Game Site: www.aloriah.com
Game Developer: Devillusion Entertainment
Rating: Play It!
Aloriah is another OSG that mixes Heroes of Might and Magic with traditional game-play, and does a solid job of integrating the two.
On the surface the game is your standard OSG. You start with a village in a world of Vikings and Dragons, it seems very much like Travian. Your first step is to build up your wood supplies and stone supplies, which you’ll use to construct the rest of your buildings.
The biggest difference between Aloriah and Travian is the world map, which has a lot more going on. Instead of sending armies back and forth between villages they actively move around on the world map and have to contend with wandering packs of enemies, different terrain types, and can pick up treasures and enchantments.
The world map is also fully integrated with the overall goal of the game. There are several different climate zones throughout the world, and you’ll need to settle a village in each of them to be successful. Settling each new climate comes with its own advantages and difficulties. For example, you can’t mine for the Gold resource until you found a village in the tropics, and the closer you go to the center of the world the tougher the wandering enemies become. There are also “scenario” objects such as Dragon Obelisks and Dragon Gates that you’ll have to hunt down in order to reach the Mother Dragon at the center of the world.
This definitely adds a whole new element to the game, but I have found it quite annoying at times. There are so many things to do on the world map and it takes around 10 minutes to move each space, so it could require a lot of time spent in-game to really be successful in this area. Further, you can only order your armies to move up to 10 spaces at a time, which means if you need to send them far away (and you will), it could take several play sessions (it took me 10 sessions to reach the second climate zone). I actually don’t think I would mind as much if it took longer to move when you were out of range of your city. For example, if it took 8 hours to move the maximum distance instead of 2, I wouldn’t feel the pressure of having to keep checking in on the game (which is a high point of the OSG genre).
The battle and research systems are also refreshingly unique. There are hundreds of researches to unclock, divided into four categories. You can choose to focus more on a specific category or divide your research evenly. After that you can sit back and watch as the researches are discovered, usually a couple a day. The battle system encorporates different types of damage and resistance: physical, fire, water, and poison. Each unit type has its different values and you can upgrade either your city wall (physical and water) or your moat (fire and poison) based on what you need to defend against.
The artisitc style is quite original and pretty engaging, though I feel the terrain on the world map doesn’t quite fit with everything else. The UI is also laid out pretty well, though the top bar (with links to the forum, guide, logout, etc.) doesn’t quite fit artistically either. The game does use floating windows for its notifications, messages, etc., which I’m against in general, and there’s also the annoying “This game is still in Beta” screen that I have to click through every time I log in, but these are minor inconveniences.
Overall it’s a nice game that offers some refreshing new elements. If you have the time to spend exploring the rich world they’ve created you should definitely check it out.