar to both Ikariam’s Island concept and to Nemexia’s galaxies). There are planets of various climates, some of which are best suited for certain races and energy types. For example, Volcanic planets can only be colonized by the Xen, and give bonuses to Thermal energy.
The game also includes comets that travel through space that can be harvested for resources. This provides players a way to actively seek out resources without necessarily going to war.
I found the energy system (which seems to be a staple in all space-themed OSG’s) and the shield generator to be a unique take on the city wall, and the planetary defense systems (units that can only defend the planet they were built on) are a nice way to distinguish between offensive and defensive units.
The science system is also quite innovative. There are dozens of researches possible that unlock a variety of features: blueprints for military units, new building slots and mines, faster trade, etc. Many of these also have several levels that can be unlocked Any of these can be purchased at any time, allowing the player to decide what order he want to develop.
One of the aspects I felt could use improvement is the building graphics. Most of the structures look very similar and with no tie-in to real world concepts the only way to tell what a building does is to click on it. Aside from this, however, the UI is very well polished and is pretty easy to read. The color coding of the different resources and large displays of the resource cache is a great example more games should follow.
All in all, Imperion is a great game any OSG fan should check out, especially if you’re looking for a little sci-fi in your life.