Astro Empires Overview
Astro Empires is a real time strategy MMO where players can build their own empire in space. Build up your economy, conquer your neighbors and claim a chunk of the universe for yourself of for your guild in this epic browser based game. Think of Astro Empires as a traditional real time strategy game, as much of the early game is spent building up your economy while large scale battles are reserved for much later in the game. With 7 servers and over 3000 players online at any given time, Astro Empires is a very ‘complete’ MMO and well worth checking out for those looking to try out a new game. Fans of RTS games in general and those that prefer browser games that they can enjoy without a huge time commitment should certainly enjoy Astro Empires.
Astro Empires Screenshots
Astro Empires Featured Video
Astro Empires Full Review
By, Omer Altay
Personally, very few browser games actually hold my attention. I’m not sure why, but I almost always prefer to play more in depth downloadable MMORPGs over browser games, but Astro Empires seems to be one of the few exceptions to that rule. I genuinely had a lot of fun during my time with this sci-fi themed Real-Time Strategy MMO, but that’s probably because Astro Empires was one of my first browser games ever, and everyone seems to have some sort of unusual affection to their first few games in a new genre.
A Sci-fi MMORTS
Astro Empires is a sci-fi themed real time strategy game set in the massive depths of space. Upon creating an account players have the option to start nearly anywhere they life in the game’s massive universe or they can allow the game to auto-place them in a safe spot. I recommend letting the game automatically place you somewhere on the map unless you’re looking to play with a friend, in which case you should start in the same galaxy. At this point, I urge newbies to carefully look through the game’s quick-start guide, which can be found at the welcome message upon logging into the game, as there’s a lot to do in this game.
Keep in mind that Astro Empires starts off real slow. Players will need to start building up their economy by building Metal Refineries and Solar Plants. Metal refineries increase the amount of credits your planet generates per hour and also increases the construction speed for all future buildings constructed on that particular planet. Think of the early portion of Astro Empires as the beginning of any RTS game, as you basically just need to build up your economy. Construction units or buildings in Astro Empires is displayed by a timer that decreases one second at a time until it reaches zero and the construction is complete. Construction / production time for buildings and units can be dramatically reduced by upgrading the metal refineries and shipyards on your planets. Keep in mind that each planet can only construct a single building at once and produce a single unit at a time, so having multiple planets makes not only economical sense, but makes producing units much faster. One complaint I have with construction in Astro Empires is that it’s way too slow early on and it may turn some gamers off right from the get-go, because it takes a good week or so before you can have a sizeable enough economy to even begin producing military units.
Seriously. There’s A LOT to this game.
After playing browser games like Gladius 2 and Dark Orbit, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Astro Empires has A LOT of different buildings, units and technologies to play with. Just looking at the game’s ‘tables’ section where all the possible units and buildings are outlined is simply mind boggling, especially for a browser game. There’s seriously more to do in Astro Empires than any traditional commercial real-time strategy game I’ve ever played. A quick glance at the table’s area shows that there are over 20 buildings available to construct [most of which can be upgraded up to 20 times], 10 defensive structures, 20 units and 15 technologies. I’ve been playing Astro empires for a few weeks now, and I’ve never even been able to afford even ONE of the game’s most powerful ships, the Death Star (haha, Star Wars), so this isn’t a game you can fully experience in a single week. Units produced at your planets can be used to attack other player’s and occupy their planets. Occupying an enemies’ planet will grant you a portion of that planet’s hourly credit generation, which can be extremely profitable if you occupy numerous planets at once.
The Last Frontier
Space in Astro Empires is truly massive. The universe has 38 ‘galaxies’ which are each divided into a 10×10 grid with a total of 100 squares in each galaxy. Each square has anywhere from 0-25+ ‘solar systems’ which each have anywhere from 0-10 planets, which ultimately translates into a game world with well over 39,000 planets. In order to find other players, scout vassals will need to be sent out to do some reconnaissance work, as without scouting an area first, you’ll never know whether a planet is occupied by another player or if its empty. The enormous game world is actually quite helpful for newbies, as perhaps the best form of defense in Astro Empires is the game’s size. For another player to find your home base, they either need to start next to you or scout around to try and locate you, which can take an enormous amount of time, considering travel in Astro Empires is fairly slow, sometimes even too slow. If one of your planets in a nearby solar system is attacked for example, it can take easily 10+ hours for your reinforcements from your home base to arrive there, which can get extremely frustrating.
Perhaps the most interesting and engaging part of Astro Empires is finding and joining a guild. I find that most free MMORPGs can be fully enjoyed with ever having to join a guild or interact with others, but that isn’t the case here. You need a guild for both protection and coordinated attacks. Most of the time, attacking a random player in Astro empires is an EXTREMELY bad idea, as that player can easily call his friends or guild mates for assistance, which can lead to complete and utter destruction if you’re new to the game. Heck, even if you’ve been playing Astro Empires for months, a coordinated attack on your home base from a guild is almost impossible to defend against without allies, because no matter how well defended you are, odds are 10 players with a fleet of ships each can take you down and that’s why I urge all players to find a guild to ally with. Just having a guild tag on your name can keep you protected, as other player’s may fear that attacking your planet will quickly lead to their own demise if your guild mates back you up.
Even though ‘guilds’ make Astro Empires really interesting, guilds can also ruin the game. if for some reason a large guild is determined to ‘ruin you’, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it other than creating a new account and starting off somewhere else, which can be frustrating. My only advice is not to make any enemies, at least until you’re in a guild. Come to think of it, the game is a lot like Eve Online, as both games have open PvP and a strong emphasis on player alliances.
Premium Account vs Free Account
Like a lot of other free browser games, ‘Free Accounts’ in Astro Empires are extremely limited making premium accounts extremely imbalanced. Free accounts are limited to controlling 9 planets while upgraded accounts have no limit. This alone makes upgrading well worth it, if you plan on playing Astro Empires longer than a week or two, as having the ability to control more than 9 planets is ridiculously helpful. Another advantage of paying for an account is that the upgraded accounts have access to 5 construction and research queues while free accounts only have 2. Luckily though, all new accounts start with 7 days worth of ‘premium access’, so newbies should be able to quickly build up their economies by utilizing the larger construction queues which are enormously helpful. My biggest complaint with Astro Empires is that those that pay for the game receive such an enormous advantage, that it sort of makes the game unfair, at least if you play the game hard core. If you’re looking to play Astro Empire’s casually, which is certainly possible, then you won’t even need a premium account to enjoy the game.
Final Verdict – Good
Astro Empires is unique MMORTS with an enormous playerbase (40,000 active players), regularly updated content and a whole lot to do. Both hardcore and casual gamers should enjoy Astro Empires, provided that they have the patience to spend some time learning the game. The only drawbacks to Astro Empires it’s a bit overwhelming at first and ‘upgraded’ accounts are terribly imbalanced.
Astro Empires Screenshots
More Screenshots coming soon.
Astro Empires Articles
- Astro Empires Announces Major New Update, Astro Empires v1.5 - Posted on August 27, 2013
The space strategy browser game Astro Empires is preparing the largest update in its history.
- Astro Empires Celebrates 7 Years - Posted on May 20, 2013
The first Astro Empires server was released 7 years ago, the game was developed to be a persistent game universe which would continue indefinitely allowing the players to mature new and exciting tactics as they grew and learned. Seven years later the original Alpha server is still open with thousands of players, many who signed up in those first few months.