From UbiSoft: A little Might and Magic that you can play in a few minutes a day, at work! Might and Magic: Heroes Kingdoms is a little RTS game that you can play in a few minutes at a time. Oddly addictive, the little world domination game gives you a few interesting choices on how to build your kingdom.
At first glance, one would think the game belonged on facebook. The graphics and interactions are nothing to write home about. I’ve had a couple people look at it on my computer and wonder why I am ‘wasting my time with it’. However, the kingdom-building sim is a strong draw as evidenced by many other successful real time strategy games, and don’t be fooled by it’s simplistic nature!
The game isn’t meant to be played continuously. It is pretty up front about this. It’s a favorites game, something you check out every couple hours and play for a few minutes, then go back to what you were doing. There are five factions, each with pros and cons that are laid out at the very beginning, although the full implications don’t show until some time later in the game.
Leveling your heroes is paramount! They need to be doing something as often as possible so that they can get the maximum in skills. However, you’re limited by your armies, your money, and your resources that also have to be husbanded in the most efficient way possible. Be aware and be careful of the heroes you choose, if you do not subscribe you’ll be stuck with three heroes, your starter hero and two others you can recruit, until you’ve played for 49 days.
How much of a problem is this? Well, heroes do come with armies, and early subscription (which is pretty inexpensive) is a way to boost your armies early. On the other hand, after a few levels, there’s significant wait time in getting armies and toons back and forth, so it’s difficult to say how much assistance the extra heroes are at the outset. Of course, that is mostly because no subscription has been bought. Also, you can control more cities as a subscriber. The max number for non-subscribers is three, the max number for subscribers is six.
Once you get to approximately level seven or eight-ish, the game will give you a quest to settle a second town. Think about this before you do it! You’re going to be effectively halfing your military force, and it’s going to be a real bother to build it up in two locations. You are much better off choosing a few places for a new settlement and keeping an eye on them as you build up military force and continue to develop your one town. Yes, this is advice from experience! Development of your conquered areas is also supremely important, as you get troop and support bonuses as well as materiel bonuses when your area is properly (and solidly) built.
It is important to join a guild in this game. The social aspect is not really a part of this, although I’ve chatted with a few guildies through mail and IM. The real need in joining a guild is for protection. The nations that are built are more than happy to besiege you and swallow you up if you don’t have anyone out there trying to protect your budding town when someone else’s nation happens by. In good news, however, guilds aren’t really intrusive, and there is no 3 hour time block on Tuesday and Thursday, and 6 hours on Saturday for progression raiding…
In addition, there are plenty of people out there that have stopped playing. What does this mean to you? Well, mostly it means that there are cities out there that have been abandoned. It’s easy enough to conquer them and take over their improved (hopefully) mines and areas.
Again, this isn’t a full-time game. If you go into it thinking you can push through and play constantly you’re going to be terribly disappointed. The game just is not set up like that. This is a part-time game, something to do for a few minutes a few times a day. You can have kingdoms on two separate servers if you like, and you’ll spend a bit more time on the game if you do choose to do this, but not much. A third server will be opening soon for the next season.
All in all, this game is one I’m really enjoying. It doesn’t take a lot of my attention from other (more important) things. I feel like I can (and should!) step away from it, and that’s kind of freeing from an MMO perspective where the focus is leveling then gearing as soon as possible to get to endgame. This game is a little different, it forces you to just relax…and enjoy playing the game. And I like that.
There are add-ons to help you plan your battles, and they do come highly recommended by some players. Personally, I’m not sure they are necessary to do well in the game, what is necessary is patience and income of both resources and gold. As previously stated, this game is not one that one plays constantly, and this in and of itself should remind you that patience in dealing with this game is a virtue. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your city be!