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Category - Opinion

What Is Strategy?

true strategy game

If you take a look at the App Store, you’ll see a lot of games in the strategy category. But are any of these actually strategy games?

What then is strategy? Max McKeown argues that “strategy is about shaping the future” and is the human attempt to get to “desirable ends with available means”. Okay, that’s interesting, but could just as well applied to shaping a future where I am not hungry by eating this biscuit. Maybe we’ll have better luck with “Strategy Game”?

Wikipedia says that “A strategy game… is a game in which the players’ un-coerced, and often autonomous decision-making skills have a high significance in determining the outcome.” This is still bollocks though, because decision-making skills is so vague that we’re not saying anything.

A strategy game is a game in which each player’s ability to anticipate their opponent’s move has a high significance in determining the outcome.

This means that, contrary to what Apple would have you believe, Cookie Jam is not a strategy game.

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The Future of OSGs

future of online strategy games backyard monsters battle pirates edgeworld

There’s a new wave of games on Facebook that combine traditional RTS games such as Starcraft, with the persistence of an OSG, and a dash of Tower Defense in there for good measure. There are several of these games now, starting with Kixeye’s Backyard Monsters, Battle Pirates, and War Commander, and now Kabaam has entered the fray with Edgeworld.

Rather than review each of these games (as they are practically identical except for graphics) I wanted to take a look at the pros and cons of this hybrid genre, compared to your traditional Online Strategy Game. So, let’s go!

Call of Gods Art Theft

call of gods ad no more bullies no farming

There I was, foraging the ditial sea, when up from the waves came another ad for “Call of Gods”. Now, let me say that I played Call of Gods for about twenty minutes earlier this year, fooled into thinking it was an OSG. Since that day I have felt YooGames (who also run servers for strategy game Warflow) should refund those twenty minutes of my life, so I am actually quite pleased to break this scandal: See the Scandal!

Lord of Ultima City Planning

new free original online strategy game

For me, one of the most exciting aspects of Civilization is deciding where to build my next city. Since each city’s production is determined by the surrounding terrain, it becomes an interesting spacial challenge and I have spent hours weighing the benifits of a few spots. Well, here I get the defensive bonus from being on a hill, but I loose the food bonus for the cattle. Here I gain access to the coast, but lose the iron resource… Read on!

Ikariam Islands

unique original gameplay in online strategy games

Ikariam is a world of islands. Not in the way that “every man is an island”, or that your planet in OGame is an island in a sea of stars, but literal islands. Each island hosts a number of cities and mines that are separate from the rest of the world, and the way these cities interact, and interact with other islands, is very unique to Ikariam and makes a fascinating Online Strategey Game. Read on!

To The Victors Go The Spoils

online strategy game philosophy

Fair warning, this article is rather dense. But, sometimes it’s good to move beyond saying this game is good or this game is bad and be able to explain why. So, let’s take an academic look at a few models of resource production in online strategy games and see how they affect game-play. That is, how does a player’s resource production change throughout the course of the game, and what is the result? Shall we?