Utopia Kingdoms

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Summary

Utopia Kingdoms is a massively multiplayer online strategy game that allows you to rule a kingdom in a fantasy universe. An intricately designed game of claim and conquer with fantastic creatures and detailed military manoeuvres. A sequel to the popular online game, Utopia, this game extends the concept with more races, military units and tactics to be employed.

Utopia Kingdoms is a free online game that can be played by registering with the game developers, Jolt Online. You don't have to download anything. Just enter the name of your kingdom, email address and password so that an account is created for you. You can return to the game any time by just logging in. All your resources and movements are saved and you can restart the game any time you like.

In this role playing game, you are an aspiring ruler who is set on conquering the other kingdoms in Utopia. You are appointed to rule one of the territories that has been recently won by your lord. In the company of a few loyal subjects you set forth to colonise these new territories and lay the foundations of a future empire.

It will call upon your strategic and tactical expertise to build up this new land. You must protect it from raiders and maintain its growth through resources. You will build mighty structures and create an army that will not only defend your fledgling estate but also attack and capture neighbouring lands from enemy players. There are opportunities to forge alliances with like minded players, and together, increase your power over the kingdoms.

The Nine Races in Utopia

The game is in the genre of Khan Wars, Age of Empires etc. Players who are familiar with those games, will easily adapt to the environment of Utopia Kingdoms. When you first start the game, you will be given a choice of a race to adopt. Out of the many creatures that inhabit this land, there are nine races that can be grouped in governable societies. They are Humans, Orcs, Trolls, Avians, Gnomes, Dwarves, Centaurs, Elves and Dark Elves.

Avians are winged creatures and their special abilities include felling trees in a speedy manner, excellence in archery, and the ability to race to help wounded soldiers in the battlefield. Dwarves are powerful craftsmen who prefer to live underground. This gives them the advantage when it comes to mining and storing resources. They also have superior infantry power.

Gnomes are genial creatures who are gifted in agricultural practices. They produce more food, and are also excellent traders and bargainers. Orcs are brutal by nature, and rely on raiding and pillaging to support their hordes. Trolls are experts at extracting iron from the mountains they live in. They also make great cavalry soldiers.

Centaurs are a mischievous breed that is adept at agriculture, hence they produce more food. They are also fleet footed animals and make excellent infantry. Elves with their magical powers make great wizards, and which also enhances their gold mining and storage capacities. Their counterparts, the Dark Elves, also have magical powers, though these tend to be the devious kind. Being nocturnal creatures, they prefer to hide in the woods, hence they are useful at producing lumber quickly. Lastly, the human race is intelligent and learned, so they make good healers. They also have great archery skills.

Each of the races also has an exclusive unit not available to other races. For example, humans have a unit of high priests who have great healing power. Dwarves have the Golem unit that is strong in defending, and so on. Learn the special abilities of your unique race unit, so that you know how to utilise them in battle situations.

Building a Base

The game is very helpful to newcomers. An online advisor guides you step by step through your first forays. With his guidance, you will build the first structures that will lay the foundations for your future empire. While you are in this initial stage, new players like yourself are shielded from any attacks from enemy players.

There are also generous help menus and tutorials to learn the intricacies of the game. You can also access the worldwide forum to chat with online players about the game, or to gain valuable tips from experts.

The type of structures you choose to build, and the skills you select, will have a great impact on the survival of your regime, as well as on the style of game play you adopt. Although you can build up to three structures at the same time, they are erected in sequence, and the third building will cost you more as well. So, it's better to build one structure at a time, even though it takes a bit more time.

The resources that you will be concentrating on are: gold and iron mines, lumber mills and farms. Iron is used in constructing solid buildings, as well as to make weapons and armour. The more iron you can mine, the more buildings and weapons you can make. You will need labour from among your population to send into the mines. The game has a detailed process of how you can acquire more iron.

Gold is needed for trading, and as a form of currency. This will come in handy when you need to buy resources that you are short of. Wood is gathered from nearby forests and processed in lumber mills. This is needed for constructing buildings, as well as for making weapons. Farms are important to produce food to feed your population, and to keep them healthy for all the work they need to do. Food production also aids in expanding other businesses in your kingdom such as bakeries, butcher shops etc.

The next buildings you must start erecting are storehouses, homes and guard stations. Storehouses will allow you to keep your resources safe, while guard stations are needed to install defenders who will protect your stored resources from enemy raiders. You require homes for your population to live in and grow. You will need more people to work in the farms and mines to increase your resource production.

