As social gaming continues to gain in popularity, game developers are beginning to see the value of creating Facebook games for serious gamers. Making its debut in the strategy gaming category is the new title from Israeli developer Plarium, Stormfall: Age Of War.
Plarium hopes to find favor among the 250 million dedicated Facebook gamers by taking a game from a niche market and introducing it to the mainstream of social gaming. The timing may be in Plarium’s favor; social gamers have raised their expectations, and they are placing a higher value on games that require more than just a casual mouse click. Well designed games that emphasize intelligent game play and have a detailed, involving story to tell may be just what the doctor ordered to continue the incredible growth of social gaming.
Stormfall: Age Of War is a graphics-rich strategy simulation that introduces players to the troubled kingdom of Stormfall. The land is plagued by evil and threatened by power hungry rival warlords who are locked in a life and death struggle for supremacy. Players are asked to bring peace to the land and rebuild the kingdom from the ruins of war.
The game adds a nice new feature to social gaming. Each quest is introduced by voice-over narration that guides the player along and offers hints concerning crucial objectives. Questing is an essential part of Stormfall: Age Of War. Finishing the quests will provide the player with substantial rewards including all important sapphires that are needed to unlock new content and purchase important items.
The developers obviously take the “social” in “social gaming” seriously, and Stormfall places great value on recruiting friends to assist you with your quests. Adding friends will also allow players to conserve their valuable resources You can avoid spending 500 sapphires to expand the game map by inviting 10 friends to become allies. Even the seemingly mundane task of an in-game visit to a friend rewards the player with items and coins.
Players familiar with strategy games will immediately recognize the important features of a good strategy game: building up resources, constructing defenses, and manning armies. Players are asked to put all the pieces in place to defend their home turf or attack and conquer their rivals.
While the game does an excellent job on the preparations for war, it does fall slightly short on the actual battles. Players simply launch an attack and then receive a report on the outcome. None of the horrors of war or the noble sacrifices of great heroes are visible to the player. With all the detailed, well designed preparations, it is a shame the developers didn’t add several glorious cut scenes to portray the clash of swords or a few blood splattered deaths.
Facebook users who are new to the world of strategy gaming will find Stormfall: Age Of War the perfect place to start. Even devoted fans of the genre will thoroughly enjoy the game. Plarium’s new title is certainly a welcome change from planting crops, sketching stick figures, and rescuing cute fairy princesses.
The InquisitrGame Score: 85 of 100 – A nicely made game. Well worth playing.