Grepolis Review: The Scholar’s Wargame

Grepolis Review: The Scholar’s Wargame

By: Kei Beneza (dividelife), Onrpg Journalist


Grepolis is a browser based strategy MMO set in Ancient Greece. Much like Ikariam, each player starts with a small town that eventually evolves into a powerful empire. The game also lets facebook users connect it to their profiles, thus making it easier to access the game without having to relog in a different window.


Grepolis Review


Different Servers Mean Different Rates

Upon entering the game, you will notice that Grepolis will let you pick a server to play on. Note that this form of server selection is not as simple as just picking a server with the most/least players. Each server has its own speed and limitations. The Mu server for example has a limit of 150 players per alliance and makes use of the new ‘Conquer’ system while the Kappa server has a higher game speed and an alliance limit of 100. Regardless of which server you choose, you will always have a lot of players to play and have fun with. For now, it’s all a matter of how fast, PVP-oriented, or hard you want your gaming experience to be.


Learning Curve

If you’re new to browser based strategy games, I would advise you to stay away from Grepolis. The game (like its counterparts) are quite easy to learn, provided that you have played other games of the same genre. The tutorial was actually rather quick, and runs you through some of the mundane tasks you do in your Grepolis career, but it does leave at least 80% of the system to learn on your own. There is a help page, but I would rather see tutorials tackle most of the basics rather than have everyone do some hefty FAQ reading before enjoying the game (it IS a game after all— not research).


Grepolis Review


Pillage The Village!

One of the best ways to earn resources is to loot helpless NPC villages by sending your troops to attack them. It’s a very brutal way of earning gold, but hey, when in Rome, do like the Romans do!



Once you finish your doctorate in Grepolis, you will find the game actually has a lot of features that make it one of the best browser based strategy games out there. Aside from training soldiers and pillaging your neighbors, the game also lets players research various technologies and different systems that can greatly boost the powers of an empire. Religion is also another factor worth noting as players can gain access to different divine powers depending on which god they choose to worship.


Grepolis Review



All-in-all, Grepolis is a game worth playing, especially if you are into browser based strategy games. It is a bit deep, and has tons of features that will keep you researching until you get your desired results. Still, I can say that I’ve enjoyed my stay in Grepolis. The game was just so rich with PVP, I just couldn’t help but pillage neighboring towns when I ended my 5 day grace period. So what are you waiting for? UNLEASH THOSE DIVINE POWERS!



-Good PVP
-Easy to learn (provided that you read stuff)
-Plain enjoyable



-Bad tutorials
-Some icons on the interface were not explained and lack description
-Graphics are a bit dated



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  • Plain truth

    Gamer beware…….Grepolis is a browser based game…..where people pay to win or to get superior advantage in what is a free to play browser game

    paying cash significantly enhances the user experience…..& it can get relatively expensive in relation to going out & buying the latest PC game release
    especially if you are playing for the long haul

    Their is a MMO format to the community that has a different number of worlds to operate in

    Gameplay is relatively slow to build without cash 100% twice as long
    + their are other premium enhancements that generate
    larger economies,
    or battle strength
    These all give the premium cash user advantage*

    *NB many premium advantages can be nullified by Terms of service breakers

    Graphics may look outdated with Still action clips & computer generated results

    Sad point of fact is joining an already established world in Grepolis is

    other players have first runner advantage & may have multiple bases / polis & belong to a large clan & are often hungry to pray on new players the “noob”

    beginner protection lasts a few days thereafter its open season

    it is possible to be attacked 24hrs a day 7 days a week around the clock in this RTS…trying to keep up with the jones”s could prove costly

    Even though Its one account per player……. ROFL
    ……Players use multiple accounts/ shared logins/ Laptop accounts to combat you
    so if you play fair you may already be at a disadvantage

    abuse by in game PM does take place ..their is a private message block facility…. chances are you have gone through lots of abusive messages to find this out……little or no action is taken against the abusers which amounts to on-line cyberbullying at least ( for this reason I would consider guidance to u-18 or vunerable users with protected characteristics )