Balance Between Defending and Attacking

In order to protect your property, you must build a perimeter wall. However, this needs barracks, a marketplace and a training ground. Aim to have a training ground built up to level 2 and the marketplace to a level 3. This will allow you to build barracks. A wall at level 1 gives your protection for a day, whereas at level 6, your estate will be protected from attackers for three days.

When it comes time to create an army, you will be presented with 16 general units and one unit that is exclusive to your race. Be sure to understand the advantages and weaknesses of each unit as this will help you decide on the right mix of units that you can assemble. For example, you must remember that axemen are useful against infantry, and cavalry can be defeated by pikemen. Archers can inflict great damage, while being shielded by the infantry. At a later point in the game, you will have to contend with wizards and their magic spells.

You can train each military unit, so that they become skilled in certain tactics. For example, you can train infantry and archery units, so that they can penetrate enemy walls. The infantry provides protection, while archers attack enemy positions. Next, you must focus on building stables, which can house units that you can send out into neighbouring territories for spying operations. It is good to know if there are some soft targets that you can raid resources from, or if there are some stronger enemies that are planning raids on your property.

Move your attention to the cavalry next. This will lend speed to your military operations. They can move goods quickly, enabling planned attacks on time. Hospitals are important structures to build as they will heal injured soldiers and replenish your army quickly. If you are able to gain some victories, you can annex enemy property, their resources and buildings.

Plan Your Battles Well

The actual battle planning is the most exciting part of Utopia Kingdoms. Be very sure before launching an attack, as a wrong move can devastate your future in this land. Using quickwalkers to spy on target kingdoms is a good idea. Send out an archer with the spy. They will either return with a report on their activity, or they may get ambushed and killed. Either way, you can decide whether making a move against that particular kingdom is wise or not.

You can use the map to identify your adjacent kingdoms. The colour coding on the map will tell you which ones are vulnerable and which ones are defended. Inactive kingdoms are the easiest to attack and annex. For others, you must consider whether you are attacking an undefended perimeter or a wall that is guarded by an army. This will help you to design your own military formation.

You have to spend some time understanding the skill level and range of attack of your various units. There are many helpful interfaces in the game that will give detailed statistics on these. Use them wisely to build the correct formation that will bring you victory. Don't forget to have a hospital ready to rejuvenate injured units.

Being an MMO game, you will be competing one on one with hundreds of online gamers. It makes sense to join forces with some of them, so that you have some help when more than one enemy attacks you. You can also forge relationships by way of marriage. You are awarded a dynasty with children when you start the game. You must strategically choose which kingdom you wish to align with, before giving your son or daughter in marriage to them. This ensures that the combined kingdoms become a force to reckon with in the game universe.

Game Rating (out of 100) - 74

Playability (out of 10) - 8

If you've played Khan Wars or games of this genre, you will adapt to this game very quickly. The interfaces and menus are comprehensive and all the stats you need to design your strategies are clearly laid out.

Graphics/Visuals (out of 10) - 7

The character renderings are authentic. The geographic layout and scenery details are carefully sketched. There is minimal animation and no sound options. But, with pleasing layouts and warm earthy colours, the game presents a decent interface.

Originality (out of 10) - 7

The game is based on the Utopia platform, and borrows heavily in terms of structure and concepts from Khan Wars and other such games. However, there are some interesting new elements, such as the detailed structure of races that is tied very nicely with the rest of the game.

Game Detail (out of 10) - 7

There are only a limited amount of tasks, so they can get repetitive. However, there are many opportunities to undertake quests and plan attacks, if you're a persistent player. Every character, including the hero, has a variety of skills that can be improved.

Storyline (out of 10) - 6

The game creates a fantasy universe with unique and strange creatures. How they interact with one another gives rise to new possibilities and storylines.

Addictiveness (out of 10) - 6

The MMO feature of the game helps to compete as well as align with players from around the world. Once a player forges alliances with others it enhances the social addictive nature of the game.

Longevity (out of 10) - 7

The game has many levels to achieve and many skills to upgrade which can lead to a long game time. The variety of buildings to be erected and the task of improving building structures also take a long time to accomplish.

Verdict

Utopia Kingdoms is a comprehensive strategy game in a fantasy setting that gives it a new look. For MMO enthusiasts, this browser game delivers hours of strategic game play. You can match your military planning and resource building skills against some of the best in the world to extend your empire. The variety of races and military options in front of the player makes for an intricate and engrossing game.

Play Utopia Kindgoms Online by Jolt Games.