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Stormfall: Age of War

Stormfall: Age of War
  • Release Date: Oct. 2012 (beta)
  • Publisher: Plarium
  • Developer:
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Official Site

The kingdom of Stormfall is fallen. Rival warlords are coveting the vast land as an evil force also awakens to wreak havoc to the land. You are the chosen one to return peace to the realm while restoring the kingdom to its former glory. Welcome, Lord, to the Stormfall: Age of War, a new free strategy simulation that just hit the scene.

Stormfall

As usual, you are given a small and barely built castle which you need to make a kingdom out of it. The bulk of gameplay remains what you are familiar with if with past experience with any strategy titles. Construct buildings within the castle, manage the production and consumption of resources, train different army units, unlock various Arts of warfare (similar to researches), send troops into battles against NPC or other players, and find allies for mutual benefits. All the basic concepts – build, upgrade, train, research and battle – are still the backbone, but with some twists here and there.

The game is quest-driven. Uniquely, quests are audible in the game, due to the voiceover added to each quest. It’s quite a fresh experience of itself. But if you are not a fan of story or plot hidden in the quest texts, you can always choose to turn off it and have your usual way, directing coming to the quest goal and getting it done to move forward. The in-game quest chain not only offers certain guidance but also rewards generously with resources, coins and Sapphires, the premium currency.

Stormfall handles the premium currency quite differently from what we usually see in other game. You can acquire a lot of Sapphires by finishing quests and leveling up, and, of course, need them in large quantity in many aspects. On one hand, Sapphires get you the usual paid advantages such as instantly finishing construction, training and other ongoing projects and extra supplement of resources and stronger units; on the other, they are simply the one only way to build up the defensive facilities of your kingdom. The walls, towers, gates, catapults and ballista of different levels as well as all the defense-enhancing Improvements items in the game don’t take building slots or take times to finish, but are all consume Sapphires, a large number of them, to construct. So even though you can gain Sapphires by playing, you can’t afford spending them on the usual paid advantages. The advantages are still saved for those who are willing to pay.

You can get access to battles in the starting levels. You don’t really train any army units, but purchase them once you’ve unlocked them by activating the corresponding Arts. Still, you have the restriction of slots and queues and need to wait for the closure of a purchasing activity. Battles start with the fights against NPC opponents but will get to the attack against other players very soon.

In the world map, you can see other lords’ castles and many NPC locations. You can raid some NPCs’ caves to gain XP, resources and sometimes the liberated units. And you can also help defend some of the NPC villages from being raided by other players, which is the first form of player conflicts you will experience. Sometimes, when the villages you suppose to protect are under attack by other players and in danger, you will receive a message that asks you to reinforce with more army units. And you can also launch attack against other players. The strategy’s role in the war is reduced as both the units’ matching relationship and military maneuver are simplied.  In-game war is all about dispatching army units and then receiving the battle report. With all those well-built defenses, it is kind-of waste that we can’t really take part in the battle or even see the battle scene.

You need friends. That seems to me the strongest link between the strategy genre with the Facebook platform. The game kind-of forces upon the invite-friend spam obviously. There are quests asking you to invite friends and add them as allies (though it’s possible you can just select players on the world map and add them as allies) or send resources as gifts to friends. And it requires you to add 10 friends to further expand; otherwise, you can but spend Sapphires, 500 needed to enlarge from the initial 68*68 to the successive 72*72. Besides, you can gain a lot of other benefits from added friends like free resources and coins collected simply by visiting. While it’s possible for you to continue playing with allies but without Facebook friends, it will be much easier and more comfortable with Facebook friends in the game.

Stormfall: Age of War makes some nice changes in some systems but still falls into the category of convention in the core. It has detailed graphics, diverse contents and fair game pace. Yet, part of the fun drains away with the missing deep strategy and challenge. It is comfortable and suitable for players new to the strategy genre, but requires further tweaks to appeal to strategy veterans.

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2 Comments on Stormfall: Age of War

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  1. Sparka says:

    more pay to win….just die already…the games ARE NOT FUN

  2. SDA says:

    Would be a great game if the developers actually supported the games. They put no time into actually fixing the issues with game mechanics. The only updates are updates that find new ways to make money off of you. I have played Evony and Grepolis ( Facebook games) and never had issues like I do with Stormfall. If you have an issue that is game related you may as well save your breath because you will get the same response every time. Sorry we can't help you. It really is to bad the basics of the game are good but the developer leaves much to be desired. My advice? If you play dont give them a dime because they don't support their product.

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