Game Site: www.1100ad.com
Game Developer: Ambergames
Rating: Don’t Waste Your Time
1100 AD is an OSG that lets players control their empires more directly than most, mixing in a few Sim-City-esque elements. Unfortunately, in some instances the player has too much control, making it a little tedious. The game also suffers from poor ui and speed issues.
The original screenshot for the game that I saw here got me quite excited. One of the elements I have been looking forward to in an OSG is the ability to plan my cities, similar to the way Castles II: Siege And Conquest allowed you to design your own castles, and your designs would have an affect on the outome of the battles.
At first glance 1100AD seemed to offer that. The main city screen had a plethora of empty slots to build structures on, the first of which of course were mines. The issue of speed quickly became a problem. First, the UI itself is slow. Each click takes a few seconds to engage, and several of the buildings have multiple tabs you have to click through to find the upgrade button, which makes upgrading structures a bit of a chore. The pace of the game was also a little slow, and it took several days before I was in a position to even build a barracks.
Controlling troops is quite intricate: you can arrange your troops into armies which each move around separately, and you can move them around your own town. This becomes rather tedious though. The first battle that the tutorial instigated was a number of wolves that attacked the city. However, due to fog of war, you don’t know where the wolves actually are and have to move your troops around to find them. Like most OSG’s though, moving troops takes time, and it could take five or more minutes to move troops from one side of your village to another.
This goes against one of the staples of OSG gameplay. As a genre, these games are generally designed to be played in intervals of five minutes or less. i.e. a player will log in, issue a few orders (upgrade a building, send an attack, etc), and then check back later in the day. As such, I found having to order my troops around every 3 minutes looking for those bloody wolves a very long process.
The UI had a few problems as well. I found the top tabs that moved with each mouseover quite annoying. There were also many windows that had their own scrollbars, making it quite irksome to navigate
Overall the game definitely offered something new to the genre, but the presentation and game pace kept me from really enjoying it. Hopefully Ambergames can take some of the great ideas they had for this game and find a better way to implement them.