Tribal Wars: Strategy RPG or Bubonic Plague?
by Scott Braquet (SimpleAnatomy), OnRPG Journalist
History has proven that true power lies in the land a rule keeps and the armies that defend it. The Middle Ages stand testament to that fact: this was an era where small, unknown villages were forged into historic empires by vast amounts of blood and steel. Epic battles raged for months on end, armies vying for the honor of becoming historical legends. Tribal Wars, a 2D browser based strategy RPG, steps on to the battlefield bearing more resemblance to a squire than a knight.
Tribal Wars features a homepage that provides the user with an overview of their village. The overview is surrounded by menus essential to a strategy based RPG; showing the production/limits of each resource, size of your army, and amount of villagers. The overview works well enough, showing the little village busy cultivating resources as it prepares itself for future wars. Tribal Wars also features an in game task bar for easy access to other gaming essentials such as mail and the game forums.
The overall presentation is bland and unoriginal; the Middle Ages were the birthplace of unique music, language, and artwork that could have been incorporated to enhance the gaming experience. The inability to zoom in on your village takes away from the overview display; the distance keeps the user disconnected from his army. With a lot of unused space on both sides of the screen; integrating the ability to either increase the menu size or provide users the ability to adjust the menus would allow for a much more customized experience and would greatly benefit the user interface.
Strategy based RPGs have been around just as long as the material they cover and provide stiff competition against Tribal Wars by offering so much more. Not only do Risk, Warcraft, and Civilization all have much more depth in terms of both units and buildings, but they also provide an easier learning curve. Beginners are at a disadvantage due to inadequate tutorials and the inability to play without making huge mistakes.
Establishing seasons would allow players to make mistakes knowing that mistakes made now will be reset in the future, as well as increase the overall speed of the game. In addition, story driven quests would break up the one dimensional gameplay and help users conduct their tribe in a more neutral way. Users who choose to pay will experience a laundry list of upgrades that completely change the way the game can be played.
If faced with the option to continue playing or meet my doom at the hands of the Black Death I have a feeling I would take my chances with the plague.
The games community is built on establishing tribes, forging or breaking alliances with other tribes in an attempt to climb the leaderboards. Tribal Wars earns an accolade for the social interaction within and between tribes.
Unfortunately, the forums are dull and boring, as the staff is keen on censorship. Clans are either closed to recruiting new members or require enough gaming experience to prompt an invite. Finally, with most accounts being run by two people to maintain a competitive edge, players are too engaged in their tactics to socialize outside of their respective tribes.
Providing a lackluster presentation paired with gaudy gameplay mechanics, Tribal Wars surrounds itself with peasantry. Newcomers beware as the game leaves you with very little to go off of outside of the help section; add to that the fact that most clans disregard the task of teaching new players the ropes. There is a rough road ahead for any new player to attempt to break into the Tribal War’s society. After seeing what Tribal Wars has to offer it is easy to understand where the Dark Ages originated from.