    ……Terms of service can & are broken by many players…….do not expect justice from the CMs its profits before people everytime……Innogames say they want you to enjoy your gaming experience……It is unfortunate there are factions that throw more gold at this game than fort knox…..& even if you are lucky enough to be accepted into an experienced clan the caveat is you may need to be logged in 24hrs a day to protect your on-line gaming assets against Terms of service breakers
    & if you are a premium game client that has purchased Gold to enhance your experience this can still easily be nullified or curtailed by a player that is using multiple (not allowed according to Terms of service) accounts

    In Summary
    Tentatively its a pay to win format (however that is no guarantee)
    Clan membership is paramount (safety in numbers)
    in all games there are Terms of service breakers

    Grepolis has players in multiple worlds that are present with one goal
    to stop you enjoying your time on-line….they appear to go to any means to do this!!…most acceptable & some genius

    …..some most unacceptable and treated as a mere minor inconvenience to a large faction that may or may not lose a player running multiple accounts & joint forces

    Unless you are prepared to dedicate a large amount of time to this browser game
    around the clock you may find that you are merely building up for someone else
    to take over

    That then leaves the question……… Do you control the “Game” ?

    or does the “Game” control you

    As always the choice is yours

  • Greg

    Although it is advertised as a free game, it is not. You receive the basic features to start. However, to actually play/run your empire, you must pay for the premium features. This can be quite expensive. In fact, if you pay, it will easily add up to much more than you would pay for better games like WoW per month. This is a major flaw and forces people to leave when they realize that they actually have to pay quite a bit to play. No one likes to be tricked.

    One must also devote a tremendous amount of time to this game. Based on real world time, you can be attacked at any time of the day or night. Thus, you could be hit at 2 am or 2 pm. You have a limited window to respond. If you do not, you simply lose. It actively takes advantage of sleep patterns. This is a problem. It is yet another reason people will not stay.

    It is also noteworthy to mention. If you started when the world opens, you will ALWAYS be ahead of people that do not start at the beginning. This is an game of accretion. Anyone starting early will have more opportunities and resources. Late joiners will likely not succeed. So, why bother?

    Likewise, as mentioned by others, this game has a real issue with its moderators. They are unpaid and also play this game. They can be quite petty. As such, they take action against those that have harmed them and seek out reasons to punish. Banishment is a viable option and rampant. You will receive NO warning. They do not care because they are the ones that banished you. Thus, the game is also a game of kissing tail in that you must stay on the good side of moderators or be punished for some transgression at a later time. Not to mention, their rules on shared connections. Even if you have different devices, they will claim entire areas cannot be shared and banish accordingly. At any given time, large numbers of players are under banishment proceedings. Oftentimes, the islands on this game are made up more of vacant spots than real players.

    These issues are real problems for this game. It is why very few people stay. They start, quickly realize this game is not very good, and they leave. If they stay, they will likely be banished at a later point.

    Overall. Cool concept. VERY poor delivery, application and administration. I give this game 2 of 10 ratings. I do NOT recommend it. It is a very poor choice.

  • scrubbyjimbob

    I was banned and accused of cheating. They said I was boting or using a script when I wasn’t. I tried to get to the bottom of the issue and got nowhere. I’m including a copy of my experience for others to see before they too get suckered into the game and possibly suffer what I did.( I played the game for about a year before taking a break from it due to it’s high demands on your freetime.)

    scrubbyjimbob2013-12-14 06:59:30

    I just received a block due to suspected bot/script activity. I am really unsure how this could have been presumed as I have never used either in any world of Grepolis that I have played. I did get a captcha code request a few minutes prior to being booted off of the server and got a message that it was answered correctly. Your assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

    IcedDragon2013-12-14 08:55:18

    Hello scrubbyjimbob,

    Our support tools have detected your account to be using an automated bot, or script, that performs ingame actions, perhaps whilst you are sleeping or otherwise not physically playing. Please note that these are completely forbidden in Grepolis. There is a list of pre-approved game-scripts that can be found here.

