Game Reviews: Edgeworld

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Reviewing games isn’t really my thing, but like a washouted celebrity, I figure I might as well try my hand at something unfamiliar. I’m sure the abject failure will be entertaining for all.

I have been interested in doing game reviews, since those seem to get the most pageviews, but since I don’t play that many games I would run out of things to say quite fast. But I figure I can get a few reviews out of the few games that I have played.

Edgeworld is an online game, run entirely in-browser, along the lines of Farmville. Except instead of growing crops you’re demolishing the hopes and dreams of all that dare to dream to thrive in a cruel, alien world. Think Farmville crossed with Starcraft.

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That analogy probably lost me all the serious gamers…

For the first few level’s it’s quite fun. Upgrades take a little bit of time, with the option to just pay for speedups. You train troops, improve your defenses, research new technology and stronger units, and fight against AI opponents or other players.

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Unfortunately it doesn’t take long for the game to go downhill. The higher level you get, the longer and longer upgrades take, with some taking up to a day to complete. This is all par for the course, but the jump is surprisingly immediate. Certain buildings start off with a forty minute upgrade time, and within two or so level’s you’re waiting several hours.

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The problem is that the increase in time investment happens well before the player is invested. There isn’t anything about the game to keep the player coming back once the time spent waiting becomes unbearable. And while this is meant to get the player to start paying, the game just isn’t fun enough to justify spending money on it.

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Combat is handled by warping to another player’s base, selecting the units to send into battle, and letting the computer handle the rest. While it’s amusing for a bit to watch a browser game render some decent looking graphics, the lack of control means Edgeworld fails to appeal to the kind of RTS fan it seems to be marketed towards. Somehow in trying to make a browser game for RTS fans, they ended up with the purest form of torture for that kind of gamer. You’re forced to sit, watching the AI control your units, unable to intervene in any way. Did no one realize how much of a nightmare this is for the kind of micro-managing players this game would attract?

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Behold, the face of fear.

Not that a great deal of strategy is needed. The AI does target the bases’ defenses first, focusing on anything that attacks your units. So while there are several types of units to use, once you reach the higher levels there’s no reason not to just keep spamming Titans and Tanks until you crush your enemy before you.

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You will build nothing else.

While the graphics aren’t horrendous, they aren’t very impressive either, even for a browser based game. And during combat you also experience some serious frame rate issues, with your massed group of units being replaced by black boxes every few seconds. Especially at higher levels, with larger units, this can make the only thing you can do, watch your units fight, into a completely unwatchable spectacle.

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But even that is small beans compared to the fact that eventually you’ll just grow bored with the game. Spending a whole day waiting for your tower to upgrade sucks all the fun right out of the game. And before you bring up the micro-transactions, no, because I refuse to spend money like that. If game developers want my money they should say, “I want your money, here, have an awesome game.” To which I would say, “Why thank you straightforward sir, I would gladly part with my money for Volleyball Hotties 7.”

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You, on the other hand, can suck it.

Oh, and as a final note, you have a lottery, called Zoot’s Loot, at the start of each day you can participate in. But it never gives you anything good, so screw it. If you still want to try the game, you can find it in the google chrome app store.

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Screw it so hard.

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