Empires and Allies is another in the well worn Clash of Clans F2P battler genre. Does it differentiate itself?
Empires and Allies gives you a fair bit of control during battles. Besides the basic tap based troop deployment common to this type of game you can also use flares to direct troops to certain locations. This is useful for plopping a flare on a dangerous buildings like a guard tower so your troops destroy that first rather than being distracted by other buildings and chewed up by the tower. As your troops destroy enemies more points are earned that can be used to drop additional flares or send airstrikes to bomb problem targets. This is a good system and gives battles a more hands on feel than your average freemium battler.
Empires and Allies rewards good tactics like keeping armoured vehicles in front of squishy infantry to draw fire, targeting base defences first and laying your own base out in such a way that entrances are covered by guard towers. Battle in Empires and Allies feels tactical and requires thinking.
Of course besides the interesting battles there is plenty of slow, slow freemium base building. Unlike some games you can only build or upgrade one structure at a time and resources absolutely crawl in. While you can build supply drops to generate resources, this happens at a snail’s pace and most of the time resources are gained by attacking the AI and other players.
There is little excuse for the miserly amount of allowed buildings. Some games of this type allow three or more. Of course there are additional builders available to make the base building process slightly faster, but they weigh in at 750 gold a pop or about $12 since you can only purchase gold in 500 gold bundles. This is ridiculous. It also takes a very long time to upgrade your HQ because you must first upgrade your resource storage to actually gather enough resources to afford the upgrade. Upgrade times quickly balloon into multiple hours.
The sound is really well done as well. Troops speak often, warning each other, reporting when under fire and calling in targets as destroyed. They generally sound like what you’d expect soldiers to sound like. The booms and bangs of battle work well too. Your base looks good and it’s fun to watch it build up. Little details, like troops going prone when shot at and gravestones appearing over dead infantry really make the game look good.
Empires and Allies really wants to be Command and Conquer. The game greets you with “Welcome Back Commander” at the title screen and your advisor is called Lieutenant Ava. Subtle.
Empires and Allies is an enjoyable and good looking freemieum battler, but the glacial pace of base building and the over reliance on freemium ruin some of the fun. Still there is no energy system or limit to combat so there is always something to do. Recommended!