    The evidence gathered is fully conclusive, and no details of our findings can be revealed at any time in the interests of keeping our methods secure from those who wish to cheat. The rules clearly state that this is forbidden, and as a result of this we have no choice but to temporarily exclude you from the server. Please note that if we catch you using an unapproved script or bot in the future, you risk further punishments.


    Senior Moderator

    scrubbyjimbob2013-12-14 09:49:32

    What specifically am I being accused of using? I was awake the entire time and present at my PC from the time I first entered Eubea. What exactly was deemed “wrong” that flagged me for this offense? I used no scripts or bots and did all of my in game actions with my own presence and intent. I don’t appreciate being accused of cheating when I haven’t been. Might this be some sort of error possibly resulting from either the island quest rewards or one of the Christmas rewards or something wrong in the recent update? It’s hard to appeal an unsubstantiated claim without even being given a clue what happened to bring you to this conclusion. Also without knowing what I’ve supposedly done that’s wrong, how am I suppose to correct the action? As far as future punishment I can assure you that if this isn’t resolved I have absolutely no intention of returning, again I don’t appreciate being called a cheater when I haven’t. Once again your assistance in resolving this would be appreciated.

    IcedDragon2013-12-14 18:06:52

    I have consulted with another senior member of the team, and we are in agreement that the ban was placed correctly.

    I would recommend you uninstall whatever script, add on, or extension you have enabled to prevent this from happening again.


    Senior Moderator

    scrubbyjimbob2013-12-14 19:22:00

    Without knowing what the problem is, how do I know what to uninstall? I haven’t installed any scripts/add ons/extensions that to my knowledge affect this game or how it’s played. This lack of feedback is disturbing and rather one sided. It would seem that a moderator can just label a player a “cheater” without any real proof or evidence under the simple assumption that they are right and don’t have to explain how they are. This evidence is suppose to be “fully conclusive” yet that is hard to believe that this is the case when you can’t even tell me what I’ve done wrong. Is this because I was 5 minute farming the entire time I was logged in? Did I click through my farms too quickly, seemingly inhumanly fast? Did my growth seem out of the ordinary in your eyes? It just seems strange that I’m being labeled as a cheater when I was merely keeping pace with the other active players on my island. Grepolis moderators have developed a reputation for bias and questionable bans like this. They are recruited ingame and have ties with other ingame players. In the past I’ve always attributed it to dishonest people making excuses, but I’m beginning to see some truth in the statements I’ve read in my time in the game. I’d still like to give the mod team the benefit of the doubt mostly because it’s hard to believe I could have been viewed as much of a threat after only about 15 hours in a new world without any ties or alliance. I’m not asking for “trade secrets” that will undermine your ability to catch actual cheaters. All I’m asking for is an explanation of what I actually did wrong beyond a vague response like “uninstall whatever script, add on, or extension you have enabled “. Without knowing what the problem is I have no idea how to go about trying to fix the issue. Like I’ve stated numerous times I have not been using a bot/script to cheat in this game and if some other add on that is in Chrome can mimic such activity I don’t have the slightest way of knowing what it is or how to remove it. I’m not a programmer or computer guru. I haven’t even used the “approved scripts” as they seem kind of pointless and lazy. The only 3rd party site I even use is grepointel for maps to see the layout of alliances, etc. As a returning player who was a paying customer it doesn’t seem too much to ask for a real explanation on what I did so I can take steps to prevent it. Without knowing what I did wrong what is to stop this from happening again?

    IcedDragon2013-12-15 06:16:35

    I am very sorry, but I can not disclose what information we look for to catch rule breaking.
    As I said, the evidence has been looked at by multiple parties and we are in agreement that the ban was placed correctly.


