Recently, I have been playing a lot of Little Empire, and while it does have a few technical issues, I been mostly enjoying it. I have played over the last five days now with probably around 15-20 hours played. It’s hard being a King, I am only level 8 at the moment. This is my review of Little Empire version 1.5.1 on Android.
Read more to see the full review.
“Little Empire is a top-rated massively-multiplayer-online mobile game that you just can’t put down! We combined tower defense and real-time strategy in a unique combat system that lets you plan strategic battles and utilize formation tactics. ”
The developer Camel Games describes this game as the “World’s first LBS (Location Based Services) mobile MMO.” I’m not sure if it is but its suppose to be a big deal and what sets this apart from the competition. That is what the developers think anyway. In Little Empire you’ll take control over your own kingdom (not much of an empire), and your goal is to conquer the rest of the Little known world with an army you build with the help of buildings. At the same time other real players are in the same world trying to do the same thing all in real-time.
Little Empire is very fun to play in small bursts which can’t be argued with and offers quite deep gameplay mechanics. It has some pretty cel shaded type visuals which remind me of Castle Crashers and makes me think of the Settlers games a bit. The user interface is clean and simple to use.
When you first start playing the game there will be a tutorial that guides you through how to get started which is very useful for newcomers.
You’ll eventually have to choose a hero to lead your kingdom to victory. Theres only three to choose from and they are all pretty stereotypical fantasy fair type characters. Choose wisely because you can’t choose another if you change your mind with out starting the game again.
Theres a male orc, a male human warrior and female demon:
- The Behemoth has the most health points and defense.
- The Beserker deals the most attack damage.
- The Succubis has the best attack range.
Once you have chosen a hero you’ll be taken to your kingdom. Which contains various icons.
Task icon (book)
The task menu is where most of the story-based and quest missions will be. They include building certain target amounts of resources, helping friends, stealing from friends, winning battles, building kingdom buildings, and plenty of other similar tasks.
Arena icon (shield and sword)
This is where you fight enemy players. You can fight anyone on the list but it worth noting their level and win and loss ratio before choosing as this can help determine if they will be any good. This is because you can’t see their unit setup until you start so you might think it be an easy opponent and they turn out having a whole army which in a lot times not is worth contending with. Once the fight begins, you can strategically place your army against the enemy’s army. After you done this the battle starts and its very similar to rock, paper and scissors in that each unit has strengths and weaknesses. If you played any Advance Wars games you will know what to expect. If you kill off every member of the enemy army or demolish the opposing castle you win.
Mail icon (a letter)
Is where notifications of attacks will appear, allowing you to organise your troops for defence. Also mail regarding friend requests and other news will be posted here. This is also where you can receive and send your mail to other players. Friend and enemy alike.
Friends icon (a person with a helmet)
You can send invites to and accept them from anyone in the game, and making friends is important because they can help you fight off an enemy attack, help open your chest for a special reward, speed up your resource building time and rescue you if you been captured. However your friends can also steal your resources if left uncollected and attack your castle if left unprotected. If this happens you will be informed so it’s up to you how you react to the situation. Also you only get some resources if you steal from someone. For example if someone is making gold for one hour which would give them around 370 gold you would probably only get about 50 gold from stealing and they would be told you did so. On the other hand stealing and attacking your friend is encouraged, you just have to be skillful how you do it.
Build icon (the hammer)
This is where you can add stuff to your kingdom. Build gold or crystal mines, houses for troops, unit buildings, plants and trees for decoration and extra rewards and a lot more. Most buildings require gold and crystals to build and some also have player level requirements.
One useful think to remember about resource buildings is the more you have the more you can do at once. The more gold mines you have the more gold you can get in an hour and the more crystal mines you have the more crystals you can get in an hour and so on.
Daily Challenges icon (notepad)
Every day there’s new challenges which reward extra resources and experience. They include things such as wining two battles in the arena or conquering two of your friends. If you do all the challenges in one day you get free extra MOJO.
If you play on consecutive days you also get a free reward each day you login which is nice.
The Store icon (present)
This is where you can buy weapons, items and MOJO for your hero and kingdom. You can also equip items and magic on your hero or sell unwanted items.
Most things can be purchased with coins or crystals, and many things will require a combination of the two. However, you have the option to buy (with real money) MOJO, which appears to some type of magical potion. MOJO will allow you speed up the time it takes to harvest resources and will also allow you to purchase upgrades for your hero like weapons, spells, and armor. You will receive some free MOJO when you complete missions, level up and do various other tasks but it won’t usualy be enough buy items in the store straight away.
You don’t need to spend any real money and so far I havent spend any cash and its been fine, but spending real cash will give you an advantage over other players in the fact that you can speed up building times of units, upgrades and get resources quicker by using your extra MOJO. This means you can get ahead quicker. However if you don’t spend real money you will advance at a slower pace and it will require you to play more often to take advantage of the time it takes to build things. To combat this you can try to play for smaller bursts. For example if you got five minutes spare time on the bus or something you can login to collect and build some more resources and by doing this you have saved time in the long run.
You can also get free MOJO by clicking adverts and installing other applications but whats the point getting 1 MOJO for installing another application? It’s not worth the hassle.
There are quite a few technical issues. The game will sometimes lose connection and either ask you to log back in or make you to close the application. Another thing to remember is that if you leave the application running for a long time in the background you will have to log back in again after a period of time to carry on playing, which can become annoying. To Camel Games credit there have been quite a few updates and patches since the game launched in December 2011 which seem to resolve most of these issues but they still exist.
This game is addictive in the way its keeps you coming back to check your kingdom through the day because everything is based on real-time. You’ll have to make sure other players haven’t stolen your resources, freed your prisoners, or attacked your castle. Once you’ve done that, you can make some improvements to your kingdom kill other players in the arena and the next thing you know you spent ages playing again.
If you havent go any friends then no one can steal your resources or help you. However if you do have lots of friends you could get quite angry when they steal things from you. Which will make you check back even more to make sure other players weren’t coming to free prisoners or attack.
The LBS (Location Based Service) feature could be used more throughout the game. The only function it seems to have is to determine the distance and time it takes your army to march to an enemy players kingdom. It also shows on your character where you are from and even the town which can be hidden but you can see which country they are playing from. The LBS system could be used for more location activities, time differentiations such as weather and some way of benefiting the player for going to other places. For example to recruit new units, similar to what can be found in the Metal Gear Solid games on the PSP. But none of these are in Little Empire which makes you think why mention it so much?
Even if this is a so-called free game (freemium game) There is the option to buy MOJO which I am not surprised with but I would have rather paid a few pounds for the game and not have the option to buy more MOJO, with it instead be giving more in the actual gameplay.
Little Empire is with Angry Birds an essential game to play on your Android devices. It is more forgiving than another game like Tiny Village which is basically unplayable without spending real cash. Little Empire is pretty addictive, fun and looks great but the sound design is poor with only about two music tracks and hardly any sound effects. Its better to play on mute which for a mobile game is fine because who wants to play a game like this with sound in a public place?
What Little Empire tries to do it succeeds in almost every respect and is a very good example how a free to play game should be done. Real cash purchases are the way these games work but shouldnt be essential. In this game it’s not essential its just speeds things up but its a free game so who cares if you get to the highest rank straight away? You got ages to get there. Theres no need to rush. Take your time and enjoy the game. Play often but for small amounts of time and you will advance quicker than you might think. Try it out.
Other than MOJO purchases in-game, Little Empire is free to install and play and I would highly recommend you all give it a go. I am known as King_Toko in game if you want to see my kingdom or add me as a friend. Remember don’t steal or feel my wraith!
My other Little Empire posts: