Elvenar

Good
  • Choose to negotiate or fight in turn based battles after you scout out each of the game areas around your settlement
  • Two different themed civilisations and solid research mechanic ensures plenty of player decision embedded throughout
Bad
  • Very limited space to begin your settlement which only slowly expands leaving you with small humble beginnings for a long portion of your adventure
7

Elvenar joins the ranks of the extensive browser based strategy genre with a hybrid that leans more towards city building then its competitors in the strategy niche. As the game comes from InnoGames you’re guaranteed a well designed adventure even if it doesn’t try to innovate too much on the well known formula you’ve encountered in their other strategy themed titles.

Starting your Elvenar journey players will get to choose to either develop a human or elven settlement which gives your city some personalisation from day one.. Players will find that humans are medieval focused while the elves have much more magical buildings although the experience is basically mirrored outside of the cosmetic differences with similar building purposes, units and progression pathway.

elvenar-gameplay-world

With a basic tutorial to get you started you’ll learn the foundations of your human and elven civilisation and in time take complete control. This includes things like building a home for your citizens, creating paths, basic buildings and decorations to add bonuses to your civilisation while equalling allowing you to differentiate your designs from others. You’ll also be introduced to the typical mechanics of the genre such as upgrading buildings, researching and expanding your land which allows you to continuously grow your settlement and constantly have an underlying goal of growth.

Interesting features and mechanics of Elvenar include the research tree and scouting which haven’t been done to the same level in other offerings. On the research side players will often find they have as many as four different paths to select and focus on which gives you much greater control over the advancement of your settlement and ultimately how you play out your resource gathering efforts be it a raiding or economic focus.

elvenar-gameplay-combat

This goes hand in hand with the scouting aspect of the game that requires players to actually scout the hexagonal sized spaces next to their settlement rather than the entire map being revealed from day one. This scouting can often reveal areas of interest where players will negotiate with merchants or fight them instead to obtain resources, special relics to improve your settlement and land expansions. While a small mechanic in the overall scheme of your Elvenar adventure it goes a long way to enhancing the realism that is offered.

The final aspect of Elvenar worth mentioning is in the combat where players will engage in turn based battles on grid based environments which promises ample strategy options. On the face it feels like something out of a turn based strategy game but unfortunately doesn’t quite have that amount of depth although it is still well above what most in this free to play genre offer. Unit selection is at the heart of this strategy with both humans and elves having 5 unit types that have strengths and weaknesses to balance. This includes the flexible light melee which has solid health and damage, the light ranged unit that offers good damage but limited health, the magic that supports units with unique abilities and the heavy melee/ranged variants that are durable at the cost of damage.

elvenar-gameplay-city

Supporting all of this with an impressive amount of front end graphics the depth of adventure from Elvenar results in a solid offering in the browser based MMO strategy genre. As is typical for the genre broadly there is still plenty of waiting around for those not wanting to open their wallet though but that doesn’t stop you from enjoying the game for short bursts each day.

Summary:

  • Fantasy based city builder combines with strategy elements with a free to play game of human and elves.
  • A massive world map that lets you scout one area at a time to give you a sense of discovery and growth.
  • Animated 3D battles with turn based elements blend strategy and action together.
  • Technology trees that provide you plenty of options on how you advance your civilisation into the next age.
  • Select from 5 different core unit types that each have their own battle role.

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Review Platform: Browser

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.

4 Comments

  1. Have a look at these printscreens. Right now I’ve been playing for a rough time of 2 – 3 weeks. I’ve opened 29 spots of neighbours, where 21 villages of these neighbours are removed! I have 8 neighbours left for some extra gold, while I’ve leveled my city hall as high as possible to pull the most out of it.

    The printscreens down here are the world chart where you are supposed to have neighbours at the empty spots:

    http://prntscr.com/874xl6
    http://prntscr.com/874xrj
    http://prntscr.com/874xuk

    I’ve had some contact with the Dutch customer support and the community manager told me that eventually the spots will be filled up with people who sign up.

    – I’ve asked her if it was possible if my city could be moved to a more crowded area with more active players around, but this was not an option as she told me. (In my opinion this is absolutely bad, especially because I refuse to believe that a technical administrator wouldn’t be able to undertake this action).

    All together, I would not recommend anybody to play this game of Innogames. Forge of Empires instead is a lot more fun to do, (in my opinion that is).

    Greetings,

    Kris

    Reply
  2. I’ve been playing since July, and am currently #2 on the Arendyll world.

    Initially, I enjoyed the game, and gave the developers significant leeway since it’s such a new offering.

    The game promos suggest it will be active “build, create, fight”. Over the past few months, aspects of active play have been removed gradually – regardless of player complaint. As of today, you can play about 15 minutes every three hours…then you sit and watch the city. If this is all you want, it’s not a bad choice.

    Just be certain not to invest any money in the game, because it’s expensive for such a limited amount of play time. I regret every penny.

    Also, the play is becoming increasingly scripted. Whereas we could formerly be creative and maximize play options, the developers keep changing the formats so we have to adhere to their ideas about how to play the game. Repeatedly, players who find ways to [entirely legally] maximize scores and productivity, find that the rules are changed specifically to circumvent their winning strategies.

    I only recommend this for HayDay type players who have a few minutes here and there. If you want a strategy game, go elsewhere.

    Reply
  3. I started playing in 2017. There are 5 servers. Each server has a different revision of the game. It appears that there was no path to improving gameplay on existing servers. You can see the differences in the versions in the Building Tech Tree System. Earlier version have “Advanced Workshops” much later in the tree. The Arendyll sever is the most recent version, so only use that one. IMO, the game design increases the pressure for you to spend real cash to buy diamonds. It takes way too long to advance without using real cash. Do not use the smaller time cycle values less than 3 hours. It is best to play this once a day, because that is the only way you have enough gold to do what you have to do. Also, the game has a mode where you can fight and direct the contact between your forces and the enemy’s forces. Don’t use it. The User Interface is unusable. Use Automatic fights. Don’t train troops and don’t have a trader, it’s is a waste of vital real estate. The systems require you to expend resources on cultural items. Most things can be upgraded, but cultural items cannot. As a result, it wastes real estate and makes the game too hard to play because you run out of room before you grow large. IMO, the huge kingdoms that you see your neighbors had could only have been done spending thousands of dollars using real cash. 30 % of the neighboring kingdoms are mostly empty, representing people who gave up early. There is no benefit to joining a fellowship, other than having someone to chat with through in-game email. Fellowships don’t do activities together. The only interaction between kingdoms is to make visits and help them by clicking 1 button then leaving

    Reply
  4. not worth playing, the further you build up the more npc enemies become ranged spellcasterswho get first move before anything you have, spam you with curses to cripple you, so youre basically helpless if you ever get anywhere near combat,

    so battles become basically useless and you just end up farming resources to BUY provinces, may as well play farmville

    Reply
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