By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor)
Have you ever wanted to run your own crime circuit? Your own kingdom where you will rule, kill and steal from anyone that crosses your path. I know I would, and Black Aftermath lets you create your own empire in the crime circuit. There are many paths that you can take such as becoming a hitman that works solo to take down everyone that stands in your way. Or perhaps you’d prefer to start your own crime syndicate and inch your way to the top by smuggling drugs, laundering money, selling weapons or even hacking bank accounts? The choice is yours but each has its own perils and challenges. Which will you take?
Turn-based online strategy games like Black Aftermath are always entertaining to play. The simplicity of the game remind me of back in the day when games weren’t that big, and didn’t have that many features to offer players. In Black Aftermath, you will control your future, and you decide what you will transform yourself into.
First of all it is time to learn the basics. Black Aftermath doesn’t let you play around for an unlimited time. You are given a set number of action points per turn that can be used to recruit and train units, collect items, and more advanced options as you unlock them. To give a real world sense to time flow, you gain 100 actions every 10 minutes, so if you run out of them do not worry because you will get them back quickly. You can also earn more actions by referring friends and even obtain reserve actions at the start of each round. You can also buy turns with real money if you think it is going too slow for you or you would just like to support the developers.
Every new player will start out in Noobville. As the name of the city most likely tells you, it is the ‘tutorial’ city for new players to safely learn the functions of the game without being attacked. Granted there are limitations that will make you want to leave Noobville eventually – primarily the limited money available to earn and inability to gain rank ups. But as a noob this won’t be something that concerns you much. When you are new, you are also only able to attack or get attacked by people around the same level as you. Once you are feeling brave enough to take on the world, you’re given the option to travel to various cities to continue your career in crime. However do note that once you travelled out of the newcomers’ city, you will not be allowed back in. There are currently a lot of different cities, and you aren’t bound to any of them, but a plane ticket fee forced on all your units makes it costly to move around too often.
Attacking people is a scary thing function; it is something you must plan correctly because you do not want to make any mistakes. If you attack someone, they also gain an unlimited ‘revenge’ state on you, and they are able to attack you as many times as they want in a span of 24 hours. Whether you’re on the offensive or defensive, it’s important to make sure your defenses are never fully down. Luckily wounded units cannot be attacked until they are treated in the hospital, which has both positives and negatives. On the bright side it means you’re less likely to lose units with each attack you suffer. The negative is that your empire has fewer units protecting your resources. Your operatives and intelligence units are unfortunately not able to deal directly in affairs of combat so make sure to never leave them fully unprotected.
To expand your safety and strength, players are able to create a group called a syndicate. A syndicate is basically a group of players that form a team and enables more gameplay features. Having a syndicate or being in one also gives you more protection from the community, since you can be allied with a lot of people, and different syndicates allowing you to slowly and peacefully expand your kingdom while you plot an attack on others. The fun thing is, people are able to attack and be attacked by members inside the same syndicate as well, so you should never trust the people around you. Not even your best friends.
Black Aftermath offers a bit more than the typical browser based text game. While initially it can be pretty confusing, the huge diversity of actions and customization you have at hand makes up for the rough learning curve later. My only complaint is you’ll want to do so much more than the turn system allows you to without paying, and those that do pay receive a hefty advantage and eventually acquire a huge lead over others. Still the freedom of creating your own personage with specialized talents keeps things fun and syndicates help protect you from the cash shopping bullies. Never knowing who will betray you or be betrayed makes each log-in a complete surprise. If you like to expand your crime kingdom just like me, you should give Black Aftermath a proper look.