Few weeks ago I was bored out of my minds and was trying to find something else to play than Travian, Tribal Wars and the likes. Not to mention that I don’t have time to manage my accounts all day long, so a more ‘peaceful’ game might actually do it for me. And then I found The Settlers Online, a game developed by Ubisoft.
Even from the moment you get on their site, you can see they mean business. The graphics are outstanding, there’s an amazing flair for detail. It’s clear Ubisoft have taken this game seriously and bringing it to the browser game players was not an afterthought.
As soon as you enter your account, you’re entering the tutorial, which will help you understand how the entire economy works like. As a small ‘leader’ you’ll need to get people to come and settle, mine for resources and fight ruthless bandits to clear more ‘sectors’ for your empire to grow.
You will notice that you are alone on an island (and will be for quite some time) and your only worry is to get enough resources and settlers to create a great economy and also a bigger army.
The fact you don’t wage wars from the get go helps you manage your account easier and you don’t need to dedicate too much time to it anyway.
As mentioned already, the graphics are just amazing. This is one of the best designed MMO games you’ll find to play in your browser, it’s absolutely flawless. As I write the article, the European Soccer Championship is happening and Ubisoft have even tweaked their design and added some cool features to showcase this.
The game is in Flash and this might cause some delays. At certain points in the game (buffing buildings, getting trades etc.) the game seems to have a 1-2 seconds delay, which can be a little annoying. But you can’t have these outstanding graphics and not experience some slowness when it comes for some features. I think this is the only serious flaw I can find to this game, I’m really impressed with it overall.
Your work will be to constantly work on getting more industries running, create ‘buffs’ (bonuses that will double your buildings production) and trade with other players, while also trying to clear your island and get ready for the big wars afterward. The resource grow very slow and the buildings upgrades are kinda steep (I’d say this is another thing I might not like about The Settlers Online). This is not a game that you can play a lot, few minutes a day would suffice when it comes to running your empire.
Make sure you keep building new industries and be careful with trading. The good thing is you don’t always have to wait for the resources to appear, you can trade with other players.
Overall The Settlers Online is a great game. The interface is nicely designed, you can develop nicely and not fear getting your entire work wiped out in minutes by more aggressive players. There’s the option to buy premium features (gems), but it’s not really needed. Of course, if you want to get some advantage and also give back to the developers, buying gems can be an idea.
So, if you’re looking to play a good strategy browser based game, this will be an excellent pick.