Caesary Full Review
By MMOHut's Erhan Altay
Caesary is yet another browser based strategy game released in the wake of Evony. Like the myriad of other strategy games that use similar scripts, Caesary allows players to slowly build up an empire via prudent resource management and skillful diplomacy. The Roman theme helps set the game apart from competitors and the simple interface helps make Caesary easy to pick up and play.
Originally hosted on its own site, Caesary is now accessible from multiple portals. Players can log into the game via the massive flash game platform Kongregate, or through Aeria Games. As a flash game, Caesary will run on a wide variety of computers and does not require high system specs. Most free MMORPG fans are likely to already have Aeria accounts so I recommend that method of entry. New players are presented with a rather dull town that consists of a Rectorate and four resource producing structures. The Rectorate serves as the town center while the Farm, Quarry, Iron Mine, and Sawmill each generate one of the four primary resources: Lumber, Crops, Stone, and Iron. The fifth resource is Sesterces which is the common coinage collected by taxing citizens. A rather buxom Egyptian adviser guides new players through the game’s tutorial, and it is well worth completing.
Questing for Rewards
Like in Empire Craft, each city in Caesary starts with a single copy of each resource building and cannot build additional copies. Instead, players must upgrade their structures to increase the number of jobs the structure can create, and at what speed. Job creation is an interesting method of resource generation that helps set Caesary apart from other strategy games. Rather than simply producing more resources as buildings level, players must manually ‘create’ farming, mining, or forestry jobs in order to put their citizens to work. The tutorial walks newbies through the process of erecting new structures, of upgrading existing ones, and creating jobs. Low level structures can be constructed or upgraded instantly, but higher level ones require the use of premium items to speed up. Luckily, the first few quests provide packages that contain many premium items. Another way for players to acquire premium items for free is through the Zodiac Ceremony which is basically a prize wheel. Players can spin it once a day for free, but it costs 5 gold for each additional shot. The prizes on offer vary from lump sums of a particular resource to items that cost $10 in the item mall. Besides construction boosts, players will receive a hero, and hundreds of combat troops for free. The basic combat mechanics are similar to those in Kingory and War of Legend. Players assign troops trained at the barracks to heroes then issue commands to those heroes around the world map.
Conquering the Wilderness
The interface in Caesary is clean and well organized. There are only two screens to worry about: town view and world view. Players start packed closely together on the world map to encourage interaction. New players are granted 7 days of protection from attack, but upgrading the Rectorate to level 5 or higher will cancel this protection. It’s best to use the first week building up your economy, and familiarizing yourself with the game’s mechanics. While waiting for buildings to finish, players should send their heroes into the field to claim various wilderness spots. These come in several flavors including Forests, Mountains, Cliffs, Deserts, Lakes, and so on. They vary in level from 1 through 10 and serve a duel purpose. They can be raided for loot in the form of luxury items like Diamonds which are required to train certain heroes or advance in rank, but they can also be seized to provide a boost to resource production. The amount of loot that can be plundered and the resource boost granted vary based on the level of the wilderness, but the higher level ones are better defended. Players can train scouts and use them to detect the strength of the forces defending a wilderness, or a player-controlled city before attacking.
Empire Building 101
As the seven day grace period begins to expire, players should focus more on building up their defenses, and making allies with nearby players. Walls, and warehouses are two important buildings to focus on for defense, but joining a League is the best form of protection. Would-be raiders tend to gloss over cities with a League alignment, least they incur the rather of multiple armies at once. Even if a city is conquered in Caesary, it’s not the end of the game. Instead, the city is simply classified as a colony, or tributary, of the conqueror and enjoys 20% of all resources generated from that city. New players need not wait until they are defeated to become colonies. A city that voluntary submits to pay tribute to another can effectively outsource its defense responsibilities for 20% of its resource income. There’s no limit to the number of colonies a player can have, so there’s a powerful incentive to either make alliances or wage wars. Almost all browser games have a powerful social component, and this one is no different. Players will notice right away that chatting is a common way to kill time, and as leagues mature they will do a fair deal of chatting between themselves.
Throne for Sale
Many Western developed strategy games like Tribal Wars and Ikarium try to limit the advantages players can purchase, but Asian developers don’t seem to have that notion of balance in mind. The game’s premium currency, gold, costs about 10 cents a piece and can be used to purchase resources, items that speed up construction, and items that give major bonuses to military units. There’s even an item for sale that costs $500. There’s nothing ‘micro’ about that transaction! The obvious result of the item shop in Caesary is that in any given conflict, the side that reaches for the credit card more often will prevail. It is still possible to join a large clan and contribute forces while playing for free, but caps on the number of players per clan mean free players are likely to be sidelined.
Final Verdict: Fair
While Caesary has a unique setting, it doesn’t do enough to distinguish itself from other strategy games. The slow paced progression, and the unlimited shortcuts paying players receive make Caesary a very unbalanced game. It is possible to play the game casually and enjoy it, especially if the Roman theme sounds appealing.
Pros: +Solid interface. +Good tutorial. +Interesting theme. +Pay tribute in return for protection with the colony feature.
Cons: -Very similar to previous strategy games. -Paying players receive large advantages. -Very slow paced. -Confusing English translations.