It seems like it’s the Summer of Strategy Games. The biggest news is that today Zynga launched “Empires & Allies”. This is the developer’s first realy step into the strategy genre, and it will be interesting how far they take it. Zynga’s games have a history of being overly simplistic, and more like casino slot machines than an actual game. It seems that with Empires & Allies, they are at least taking steps.
To quote Chris Corry, the general manager of Zynga’s Los Angeles studio, “Empires expands us into the strategy and combat genre… For us, the challenge becomes how we thread that needle of making games that are accessible to everyone but complex enough to be interesting to traditional gamers.”
The game is essentially Cityville, but with a layer of combat built on top. In addition to harvesting crops and begging your friends to staff your buildings, you also build a cute little Army, Navy, and Air Force that will go into combat, in a rather straight-forward rock-paper-scissors situation. Even if this game doesn’t appeal to traditional strategy gamers, hopefully it can capture some of the Facebook gamers who are ready to grow up and point them in the right direction.
I’ll have more on Empire & Allies later, but also want to take a quick look at what else is going on in the world of Online Strategy Games. Inside Social Games’ feature on Empire and Allies mentions “with Digital Chocolate’s Army Attack also live and Kabam’s Global Warfare launched earlier this month, we expect to see the strategy genre expand throughout the summer.” Not only that, there’s still the Travian Tournament in full force, and Travian Games recently released a major update to Imperion. Further, Civilization World will be hitting soon, and Guzzer just killed the Mother Dragon in Aloriah, which means new servers will be starting soon! Truly, it is a good season to be a gamer.