Review this game
It's a fun game with lots of new concepts and ideas that separate it from other similar games. It would have been great, had they made a better User Interface. As it stands, it's a good game that can provide you with lots of fun, especially different factions/races. I'll first list the cons, then pros. Some might be harder to grasp if you haven't seen/played the game.
- The world and hex graphics are overall nice and soft, but too soft and blurred. It's hard to spot things. It's indecisive, the important things barely stand out from the rest. The need to be sharply defined, by their form and color.
- The Food, Industry, Money and Influence indicators on the terrain are hardly visible at times, so it makes building a new city or expanding an old very annoying. Anomalies (hexes with bonuses in them) and Burroughs (city expansion hexes), are also hard to spot, which makes it even more annoying. They could have put a special toggleable view layer that removes all the clutter and leaves just the important things.
- Buildings interface is klunky, I would rather have it take most of the screen than being tucked in the corner, since later in the game it becomes chaotic and space is missing (even though it's expandable).
- Scrollbars are damn small and annoying to click on, you can't scroll down by clicking where they aren't, there are no up/down buttons. Guys, if it works, don't break it. It's what your customers expect, and the scrollbar has been this way for ages for a reason, it works.
- Since scrollbars suck, we don't really get a good alternative, with the left/right/up/down buttons or the page up/down not really working on most screens, or working poorly (eg. in cities screen up/down go down to the next city, but don't scroll the view, so you can select cities that are outside the view box...). There are some obscure hotkeys that I haven't tried, but if you have to resort to hotkeys to properly navigate, you know it's bad.
- City/unit indicators on the map are a good idea, but badly done. They sometimes cover hexes you want to click on, and they don't show the useful info.
- Moving citizens around is fun at the start, but later on it gets ridiculous when you have a stack of them (I know you can drag all by the first citizen), they should have collapsed them into groups of 5 or something.
- Ruins are kinda fun, but they're not. The only useful thing from them are Quests, but they're unbuildable and impassable. I'd probably rather had them removed if there were no Quests. Searching them becomes a chore later on, they are hard to spot when active, and the "Auto Explore" on the units is stupid so you can't really use it for this, because they wander off.
- Combat. Give me control over my god damn units, one by one. Currently, even if you choose "manual combat", it's split by rounds where all units go one after the other, and you can only tell them actions between turns. The current system is good if you want to see the battle but are too lazy to play properly, but give us micromanagers and fight enthusiasts more control. Also the fights are kinda boring, though I haven't explored spells much. The reinforcement mechanic is nice, and playing on the actual terrain from the world map is also nice.
- There's not many distinctive sounds when you do or click something. The soundtrack is well done and atmospheric, but the problem is that it's too atmospheric, there's no tracks that stand out, they all blend together. There's no tracks to break the monotony.
- Quests. They are fun, though the rewards are mostly insignificant later on. And it's annoying getting a quest on the other side of the map, in the enemy territory, with a time limit. I'd like a bit more quests, some other way of getting them than ruins, maybe with some tech.
- Heroes. Heroes are done right, they have skills which are useful, you get a sense of building/leveling them up. They can govern a city and provide bonuses to the city and army. You can equip them with items that you get from research. What's not nice about heroes is that you don't really get too much attached to them. There's like one portrait per three of the hero classes on each race, and the names are also the same.
- There's lots of fun buildings, but they have small icons and suffer from the problems listed in cons. Otherwise they are fun, and remind me of Civilization.
- Research. There's no classic tech tree, but the research eras system is good. Except that researching Era I tech while in era V takes the same as an era V tech. Personally, I like more technologies and tech trees, like in Alpha Centauri.
- Luxurious resources (boosters), are fun, but some are too rare even though they suck.
- The Strategic resources were done very well. Their amount that's needed trough the game seemed very balanced, and I needed them all.
- Factions/races: Some are vastly different than others, and play differently. This is a big plus. The minor factions are also kinda nice, but should provide more things than just 1 unit and possible assimilation bonus (limited slots), and +1 city population. They should come with their own building or research tech, or item, quest, etc.