Originally a free online-only multiplayer strategy game a la Risk, Aevum Obscurum (now called Age of Conquest) is now available for the iPhone. Aevum Obscurum is a turn-based strategy game set in Medieval Europe, in which up to 30 players compete for domination of the Continent. Aimed squarly at strategy afficianado’s, Aevum Obscurum is a reasonably complex game – although the iPhone version is not quite as overwhelming.
You start the game with a single European territory, some money in the bank and an army of 500 soldiers. Each turn you and your opponents make decisions regarding your treasury, army and defenses. Each province or territory in the game has a tax base, and you use the money raised through taxes to fund troop recruitment and building improvements. Buildings include watch towers that give you information on troop numbers in neighboring provinces and fortifications which sure up your defenses.
Once your turn is over, tapping “next” will show you the outcomes of that turn. You are given a quick overview of your finances – which is generally equal to tax income minus military upkeep. A leader board is also updated each round, showing you where your “empire” sits in relation to the other players in terms of points. Every territory in the game is worth 1 point.
In order to capture a territory, you need to invade it by moving your troops into it. You can do this from any of your territories that borders a neutral or enemy territory. The outcome of the attack does depend partially on factors such as fortifications and morale, but in general, the larger force is victorious – and the bigger your force compared to your opponent, the lower your losses will be. For territories across seas, you will need to build ships in order to launch an invasion.
The graphics in Aevum Obscurum on iPhone are very basic (as they are in the desktop version) and this feels like a bare-bones kind of game production-wise – but the mechanics are spot-on. It is fun to play, particularly in the later stages of the game as empires expand and clash.
Online multiplayer game play was at the heart of Aevum Obscurum for Mac, PC and Linux – and is currently under development for the iPhone. As it stands, you can only play against computer opponents on the iPhone version of the game.
Bottom Line: Interesting port of an online cult strategy game. For $4.99 though, I’d probably hold out for the multiplayer update.
Aevum Obscurum requires the 2.2.1 iPhone OS software update and is compatible with both the iPhone & iPod Touch.