If we all choose world "My" we can play together! Happy birthday!
July 14, 2008 6:41 PM   Subscribe

Happy Birthday, MeFi, here's a fun free* game! Ikariam is sort of like a Skyrates version of Civ, with the real-time MMO combat and diplomacy that might bring to mind. Also, it's set in Olympian Greece, but only kind-of. Enjoy! *Batteries not included. Some registration required. Suggested age: 8-and-up. Some implied violence and consumption of alcohol (wine). Expansion materials may be purchased but are not necessary to enjoy the game and are, by the judgment of this MFGA (MetaFilter Gaming Authority) member: "some kind of bullshit."
posted by Navelgazer (20 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I forgot to mention, the game can be a little complicated, so here's a helpful wiki for any questions.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:43 PM on July 14, 2008

It's also worth my mentioning that I wans't kidding with the title. Join world "My." The worlds created earlier are likely to pwn you like a grue. "My" was added very recently, is largely unsettled, and isn't very militaristic yet.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:51 PM on July 14, 2008

Is these one of those games where you have to log in every day and manage your city until some huge alliance dominates you and you can't do anything about it?
posted by demiurge at 6:56 PM on July 14, 2008

DeMiurge, that's exactly the kind of game it is.

Fortunately I haven't been pwned yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. And no I'm not telling anybody here which server I'm on or the name of my city(ies) because you guys would just pwn me for sport.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:06 PM on July 14, 2008

Bah. Who needs cutesy little cities and a complex trading system when you can have a free Diablo-alike such as Gladiatus? Join server 4 and message me!
posted by vorfeed at 7:29 PM on July 14, 2008

I this looks neat, but it appears they have one of those models where you pay money for in game benefits. I just can't bring myself to participate in a game where a 13 year old with access to Dad's credit card gets better units or special powers.
posted by Telf at 7:35 PM on July 14, 2008

metafilter: a 9 year old with all of our credit cards.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:41 PM on July 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Telf: the 13 year olds are on summer break. Their powers come not from credit cards but from unemployment.
posted by scope the lobe at 7:43 PM on July 14, 2008

Clearly we need to repeal the child labor laws. That way, the little scamps can learn valuable life lessons and the grown-ups can do the serious work of crushing imaginary empires. Everybody wins.
posted by jedicus at 7:56 PM on July 14, 2008

I played with this for a while it was sort of fun I guess but I got tired of it after a couple weeks. My dad left our family a little bit after my sixth birthday. That means even as a baby I was more fun than this game. :(
posted by I Foody at 8:27 PM on July 14, 2008

Having played Travian before, I can attest that the 13-year-olds in giant alliances will pwn you regardless of whether or not they have access to daddy's credit card.
posted by chrominance at 8:28 PM on July 14, 2008

I remember hearing tell of this game being /i/nvaded from somewhere or other, which probably means the giant alliances of 13-year-olds are too numerous and powerful for anyone.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:33 PM on July 14, 2008

Wow. My frieinds and I burnt out on Ikariam a month or so ago. It's fun enough, but it really doesn't account for the endgame very well. Once you hit a certain point, it's a tossup between pillaging your neighbors until they die (and leave you with nothing to do), or spending literally WEEKS to build up a single building to the next level, enabling you to spend more weeks to build another building to the next level, enabling you to start a new colony where the process begins all over again.

Some friends and I who hang out on IRC formed an alliance and shot to one of the top 10 groups in short order, just because we coordinated better than anyone else. Pitched battles, massive wars, and... and... nothing. Just a lot of slog.

The beginning and midgames are fun in Ikariam, especially if you're playing with a tightly coordinated group of friends. But it really does drag badly once you get settled.
posted by verb at 9:38 PM on July 14, 2008

it appears they have one of those models where you pay money for in game benefits.

Argh. That's a dealbreaker. Too bad, as it looked pretty good otherwise. But on preview, verb's description isn't too enticing, either.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:42 PM on July 14, 2008

Yes. It's a terrible, awful game. You guys will all hate it. Don't even bother signing up.

the thought of MeFites teaming up and then finding me is not a pretty one.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:09 AM on July 15, 2008

verb: That is exactly what I dropped in here to post, even down to the gaggle of IRC buddies. I have nothing useful to add now.
posted by Harkins_ at 7:29 AM on July 15, 2008

It appears they have one of those models where you pay money for in game benefits.

Argh. That's a dealbreaker.

I really don't get that. The vast majority of webgame players don't pay for anything; the few who do usually rocket past everyone else at the beginning, and end up too busy competing against each other to bother the free players. Besides, most online games are already pay-to-win, even if they're not supposed to be (WoW has a much larger cash economy than any of these games could ever dream of).
posted by vorfeed at 10:01 AM on July 15, 2008

I've been playing this for awhile now and the only thing keeping me going is my OCD. I'm at a high enough level now where there's not a whole lot to do except slowly and gradually make my cities more and more badass. It's getting old fast.
posted by nightchrome at 7:27 PM on July 15, 2008

Argh. That's a dealbreaker. Too bad, as it looked pretty good otherwise. But on preview, verb's description isn't too enticing, either.
Well, keep in mind that my friends and I hit that boredom point after three months of pretty solid coordinated play. Each of us had four, some of us five, cities. We had armies of hundreds of gyrocopters and steam giants consuming thousands of gold an hour roaming around devouring undefended cities. Every day we had trade fleets of dozens of ships shuttling around loads of luxury goods worth more than most other players' entire monthly cash flow.

The ramp-up was tons of fun, I'll say that. And once our alliance caught the eye of a few ambitious generals, we had some fun scraps. But the in-game economy is structured in a way that accelerates as you grow, then crumbles when you run out of pillage targets big enough to withstand ongoing raids.

I can see a lone player enjoying the game for quite some time; without the accelerant of a tightly coordinated alliance playing 24/7 and helping you past some of the early ingame hurdles, I'm sure it would stay interesting even longer than I found it fun. It is FREE, after all. It's just that once you have a legitimate empire, the only way to sustain yourself is OCD pillaging until your neighbors die off. Many people experience the same thing with other MMORPGs, but really successful ones like WoW have figured out ways to transition the gameplay to a new 'style' once people reach a certain peak.
posted by verb at 1:00 PM on July 16, 2008

Nice mugging, vorfeed.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 3:48 PM on July 16, 2008

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