A few months ago I was approached by the community manager of a web based MMO called Illyriad. I had some familiarity with the genre as I fumbled around one for a few weeks some years ago. However, some other player put me out of my misery by attacking my territory and utterly wiping me out. I put my bias aside and gave Illyriad a shot, it turned out to be pretty fun after all.
I started out with a small barren piece of land and a few resources. To describe Illyriad, I would compare it to an MMORTS version of Age of Empires. Naturally, as one would expect the objective is to harvest resources, grow your town, expand, research new technology, fight NPCs found around the map, and have a good time in general.
What I liked most about Illyriad was the ability to casually pop in, set a few buildings, queue some military troops, and research technology. On the other side of this coin, if you want to play Illyriad hardcore you can, but it’s going to cost you. I actually became so enamored with Illyriad for a while that I dumped a few dollars into purchasing prestige.
Prestige allows you to instantly complete buildings in your queue (for whatever town you select), increase your resource gathering by 20% for a few days, increase the defenses of your troops, and a few other things. Prestige is handy, considering your upper level buildings can take upwards of 12 hours to a day to complete; the instant complete is a nice feature.
Whether you want to play for free or to pay for content is completely up to the player. I did a mixture of both. It is relatively inexpensive, and it can certainly get you up and running quickly.
Another key factor that helped me progress along were the other players. Amazingly, the players of Illyriad are, for the most part, very nice and willing to help you out. I joined an alliance and was sent multiple resource shipments. Perhaps the kind nature of the player base comes from the fact Illyriad is UK based. In all, the other players are an invaluable resource.
Illyriad has a great niche. It’s a simple and fun game that is easy to keep running in a separate browser tab for most of the day. There is plenty to do and I would suggest that everyone with a few minutes goes and checks it out.
- Free to play, with pay to play option available.
- Simple to learn, lots to do.
- Casual game play makes it a fun background game.
- Great community.
- The time factor, as you progress things take longer and longer and without prestige, you’re going to be doing a lot of waiting.
- Did not run well on a mobile phone.