If you're a human with a phone or TV, chances are you've at least heard of "Game of War."
The mobile war-strategy game, made by Machine Zone, is making a ton of money (it has the second-highest gross in the App Store), and with Kate Upton as its spokeswoman it has clearly spent a ton of money in advertising.
But is "Game of War" worth the hype?
After trying it out for a couple of weeks, we have to answer a resounding no. This game is disaster.Here's the load screen. This is important because if you don't have a reliable internet connection, you will spend a LOT of time staring at this screen. You can't play "Game of War" without a connection.
Chances are you've seen one of the game's ads, which are plastered everywhere. This one came up in another game altogether ("Trivia Crack").
Once you get it open, this is what you see. Find the arrows confusing? That's how our eyes feel. There is way too much to look at here and click on. Some options are ads to buy in-app purchases, some are actual gameplay controls, and some are resource monitors — the list goes on and on.
"Game of War" looks like and sort of emulates past war-strategy games like "Warcraft" and "StarCraft." You build structures like barracks for training troops or farms to feed your city.
Once you tap on your building, here's the kind of screen you'll see. In this case you can train troops or upgrade your building.
This city is upgrading its Stronghold. If you're wondering why there's been no talk about fighting anyone yet, there's a good reason: THERE IS NO FIGHTING IN "GAME OF WAR." The whole game is about gathering resources to complete quests, and those quests are literally just gathering more resources without even leaving your city.
In fact, when we dived into the chat function and saw people giving advice, that hunch was confirmed. This is a game about gathering and amassing resources. It's all "means" and no "ends."
Most of the game is about quests that you join (individually or with an alliance). For all intents and purposes, it starts a timer giving you a set amount of time to collect a certain number of resources or upgrades.
Here's an example of the kinds of quests available to you.
If you're in an Alliance, you can send and receive gifts that add things like gold to your stash. But it takes work, you have to tap and open every gift individually (there can be hundreds).
There is a world map, which shows other players' cities around yours. You can try to attack them, but nothing much happens.
This is all that happens when you attack another city (and win). Thanks but no thanks, Kate.
There's also something called a "hero," which I guess you upgrade and do things with? This never made sense, but the game mentions it a lot.
So that's it. You click around and keep doing what the quests tell you to do. Which means upgrading buildings and getting resources. It feels kind of like homework. Boring homework, no less.
And there are plenty of opportunities to spend your real hard-earned cash to purchase fake, unearned gold in the game.
Oh, and there's also this dragon that sits in your dungeon. Every so often you can attack it. It's not clear what this is all about, but it has something to do with dark energy.
We thought role-playing with Kate Upton would be more fun ...
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