Tribal Wars

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Tribal Wars is a medieval strategy game played right on your web browser. Players start with a single village and must built it into a powerful city by gathering resources and constructing new buildings. But be careful, Tribal Wars has open PvP so be sure to train soldiers to defend your realm and don’t be afraid to raid your neighbors.

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Publisher: InnoGames
Playerbase: High
Graphics: Low
Type: MMO
EXP Rate: Slow
PvP: Open
Filesize: N/A

Pros: +Strategy based gameplay. +Can be played in short bursts. +Promotes player interaction. +Unique ‘hero’ system.

Cons: -Slow paced. -Free users have several restrictions. -Consists of text and images only. -Powerful ‘tribes’ or players can ruin the game for new players.

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Overview

Tribal Wars Overview

Tribal Wars is a strategy based game where players grow their cities and settle new ones to expand their empire. Certain buildings like mines or lumber yards generate resources such as Wood, Clay, and Iron. But Tribal Wars isn’t just a medieval Sim City, players must be ever vigilant and guard against attacks from their neighbors. With an open PvP environment, a strong military is a necessity in guarding your bustling empire. Players are rewarded for  raiding nearby villages so the training and upkeep of military units plays a large role. Be warned that Tribal Wars is a slow paced game, especially during the beginning. With a single village to manage and long build queries, it can take many days or week to get the ball rolling. Tribal Wars is best enjoyed in small amounts each day.

Tribal Wars Screenshots

Tribal Wars Featured Video

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Full Review

Tribal Wars Full Review

Tribal Wars is exactly as the name suggests – an all out war between various ‘tribes’ and clans in a free to play web MMO. Every individual controls a village, and must struggle to expand it in order to survive. Set in the medieval ages, it is through the sword, shield and bow that each player will set out to conquer another – in real time.

Starting the game

Upon registration new users will be prompted for a location (North, South, East, West) to create their new village after selecting one of various ‘Worlds’ to join. The World and geographical location don’t make much difference at the start for a total newbie, although for friends who play together it becomes extremely important due to the fact that Tribal Wars places a strong emphasis on teamwork. Be sure to co-ordinate with your friends on which world to join and where to start for maximum deadly force.

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Tribal Wars has an optional interactive tutorial. I was glad that the game developers actually took the time to structure it in such a way that the guide was actually easy to follow, making the usually daunting task of learning game mechanics much less intimidating. Straight to the point, simple and not too much clicking.

Building structures and units

The most important aspect of Tribal Wars in the early stages of the game is to quickly expand the resource collection process. Tribal Wars is a turn based strategy game, so players must move fast and micro-manage their resources well in order to position themselves for an attack. This can be done by upgrading buildings such as the timber camp for faster wood production, the iron mine for faster iron and the farm for an increase in the max population levels. All upgrades are done through the Village Headquarters, the building at the centre of the village marked by a flag. Gameplay wise Tribal Wars does little to differentiate itself from other strategy themed MMOs like Evony, Travian, Space Invasion and Ikarium,

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In order to begin constructing military units to attack another village, players needs to first upgrade their headquarters to level three. The barracks will then be available for construction, and units such as Swordsmen, Axemen and Archers will be available to recruit. Further down the line, Stables producing Calvary units and an Academy training specialized ‘noblemen’ to assist in conquering other villages (taking over) will be available. Building times vary depending on the complexity and the type of upgrade.

By continuing to expand, players will be presented with the opportunity to build more and train stronger troops. Like almost all other MMO’s, the whole point of expanding and gathering more resources is to become as powerful as possible. By expanding to a stage where the population has grown immensely, players can ‘noble’ a village under their control, creating fortified stone wall defences and the ability to train some of the strongest troops to pillage and plunder the enemy. It doesn’t stop there, but how far an individual can climb up the Tribal War ‘food chain’ depends on the surrounding villages. There will be always others that are watching to make sure that one village doesn’t become too powerful, so always be on the alert for a raid.

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The paladin hero

Players have the opportunity to recruit, in the early stages, a ‘paladin’. The paladin is a hero of sorts which is stronger than a standard unit, and boosts offensive power on raids / defence back at home base and also allows for items to be found, which will be covered later on. Premium membership is required in order to construct more than one building at a time, so there will certainly be unfair disadvantages against those who are paying members as they will be able to train all of their units faster.

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Weapons and Special Items

In Tribal Wars, paladins have the ability to find and equip certain ‘items’. These items can be found faster if the paladin is sent regularly on raids, as the chances of finding an item increases as a result. There is a progress bar which can be viewed at the Statue building on the remaining percentage until a new item is found. Any found items will be stored in the weapons chamber and can be re used even if the paladin is killed (another paladin can then be immediately appointed). One such example of an item that can be found is the ‘Halberd of Guan Yu’ which increases the offensive power by spearmen by 30%.

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The Fights

In terms of graphics and animation, there isn’t much to say about the combat in Tribal Wars. In fact, players won’t be seeing soldiers loot or pillage other villages at all, since the game is browser based and all the fighting is ‘calculated’ and done by text. Successfully attacking other villages will present your army with a bonus in looted resources as well as devastate your opponents and leave them with heavy setbacks. In Tribal Wars however, it pays to be smart. Smaller villages will usually group together to form a tribe, and if players pick on one of the larger more organized tribes, be prepared for a counterattack. The game provides a simulator that will let players predict the losses and gains of an attack by entering a certain number of troops attacking and defending before proceeding with the march orders from the ‘Rally Point’ building. Players may soon find themselves bored of a game that offers no animation in fights, even if the strategy and empire building mechanics are undeniably addictive.

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Don’t get caught out – take a look at the map!

The map is a player’s best friend in Tribal Wars. There is nothing worse than being unaware of your surroundings, especially when you’re the ‘farming’ target of some stronger villages. There are two maps available in the ‘Map’ section. The map on the left shows the villages in the player’s immediate neighbourhood and gives an estimate of power based on ‘points’ and also the geographical establishment (walls, barricades etc). The smaller map on the right allows navigation of the entire continent and the presents players a chance to take a look at some of the really strong members of a particular ‘World’

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Mental Warfare – Communicate or Die

Like the great Roman Empire in ages past who sent out threats to rebellious countries, players have the ability to send messages and communicate with nearby villages before making a move. It could be a request to join a tribe, create a small alliance or a death threat demanding them to start over because the village is about to be plundered. This is the where I believe the fun part of Tribal Wars really comes into perspective. Aside from the ‘physical warfare’, there is also the battle of human minds through use of diplomacy. From six year old ‘I hatez you go diez’ to ‘Beware, I’m part of XYZ, the greatest tribe in this continent’ to no reply at all, players will have to decide for themselves whether an option is really worth the risk. There’s always a chance that the opponent is bluffing as well – the really clever players know which tricks to use.

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Final Verdict: Good

While I would love to say that Tribal Wars is a fast paced, action packed strategy game on the equivalent of Warhammer: Dawn of War, I must present the sad truth that the game is simply just a 2D text based web MMO. But for a game with near static animation for just about anything, Tribal Wars has the right combination of ingredients to make the game an addicting and enjoyable experience. The aspect of building up resources and conquering holds its appeal to many, whilst the real time strategy provides a challenge to others. Well worth a play if you’re into empire building games.

Screenshots

Tribal Wars Screenshots

Videos

Tribal Wars Videos

Tribal Wars Beginner Gameplay

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