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Review: Immortal Cities Niles Online - Browser MMO Game

by: Brian Lamacraft ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Immortal Cities: Niles Online is a browser based online MMO game where the player develops cities in ancient Egypt. Through resource trading, empire building, and the struggle over monuments the player can become a Pharaoh.

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    NIles Online Features

    Niles Main Screen There are several game play components that make up the Niles Online. When a player joins the game they are placed in a nome populated by other players. This nome is a group of cites where the player can build a city of their own and the game consists of several of these city groups. The player is given a palace building to start and must extract the resources wheat, clay, and reeds for their city to develop in the game. In addition to these three main resources, the player is provided one luxury resource plot at random when joining the game. This luxury resource plot can produce one specific luxury that can be traded to other players through the market or exchange. Each group of cities or nomes has a different luxury resource. Other game play components include a heavy emphasis on trade and monument building.

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    Resources, Buildings, and Population

    Niles Online Clay Pit Niles online is similar to games such as Ikariam or Evony and uses the same kind of resource gathering as those games. As the player gathers resources, they can be used to build structures in the city, for building upgrades or training military units. The player starts out with a palace and can build more structures as resources are extracted. Each city has a population which can be increased through the palace. As the player gains more population through upgrading the palace, they can be assigned to each structure in the city to increase production levels.

    The player can construct several buildings in the game and are used to help with construction, build items, facilitate trade, or build military units. The three main structures that must be upgraded at the beginning of the game are the wheat field, reed marsh, and clay pit. All players in the game have these three main structures in addition to one luxury structure that produces one item for trade in the market or directly with other players. The luxury resource is given to the player at random when joining the game. Each group of cities in a nome will produce the same luxury resource and can trade with other nomes for a different luxury resource to help with the construction of their city. Some luxury resources include emeralds, sandals, bronze, leather, and jewelry.

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    Trade and Combat

    The Marketplace Another game feature is a heavy emphasis on trade. There are many resources in this game which can be traded. In addition to the three main resources that each city can produce a total of eighteen additional resources including the cites luxury resource, can be traded. Trading can be done at the market, or through player to player trade via the exchange building. Money in the game is handled with bread or food. Your wheat field produces wheat which can be used by your bakery to produce bread. This bread can be used to feed troops and as currency through the marketplace or exchange. By assigning more workers to the wheat field and bakery you can produce more bread. Without enough bread the productivity of your city can decrease 50% and any troops you have will begin to leave.

    City Nomes Combat in the game takes place once the player is strong enough to gain control over a monument building site. At the monument site a player can build such things as a pyramid. These monument sites can be controlled by a player or by bandits and defeating the foes there grants control of the site to the winning player. Occasionally bandits can appear in a nome and are attackable by other players. All player controlled cities in the game feature no combat as it takes place at monument sites for control of the monument.


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    Game Play

    I really wanted to enjoy Niles Online but it has flaws that make this game one I cannot recommend. One flaw is the heavy emphasis on trade and the number of resources needed to accomplish anything in the game. While trade is a large part of most browser MMO games, the amount of items you need to trade in this game is too high. Often in Niles Online it is difficult to find the items you need from the marketplace or find a player interested in trade from the exchange. It is impossible to upgrade your buildings past a certain level without the use of trade so you are stuck at one level until you find what you are looking for. It would make more sense if the player had four or five resources to deal with instead of the amount required in this game. For example a spearman requires both leather and bronze, both of which have to be traded for to acquire. Most other browser games have at least one simple military unit that can be built that doesn’t requite trading items to build it. It can be difficult to produce enough bread to purchase all the items you need or find a suitable trading partner it becomes too tedious and lacks the fun factor that is present in other games.

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    Barracks Combat in this game is also a problem and another low point of Niles Online. Combat can only take place over monuments and to build units you must play the game for a long time to acquire the resources necessary to engage in combat. Player cities in the game cannot be attacked by anyone which makes no sense at all. If you are going to have a city building game you should include the opportunity to attack another players city. During regular game play, bandits can appear in your nome and are attackable but they don’t reward you with anything they just sit there among the cities of the nome doing nothing. If you attack them you end up wasting valuable military units and have nothing to gain. No negative impact of the bandits on cities occurs so they are essentially a useless part of this game. Combat is reserved for higher level players to control the monuments which limits the game play options for lower level players.

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    Game Map Niles Online features no sound but the graphics are actually quite good for a browser game. The city has a nice graphical representation which changes as you upgrade, and the game map is well done. The map is easy to use and you can find the monument sites easily as they are represented by icons on the game map.The menus are simple and easy to follow and each of the many resources has a nice icon graphic.

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    Niles Online Immortal Cities: Niles Online is a tedious resource gathering game that relies heavily on trade. Combat is reserved for higher level players and is limited in depth. With some work this game could be fun but at present it is too tedious, time consuming, and boring to recommend to browser game fans. The idea of an ancient Egypt empire building game is good but this MMO browser game has flaws that take the fun out of the concept.