Gladiatus is a text & image only browser game that takes players to the days of ancient Rome. In order to equip themselves and earn enough gold to train their stats, players must complete quests and fight monsters outside town. Gladiatus is a slow paced game where each combat encounter takes 10 or more minutes to resolve themselves with no player input. This is an ideal game to play on one tab while web surfing or working on the other. The game world is broken into two main areas, town and the wilderness.
Town Locations - Work, Arena (PvP), Tavern (quests), Training, Weapon Smith, Armor Smith, General Goods, Alchemist, Jeweller, Auction House, Market.
Wilderness Locations – Hermit, Misty Mountains, Grimwood, Barbarian Village, Bandit Camp, Ancient Temple, Pirate Harbor, and Wolf Cave.
Gladiatus Featured Video
Gladiatus Full Review
By, Erhan Altay
Gladiatus is a turn based browser game set in ancient Rome. Released back in 2007 by Gameforge, the same German publisher behind other browser games including Ogame, Ikariam, and BiteFight, Gladiatus should not be confused with a sequel titled Gladius 2. While Gladius 2 has real time combat and a game world to explore, Gladiatus relies solely on text & images. Combat proceeds in a series of rounds in which the game calculates the actions based on the participants stats and equipment. This style of gameplay is much more casual oriented as it does not require players to constantly monitor the game.
Gladiatus has found a large global audience and has already been translated into dozens of languages which players can switch between on the home page. There are currently 13 servers but the game will take you to a random one when you first click ‘sign up.’ The only way to really tell what server you’re dealing with is to check the URL. It should say something like ‘s6.gladiatus.com’ with the ’6′ being your server. If you plan to play with friends, be sure you all manually head to the same server’s registration page and remember the number. After a short break, I had forgotten which server I signed up on and simply tried every single one starting at 1. Luckily 6 wasn’t far off. After registration, players simply chose their character’s gender and ready to play. Players are taken to their overview page where they can see their character’s equipment, inventory, stats, and their very own referral link. The referral link is styled a ‘trap link’ and earns you gold when others around the internet click it. The game recommends placing the referral link in your forum signatures but I leave it to you to decide how annoying you want to be with it.
Blade For Hire
Since there is no actual client, players must use the menu to the left to navigate through the game. There are two main areas in the world of Gladiatus, inside town and outside town. Interaction with NPC shop keepers, training, accepting quests, and enlisting in the arena are all down inside town while combat expeditions against AI controlled enemies are done outside. It is possible to simply head outside and start grinding but I recommend hitting up the tavern first and accepting a kill quest to help make combat more rewarding. Players can also visit the ‘Work’ area in town and accept odd jobs such as farming, fishing, or baking but this should be done after hunting. Once outside, there are several areas displayed on the map. Players can use either the map or the menu to the left to navigate this region. Certain quests may require you to kill certain monsters, so for example if your objective is to kill barbarians, head to the Barbarian Village. The game will automatically pit you against a foe near your level despite which area you’re in so feel free to explore all the zones.
A Long Expedition…
Once players enter an outside area, they will be presented with three expedition options. Ten minute battles cost 2 expedition points, 20 minute battles are 4 points and 30 minute battles cost 6 points. Players have a maximum of 12 expedition points but regenerate them at a rate of 1 per hour. Once you start your expedition, you’ll be placed in battle with a random AI foe and will have to wait for the counter to end before starting another fight. Players can still navigate around the site while fighting but cannot start new fights either outside or at the arena. Gladiatus has tens of thousands of players around the world so obviously it’s doing something right but I simply couldn’t get myself to feel excited about the gameplay. Most browser games that require you to wait like this are strategy games where the player is in charge of an entire city or empire but here I’m just controlling a single gladiator. There is little to do while fighting and not much to do besides fighting. The major draw must be the casual nature of the game that allows players to only spend a few moments at a time managing their character while performing other tasks online. One feature that I did like in Gladiatus was the inventory management. Your bag and equipment slots look like something out of an action RPG like Diablo. Players can drag and drop new gear they loot off their foes very easily though once equipped, equipment becomes ‘soulbound’ and untradable.
For Honor and Glory!
Encounters may be dull but they were never meant to be the main attraction. PvP plays an important part in Gladiatus and all players are in constant danger of being raided by others. Those who want to prove their worth can head to the arena and battle for honor points and to improve their ranking on the server-wide listings but new players will probably have to spend at least a few days grinding it out against AI monsters in order to properly equip themselves first. Besides the weapon and armor vendors, players can attempt to purchase gear at the auction house but should be very careful when doing so. For some reason Germans don’t seem to understand the concept of an auction. Many browser games developed by Germans such as Dark Orbit and Sea Fight have auctions in which players who do not win still have to pay out their bids. This system is closer to a casino or a game of roulette than an auction house so make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Rubies are a Gladiators Best Friend
The premium currency in Gladiatus are rubies which can be purchased at a rate of 8 to 15 cents each depending on the quantity. These can be used to speed up any encounter, perform certain jobs unavailable to free users, and purchase gear much faster than having to accumulate gold. But even more importantly, players can upgrade their character to a ‘Centurion’ for 14 days at a cost of 14 rubies. Centurions receive enormous benefits including an additional 12 encounter point cap for a total of 24, halved encounter times and halved encounter costs. This makes it at least 4x easier for paying players to progress than free players and poses a severe balance issue. How much this bothers you is a personal matter but it certainly doesn’t make it impossible to play for free. For those not willing to pay, the best way to kill time while waiting for expedition points to regenerate is to head to the Work NPC in town and volunteer our services as a farmer for several hours.
Final Verdict: Fair
Gladiatus is a casual browser based game with a small game world and slow paced combat. While gameplay is mostly a matter of waiting, the varied selection of equipment and stat distributions adds an element of skill to the game.