Invincible Armada – Dominating the Rocking Facebook Seas
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor), OnRPG Journalist
Ever wanted to be a gnarly pirate but never knew where to start? Than look no further! Because Invincible Armada is a free-to-play strategy game in the medieval setting that is available on Facebook. Follow the story driven quest-line, battle with thieves and privateers, sell your booty and create your own fleet and kingdom. But first let’s learn how to sail your ship first. After all you’ll never be feared if you can’t even master the basics. If you’re as big of a fan of pirates as me, then what arrrrrr ye waiting for landlubber?
Something that I noticed after only a few minutes of playing is that Invincible Armada’s concept art is really good looking and the game itself looks a lot better than any game I have seen before in the same setting. Of course after seeing what Neowiz’s standards are on graphics after GStar 2012 it’s no surprise that they’d push this feature even in their browser titles. At first you play the very basic tutorial to teach you the controls and familiarize yourself with the main characters of this browser game.
As I mentioned before this isn’t my first time pirating in a browser, but this is the first time in a while that a game like this has actually felt polished and finished while this early in beta testing. Right out of the gate the game fluidly familiarizes you with the combat. Normally combat in these ship games is pretty mindless but Invincible Armada mixes up the formula a bit. In this game you have to consider positioning and the angle that you ship sails while constantly reacting to your opponent’s moves. Get outmaneuvered and you’re shark bait as your enemy will pick you off while you helplessly sail in circles.
Interacting with the map is another key factor in gameplay. If someone is a history junkie and knows particularly a lot about the invasions in Europe then the name might sound really familiar. This is because the locale is based off the Mediterranean and western coast of Europe during the heyday of Spanish naval power. Who knew that playing games taught us history huh? Screw school, let’s all play games.
Anyway, I really enjoyed checking out the map as I explored and correlating it to real world locations. Unfortunately this is where the game introduces its Facebook-esque cash catch, i.e., and energy system correlating to sailing out of port. Sailing out of port, and sailing to a new part of the map costs you energy and you cannot do much in an hour. Luckily this energy returns over time but if you hate waiting and just want to carry on with your missions, than you have to throw your money at this game.
Back in the day, rare materials and spices were THE currency of the Pacific and Invincible Armada reflects this perfectly. Earning money is relatively easy but the question is if you would like to use your limited energy for this. One of the first few missions I did was sail to a different city around the Italian shore and buy some cotton. Then I was asked to return to the city I came from to sell this same cotton for a higher price. Although this isn’t the most exciting aspect of the game, it’s a necessity as you can’t expect to rule the seas without proper funding.
Now let’s move on to the most enjoyable feature in Invincible Armada. Being Captain of the Fleet doesn’t mean squat to the covetous pirates eyeing your booty if you don’t build a reputation for dealing with rapscallions. You will have to destroy many enemies in this game to earn your money and materials. And thus building up your fleet to be as strong as possible is really important for roaming the open waters. Besides having to equip your ship with the best sails and armor, you also are able to acquire and use skills. When you are in battle, it us up to you to position your ships to focus fire the highest priority targets and win the day. For a Facebook game Invincible Armada gets this right with enough options and tactics to keep things fresh during your daily check-in of game time. And as you grow in level and experience, you are able to unlock more positions in your fleet to make it even bigger and stronger than before.
As expected from a Facebook game, Invincible Armada gets you hooked rather fast. I really enjoyed playing this game and will definitely keep playing it. I really enjoyed the overall experience this game gave me and even the history lesson it taught me along the way. Unfortunately as any other Facebook game, money plays a big role and can get you further ahead of any other player in the game. But I can’t really be bothered by that at all since the competitive element in Facebook games isn’t that big of a deal. I personally had a lot of fun which is the important part and if you enjoy this kind of setting then I doubt you’ll find much better on the market than Invincible Armada. Keep an eye out for its launch later this February.