I decided to give Travians a go today, the new game made by the guys who did Travian. For those that don’t know, Travian is a web-based strategy game. It is essentially an MMO version of Civ. You build your villages, build armies, get resources, and then start fighting other players in hopes of being able to make a world wonder in the end and win the game. With this game, I think the devs were hoping to use their popularity of the other game and give RPG players a little something to do.
Now keep in mind this little review is only from a little bit of play. But from what I’ve gathered so far, this game seems more like Harvest Moon than your typical RPG. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, I think Harvest Moon is a fine game, but I find it difficult to think that many of the Travian players will find this type of game appealing. After all it is going from a fairly hardcore game to a fairly casual game.
The reason for the farming really comes from the fact that they try to give the feel that you are a citizen of one of the tribes within Travian. They use a lot of the same graphics, and for this I think they are fairly successful. You go around gathering resources and then you can go and refine those resources, using normal plots that you see in Travian. I think you can then use those resources to either sell in the marketplace or you can use them to make furniture and weapons. Yes there is fighting in the game, but not much early on.
From reading through the manual, the fighting seems like mostly 1vs1 stuff with your occasional guild vs. guild. And it doesn’t seem overly involving either. Honestly Travian seemed far more strategic than the fighting in this game. This one seems like you pick a direction to move in and other than that it is level vs level and gear vs gear. Not very great of a system here.
The other big thing to do in the game is little mini-games. Thus far the minigames include Chess, Go, Tic-Tac-Toe, Connect 4, Reversi, Dots & Boxes (whatever that is), Battleship, Blackjack, dice duel, and skat. These games look fairly simplistic and aren’t going to blow you out of the water. It seems they are trying to do something similar to Puzzle Pirates, just not as good here.
By doing these, you get status which with that you can buy furniture for your house which seems the end goal. You can then visit houses and rate them and such. This is actually kind of cool but a lot of people aren’t into house building, and at the end it isn’t really much to do.
Right now I just don’t get the total point. It is a fun little game to play from time to time, but it isn’t anywhere near the quality of Travian. Maybe it is just because the game is early and they haven’t implemented a lot of features. Maybe it is just because I haven’t gotten into the meat of the game. Not really sure, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of meat on the product which is a shame because many of the browser-based RPGs are kind of bad and this had promise to really fix that.