Game Site: www.erepublik.com
Game Developer: eRepublik
Erepublik describes itself as the first massive online social strategy game. Like most OSG’s it’s browser-based and free to play, but that’s where the similarities end.
Most OSG’s start the player as a ruler of a country, but in eRepublik you start as a citizen. It still has resource management and massive battles, but they take place on a higher level. For a casual player the game feels a lot like Mafia Wars. Your first step is to find a job. There are thousands of different jobs, and each focus on a certain skill. For example, my job is a Manufacturing job. Every day you have to click on “Work”, which will both increase your skill in that area and earn you game currency. As in life, as you increase your skills you can find jobs that pay more money, which you can use to buy food, weapons, etc.
Aside from working you also need to Train. The same as working, all you need to do is click on “Train” and you will gain a little bit of “Strength”.
The interesting thing about the game is how far you can go with it. All of the companies that offer jobs are run by players who earned enough money to start a company. From that point the game is much more complicated since you have to manage all the resources you bring in and all your employees who, by working, transform the company’s resources into goods that can be sold to other players. Going further still, you can be elected to a Government position, where you will be able to go to war and try to conquer other provinces.
Once a war is started every player from the opposing countries has the option to fight in the battle, using their strength and any weapons they’ve bought to contribute. Essentially, each player is a single military unit. Players cannot die from a battle, but every time you fight you lose Wellness, which needs to be replinished by eating food or other items you can buy.
One of the great hooks of the game is that all the countries are real-world countries. I currently live in and am fighting for the UK! It is also very casual, and players who want a very low-maintenance game can play for five minutes a day, contribute to their country, and be done with it. Of course, players who want to be more involved can start companies, run for office, start newspapers, etc.
One of the main drawbacks of the game is their experience system. You gain experience by doing pretty much anything, but every feature requires a certain amount of experience. For example, to participate in the battles you need to reach level 5, and to start a company you need to reach level 9. This means that a player who is just starting the game has very little to do. I feel that when a player first starts a game his excitement level is at its highest. To prevent new players from really diving into the game until they’ve played for about a week is a real turn off.
Players who are very competitive and most interested in raising armies probably won’t take to this game. For more casual and social players however, it offers the chance to play an OSG at your own pace, watch your character grow, and still contribute to a larger empire, which is a pretty cool concept.