Set in a fantasy world, Illyriad is a game originally designed for the Web browser. However, you can play the game even when you are away from your computer, as it does not depend on a Flash plugin. This means you can play it on your Android or iOS-enabled cell phone device as long as it uses Firefox, Chrome, Opera or Safari, which these devices do by default.
The fantasy world you can play in is consistent, meaning when you log out, progress in the game will continue. You begin as a human, an elf, a dwarf or an orc in a single town where you can craft buildings and research technology to help you upgrade these buildings. To increase the size of your town, you must conquer other cities and colonize new lands.
Not only does the world progress offline, but it also changes and evolves over periods of time. For example, special locations like the Heroic Statues, the Temple of Reason and the Steampunk Brewery are added to the world over time. For players, this means you can come across new local oddities while browsing the world via cell phone, and the world will never grow old and overused.
There are five primary types of resources, which are wood, iron, stone, clay and food. Respectively, players harvest these from the lumberjack, iron mine, quarry, clay pit and farm yard. The mage tower and library provide you with mana and research to help fund your magic and technological research. In Illyriad for the cell phone device, you can also use the in-game currency -- gold -- to fun your diplomats, troops and caravans, as well as trade with other players in the market.
In all, Illyriad features 290 options for research, categorized into City, Quest, Military, Magic, Diplomacy, Trade and Sovereignty, and some must be discovered through quests. Research new technology requires having fulfilled its prerequisites, which might also include having created a specific building. For example, you can only research smelting once you have researched craftsmanship and created a quarry at level 7 in that town. To clarify, you must research technology for each town separately, so once you settle into a new town, you must rediscover the technology for that new town. Each town can queue one or two technologies at a time.
Battling other armies involves several factors to determine the victor. Not only do the sizes of the armies play a role, but the type of units and the outside terrain of the battle ground are also important factors. The offensive and defensive abilities of the units engaging in battle will vary depending on what type of terrain they are occupying. For example, swordsmen will find difficulty fighting in canyons, gullies and passes due to their hampering of frontal assaults, but nimble spearmen and ranged units will appreciate the mountains that hinder cavalry use.
In addition to all of these features, you can take part in alliances, which are then provided with an alliance chat, a central alliance treasury and alliance forums. Interrelationships between each alliance always begin neutral, but the leader of each alliance has the choice of switching their feelings on another alliance to War, NAP or Confederation.
Aside from the hard power of two alliance in diplomacy, war, politics and protection, alliances created in Illyriad can also band together in order to cooperate and work together to accomplish various tasks which are not otherwise possible for them as individual players. For example, you can investigate and solve mysteries that take place all around the world under your alliance.
Both alliances and players are also frequently drawing and altering their territorial lines, as well as having meetings in secret which will alter the fate of the various sections of the world of Illyriad. However, because the world is so large and because travel times are realistic for diplomats, trade and military, it is hard even for the largest alliances to employ significant, direct force across lengthy distances from their headquarters.
All in all, Illyriad is a game that is chock full of features that only scratch the surface of the core gameplay. Only diving into this multi-platform world can tell you more.
This is a guest article by Ruben Corbo, a writer for the website Cell Phone Expert where you can compare cell phone plans. When Ruben is not writing, he’s out producing music, gaming, or enjoying a great post-apocalyptic film or novel.