Empire of the Eclipse (Free) by ZarkSoft is a complex and deep massively multiplayer online (MMO) game for iOS. This real-time space themed strategy game is one of a kind. It is not for the casual game or impatient players. It takes a lot of time and deep understanding of real-time strategy planetary colonization games.
The complexity of this game is so big that the limited amount of gameplay I had before writing this review is not enough to truly describe everything there is to offer. Building colonies and dominating galaxies takes a long time in this game and you can’t buy a crystal to speed things up. I may not be able to give a lot of gameplay descriptions, but I can help readers understand what this game is about and decide whether they want to dive into the abyss.
Empire of the Eclipse is a strategy game in the 4X genre. For those who don’t know what that means, you should just skip this game. No, I’m kidding. The 4X moniker describes the type of strategy involved. Players are given an empire to use their resources to explore, expand, exploit and exterminate the landscape around them. In this game, players must build ships, send probes, harvest materials, inhabit planets and other such empire-building tactics. Once your empire is strong, it is time to maximize your assets to achieve your goals.
Depending on what type of game you want to play, your ultimate goals will be different. For example, if a player chooses the Trade specialty, his goal is to mine a certain amount of resources in order to win. Players can also choose combat and science and either be a researching empire or a warlord empire.
In order to play the game, you must have a paid subscription. The starting cost is $1.99 for a one-month subscription. If you like the game enough, you can purchase a one-year subscription for only $19.99. Once you’ve registered your email address with the account, you will be able to access your game from any device, including someone else’s.
Empire of the Eclipse is for serious gamers. It takes days to build and collect resources. Fans of Master of Orion will understand the concepts of this space adventure very well. If you are looking for a fast-paced galaxy annihilation game, this is not your cup of tea.
There are some frustrating issues with this game. I logged in using a fourth-generation iPod touch and it crashed on me fairly regularly during the tutorial section. I also experienced server lag and was disconnected regularly from the game. The tutorial videos are extremely helpful, but not easy to follow. There are about a dozen tutorial videos that should be watched before entering the game for the first time.
As I’ve said before, this is for serious gamers. If you’ve played Masters of Orion, you will thoroughly enjoy the depth involved in Empire of the Eclipse. If you’ve never played a 4X game before, but are intrigued by what it might offer, the tutorial videos will be very helpful, but I suggest starting off with a one-month subscription so that you can get the hang of things first. The developers are already working hard to fix the server lag issues. Once it gets through its growing pains, this game will be a popular niche for fans of the 4X genre.