Thursday, December 16, 2010


This is an interesting game: Bronze.

Bronze is a simple game--or, at least, the rules are simple. Set in the "ancient lands of Mesopotamia," you're tasked with taking one of twelve historically-based civilizations and expanding your empire.

Okay, stop right there. This isn't a Civilization clone. It has much more of a board game/chess feel. The maps are much smaller, conflict is resolved immediately, and all unit effects take place immediately as well. While resources are necessary to build units, a unit is built with no delay when requested.

It's not quite chess, either. Going beyond chess, some units have area effects. An example: if a civilization has surrounded yours by building farms, you have a unit that can "convert" farms of another civilization into your own, if any of the squares are touching your unit. Once that's done, though, that civilization might well have additional options to take some of those hexes back. From the game's webpage:
Each construction on a tile has a unique function. One building might convert enemy Farms through religion, while another may create an alliance. Mining villages add to your treasury depending on what type of ore deposit they are built near. Towns will claim all the territory surrounding them. Armies will convert enemy buildings, while Citadels can protect against this effect. Knowing what to build and where is the key to winning. Since each of the twelve civilizations plays differently, it's important to also understand how each civilization uses its construction abilities.

No, it's not revolutionary, but it's put together enjoyably well. Very crisp graphics, well-chosen music, and some interesting historical information all buttress the clever gameplay. There are several modes, including campaign and survival, and they offer significantly different challenges.

This game is interesting and should absolutely getting more attention, but I think the price point is hurting it quite a bit. It's $29.99, and that's a tough sell for an indie game these days.

So, if you'd like a challenging and interesting experience, you can check out the demo here.

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