Now that aus1 is done in Travian, I have needed something to do with my time. In particular, I’ve needed something to do with my time at work, and so I started looking around for something to do. One of my former duals in Travian suggested that I give another browser-based strategy game, called Nile Online, a chance so sure enough, I decided to give it a try.
The first thing to note of Nile Online is the graphics. Initially, I thought that the developers pulled the art directly from Sierra’s old 90s strategy game, Pharaoh. Indeed, some of the buildings look strangely similar, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt given the similar topic of that game. The graphics are however quite nice for a browser game, but you do get kind of sick of looking at them as all of your villages tend to look the same. For instance, a gem mine looks exactly like a gold mine except for the type of material that is out front.
Not a huge deal in and of itself, but there is limited customization as well. They do give you several buildings to choose from, however you can only build a shop building in a shop plot, a warehouse in a warehouse plot, a temple in a temple plot and so forth. This means that your villages will look pretty much the same which was likely a boon for the development team but kind of sad as a player. The only real differences you get is where to put shops as you get 3 or 4 shop plots to place in. Of course of these, you must build a brick shop, a bakery, a pottery shop and a basket shop really leaving only one different shop per village.
The game seems to move extremely slow. Sometimes taking hours before you can do anything. Now don’t get me wrong, after having 50 things to do 24/7 in Travian for a few months, this is a needed relief but it gets rather boring at times. Really, I log in, set some things to build, try to set up a few trades, and maybe send some shipments out. Then I’ll leave the game for a few hours and come back hoping to find something to do again. Originally, I had hoped that it would be like Travian which is quite slow for the first few days, but I don’t think it speeds up ever, it is a really slow game.
You can build military troops in the game to participate in raids against your area by bandits, but this is a completely optional part of the game, you don’t have to participate if you don’t want to. There also doesn’t seem to be any attacking other players so alot of the game is just trading.
This is where some of the strategy really comes into play. There are 9 luxury resources in the game, of which any particular village can only have one. You as a player can only own up to 4 villages so at best you will get slightly less than half of the luxury resources at any given time. On top of that, these luxury resources can be combined with each other to create one of six luxury goods. These luxury goods are required at a very early stage to build various buildings, including the palace which dictates how many laborers you can have in play at any given time, which you then use to create more resources and goods.
So the strategy is certainly there, and they have a worthy system in place. I think the major disappointment in the game is the lack of any sort of military action between players, even if it is voluntary. I am very interested to get started in what military there is in the game, and you can build monuments later which I’m not entirely sure what the point is quite yet, and lastly at palace level 7 you get envoys which can do quests. These all I think add more interest in the later part of the game which I have not yet gotten to.
Overall, I think the game is a good way to pass time if you have a lot of time to pass. Unfortunately, I just don’t see any sort of longevity in the game, at least for me. I think I am going to get bored of the game rather quickly which I suppose is ok, but it is a shame because I have a feeling most players would.