    Senior Moderator

    scrubbyjimbob2013-12-15 08:05:29

    Sadly your condolences do little to ease the indignation that I feel toward this situation. It still boils down to being told I’ve done something wrong and then not being told what it was so I can insure I don’t do it again. This farce of an appeal system has only shown me beyond a doubt that the rumors of the authoritarian efforts of the team that is suppose to help make the game better place for their customers is merely a sham to help themselves and their chosen by bending and creating their own rules to their advantage. Rest assured I’ll never play this or any other Innogame again and will do my best to warn other prospective customers through social media outlets(I’ve kept a copy of these correspondences) before they too get suckered into this sham the same way I was. Enjoy your pittance of free gold that Inno gives you to unbalance their game(in lieu of actually paying a real support staff) while they waste money on advertising… it will eventually all crumble around all your heads the way things are ran now.

  • hw

    They call this a strategy game, but it is not:
    -This games is about micro managing . E.g. you need to farm to get as much resources as possible. This means in fact just pushing buttons. If you want to be high on the ranking then farm every 5 minutes throughout the day (and distroy your private live). The longer you play the more cities you have and the more you are pushing buttons instead of thinking about strategy. Grepolis is about pushing buttons not about strategy.

    – In between pushing the buttons you will find yourself waiting until you actually can do some thing of building or attacking. Boring!

    -The moderators are recruited in game and are some young guys that like and mis-use the power they have been given. Decisions are often biased and communications of moderators are often rude, not a way you would like to be treated as a paying player.

    – Paying for a games is a normal thing to do. However when you play a 10 euro a month for this game, you still do not have any chance of playing in the top. A paying gamer spending around 10 euro a month (which make the game more expensive than a DVD game) should have a game where the good strategy makes the difference. Innogames is so fond of earning money that they give players an unlimited possibility to spend money (and players are doing that). Innogames is selling the top rankings in the games to the highest bidder. In fact it is not gaming contest but a shopping contest.

    – The games does not have a decent end game. A world is continued for years and only ends when so almost everyone has left because it became boring. At the at of the game the only thing you find yourself doing is attacking player that are no longer active. There should be a moment where a winner is declared after which the games stops.

    – The game can be played from pc and also mobile phone. On your phone you will be get messages that you are under attack. this will happen when you are on work, playing with your kids or do nice activities in real live. To make a chance in the game you should react on the message by arranging your defense. It will ruine your private live or cost your job.
    – It is nice to play games when you have some free time. It can be relaxing or exiting. The important thing is that you choose when you play. When you start with grepolis that is how it is. Grepolis is however a 24/7 game and after some time you will find out that you are playing at times that you did not want to play. You might found out that after some time the games is getting you to play while you did not want to.
    – It is nice to play with alliances. You have a group of players with a common goal. But again this is a 24/7 game. You find out when you do not play for several days (because you have not vacation days left) that the enemy takes some of your cities. when your “friends” see this the will prevent the enemy from taking more of your cities by attacking you and take all your cities. Innogames give you the opportunity to buy more vacation days. Yes you read this correctly, you will be paying to be able not to play.

    – Only players that started when the world was opend have a real chance. Starting a few months after the first players is pointless when you want a high ranking and play in the top. It is not about strategy, it is about starting from the beginning.

    Be smart do not start with Grepolis. At first it looks nice, but you will find out it is not.

    Even better, don’t play any Innogames. In game payment is a to big factor in the game.

    • Justin Sloan

      Some truth to these posts but most are missing the bigger picture. The game is all about how much you want to put into it. It’s great for the first few weeks if all you wanna do is build a few pretty cities. Eventually though, your lack of enthusiasm will get you killed.

      Put some work into it and you’ll probably end up in a decent alliance and swim for a few months. Until a bigger and badder alliance comes knocking. Then your lack of enthusiasm will definitely get you killed. Maybe your an active guy or gal and you’ve learned to fight and defend yourself adequately. Odds are that bigger and badder alliance wants you. Wars are fought for territory and players (and battle points!) in the early days and your alliance just got its butt handed to it. Terms of surrender are: your leaders join us, and we’ll also take those five guys. The rest of your old mates just got left behind and are puppy chow now. That’s enough to make some people quit right there. Hope you’re not too sentimental!

      Time to REALLY put some time and effort in now though. No time to relax! You’re a leader now! Time to plan out wars against the other big boys! Spend a few days organizing major offensives involving ten or twenty key players, targeting tough and organized players on THEIR home turf. Reap the benefits of a good plan or go home crying. Be online in the middle of the night to see it through. Take a sick day to make sure it goes down… All part of the gig sometimes.

