Summary Build your own Greek Empire through trade, alliances, and war.
Description Type: Strategy
Platform: Browser, Android
Players: 1 player
Age: 7 plus
Game Time: Endless
Developer or Designer:
Publisher: InnoGames GmbH
Keeps you coming back for more
Waiting times prevent you playing too long
Switch between browser and Android
Can't re-visit tutorial
Can only be a member of one alliance
Limited number of gods to worship
I first found out about Grepolis through a television advert; it is a free-to play browser based strategy game that can also be played on Android, and allows for an easy switch between your computer and tablet. The name is a merging of two words, 'Greek' and 'Polis', which is ancient Greek for 'city'.
The aim of the game is to build an empire by means of trade, alliances, and war. The nearby surrounding cities are computer player cities that are relatively easy to conquer, but as you expand, you will find cities belonging to other players, who can decide to be allies with or attack.
The game is very immersive, which has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of course being that you get very involved in the game; the disadvantage is that there is quite a lot to learn and familiarise yourself with. There is a tutorial, but when I tried to use it it, the game kept freezing. I had no problems after cancelling the tutorial, but the problem is that you cannot re-enter it if you need a reminder on what to do. I therefore had to figure things out for myself.
If you do get stuck, then there is always the online forum, where you can ask for help, enter competitions, and chat about the game in general.
To create an empire, you must first build up your founding city. You do this by entering the senate and ordering the construction of a barracks, temple, quarry, mine, farm, etc. These places will ensure a steady flow of materials and soldiers. Production will be increased each time you upgrade a structure, but you need a certain amount of resources to be able to do this.
It also takes time to build and send out troops. This makes the game more realistic, but also means that you can sometimes have to wait a long while before being able to continue with the game. Although this can be frustrating at times, it does prevent you from playing the game for any extended period of time - a good thing, if you have a tendency to get addicted.
Because this is ancient Greece, everyone worships Greek gods. Your city can worship one of five gods: Zeus, Hera, Athena, Hades, or Poseidon. Given the wealth of different gods in ancient Greek culture, I think the choice is rather limited; they could have given a much greater range to choose from. Depending on which god you choose (which can be changed at any time), your city will receive different benefits. For example, my city worships Hera, which brings suitors from far off lands, increase population growth, happiness and desire. All this amounts to increased resources. If you worship Hades, 10% of your killed soldiers come back from the dead. These benefits are not permanent, however, you need to gain favour with your god to be able to use them, and it lasts for six hours (real time).
To help build your city, you will continually be given quests, such as upgrading buildings, inviting friends to join the game, and defeating farming villages. For every quest you complete you will get a reward.
There are also island quests, in which you have to decide what path to take. You can either be peaceful by helping those in need, or warlike, by taking all their belongings. Each will give you a reward, and determine what kind of city you are going to grow.
Grepolis is one of the most in depth games I've played that you can get for free. There is the option to buy gold coins with real money if you wish, but it is not necessary. Strategy gamers should definitely try this one out.