Third in a series on browser-based games. First post here.
I initially checked out Tribal Wars because I saw a few people mention it, and was skeptical because of it’s rather amateurish UI. After giving it a fair shot, however, I have to say it’s probably the most balanced web game I’ve seen to date, and I’m still playing it.
TW is fairly generic in its setting, I’d say loosely medieval. It is very combat oriented, as it’s name implies, and your struggle is not only to stay alive but to expand and improve in a congested world. You can grow somewhat fast if you forgo defending yourself, but that’s rarely wise. The world expands, with new players being added to the outside. Over time this makes the distribution form a kind of donut, with dense areas of newer players on the edge, and sparse areas of powerful veterans inside, often hours or days from the newest players and therefore unlikely to steamroll them.
The UI is useful but not very refined, and there’s a premium (paid) option that makes it even more useful and a little less refined. Combat is predictable and errs on the simple side, not quite RPS, but close. Income gains from expansion are proportional to their cost, and both escalate rapidly, which gives a nice sense of progress.
TW also has the option of playing in a “speed round”, where the game is sped up by a factor of 100-400. This effectively turns the highly diplomatic/political game into a brawl that can be more exciting than I expected a text-based game would be. You can build a town up to completion in hours rather than months, and you can also lose it in minutes if you make a mistake or tempt a more powerful player.
I’ll give TW a big thumbs up and recommend it to anyone looking for an involved, strategic game.