Browser Games: Ikariam

Second in a series on browser-based games. First post here.

Ikariam is a strategy game, with Roman themed artwork and an ancient/medieval setting. As of this posting, it’s in version 0.2.7, so I guess that means it’s beta/still in developement. I’m still technically active in the game, though active is an overstatement since I basically log in each day to see that it will still be many days before I can grow again.

It probably has the nicest art of any of the browser games, it’s even better than many installable games. Ikariam starts out strong, with fairly rapid build times and cheap expansion, but what might be its fatal flaw develops later on. Expansion costs are exponential, typically doubling or more, while the returns on that investment are meager, 10-20%. This makes the game slow to a crawl after a few weeks. Combat is slow and relatively simple, and there really isn’t any reason to fight someone except to pillage them, which is barely worth the effort.

I’m not sure what the designers were thinking, perhaps there is some unreleased feature that will open the game up, but for now, I’d have to say its a dud.