      Boredom, changes in lifestyles, family… They all have a way of taking your best buddy away from the game. Unfortunate but true. This isn’t a forgiving game. If you don’t have the time, you’re just a liability. No doubt about it. If you’ve made it into the endgame, you’re one of the last few from the early days. You’ve either invested the time to be a leader, or a warrior, or maybe just an organizer. Every alliance needs a handful of players to help scoop up cities from players leaving the game and to keep the forum nice and neat. By this point you’ve found your niche and barring any of the above fortunes or misfortunes, you’re an accomplished Grepo player. Nothing to do now but finish this world and found the next alliance in the next world. Try that hand at REAL leadership. Found your own alliance and see if you can be the biggest and baddest on the block!

      The sheer amount of time per day ranges from a lot, to a heckuva lot in the late stages of the game but if you weren’t willing to put it in, and if you weren’t having fun doing it, you’d have found something better to do anyway. Don’t get me wrong, by the end of a two year game, everyone is ready for world wonder (final stage of the game where the winner is chosen) and praying it will end quickly, but after all is said and done, you’ll have made friends for life. I still skype with guys from other countries weekly. I retired from Grepo three years ago and I still tell stories to my nerd buddies about the Mt Everest of strategy games. Building an alliance from the ground up, fighting wars against guys better than me, learning from each experience, inspiring my boys to keep fighting, turning rival alliances against each other to ensure the survival of my own, and making some daring moves to pull out the win in the end… The stories inspire awe. I’ve never played a game quite like this one. I’d recommend it to anyone if you think you have what it takes!


      Mods — never had a problem

      Money — $4-$6 a month. Premiums are about a buck and last two weeks each. Only two of them are really necessary. One other comes in handy during times of war. You may occasionally face mr. Money bags, who can afford to put thousands into the game but they aren’t that prevalent. They’ll be strong but I’ve never seen one run rampant through a world by any means. 4-6 bucks a month is more than you’ll spend on the next elder scrolls but then again, you won’t play that game for hours a day for a few years.

      Time — they’re all right. It can be tough but you can do other things besides just fighting in monstrous wars every day. And you don’t get attacked much if you figure out how to defend well or if you turtle up a bit on the edges of the empire.

      Not a strategy game: anyone who said that never lead an alliance. Choosing who you recruit, who you leave behind, avoiding wars that might cripple your alliance, starting wars you can benefit from, building relationships with the heads of other alliances, turning them against each other (!), keeping discipline within the ranks, rooting out spies, keeping everyone on task (boredom = #1 killer), planning major ops, teaching players how to play smart, keeping people safe from themselves…. This game is the ultimate strategy game if you’re any good at strategizing. Imagine chess with a thousand living breathing pieces fighting an eight way war. when I hear someone say this game is not strategy, I think of when I used to play chess with my high school buddies. You just don’t know. You really have no idea. You poor poor thing…

      Late start: well of course you don’t start a world that is months old and expect to jump in and just take over all the sudden. New games open all the time. Some fast games for the aggressive all the time players, and some slow ones for you noobs! Lol. Now their is a difference between day one players and week three players. The early comers will be situated on the inside (core) of the world and late comers will wind up in the outside (rim) alliances. Typically more experienced players join early and the core alliances have this advantage. Rim alliances are generally less experienced and smaller as a result but their backs are to the edges of the world meaning they can fight in one direction and use the peaceful territory to bolster defenses on the front. I’ve been a part of a core alliance winning the world by sheer strength and led my own rim alliance that took the world by good strategy and a bit of luck. Both sides have equal opportunity though. It all comes down to skill, diplomacy, politics and some good old fashioned cajones.

      All in all, it was the pinnacle of my gaming career to spend two years running an alliance and beating all the odds. If you like gaming and wanna do something NEXT LEVEL, put your toe in and test the water. You won’t be disappointed. For the meek of heart, well, the first few months will be fun for sure!