Dragons of Atlantis is a free-to-play, browser-based, massively multiplayer strategy game. It's a similar game to the massively popular Travian and just like Travian it can be played at your own pace. This style of game is't for everyone but if you have never played a real time strategy game like this one then Dragons of Atlantis is a great place to start. The game sets itself apart through it's community and aesthetics but it also features some solidly addictive gameplay.
The Dragons of Atlantis world is set in a mythical world where the continent of Atlantis is sinking into the ocean, just like in the stories of old. The four different civilizations (Primus, Solerian, Amazon and Zolmec) struggle to continue thier people's stories and to shape their own futures in the changing world. There is only enough room left for one civilization in Atlantis, and it's up to the players to decide which one that will be.
The game starts off with a series of quests which do a good job of guiding you through the interface and game basics. Essentially you have to build a combination of resource generating, population supporting and military training structures within your initial city. Each structure and troop you train costs some of the game's four resources (food, wood, stone, and ore) so you will have to carefully balance out your spending between resource and army generation.
Once you have built up your city enough you can get to work on creating an army to attack NPCs and other players for resources and territory. The units you can train include a mixture of normal military units and mythological units like Minotours. You can eventually even train up your own dragon for use.
Dragons of Atlantis can technically be called a 'real-time' strategy game as everything does indeed occur in realtime. Buildings can take a couple of minutes in the beginning but later on they could take a full day or more to construct. It's the type of game that you check in on once (or many) times a day and manage your city. It's a great game for people that don't have the time to sit down and play games for hours. Planning and strategy are crucial and you will have plenty of time to think about your next move.
Pictured Above: The city overview where you can see your currently cosntructed buildings and plots for potential future buildings. The pencil drawing graphics on these screens are quite attractive.
There are four civilizations or races to lead in Dragons of Atlantis but other than back story and appearance no gameplay mechanics change depending on the race you pick. This is a shame because it would have been an interesting addition to the game, if a little hard to balance. Travian had three races, one middle ground, one military and one economic.
The first race is the Primus, a technologically advanced and a rather modern looking race. The Zolmec, on the other hand are the exact opposite being primitive and well-attuned to nature. The third race are the Solerian, who are an Egyptian-inspired military race. The final race are the Amazons who are the most 'gratuitous' of the races featuring the stylized Amazon clothing one might expect of a fantasy game.
It wouldn't be much of a multiplayer game if there wasn't an active community to play with. The Dragons of Atlantis community is extremely active and friendly. You will be able make friends to trade with, ally with for protection and to take down your foes. And this part of the game is pretty important. You could try to be a loner but eventually you will find yoruself surrounded by people with many allies and you will become a prime target.
All of these types of free-to-play games include some sort of micr-transaction feature and Dragons of Atlantios is no different. The good thing is that this part of the game is completely optional. Spending a bit of real money will let you speed up the production of your buildings or increase your resource gathering rate for a period of time. This can be good for a little edge if you are really getting into the game. Remember these payments help out the game developers too. If impatience is something you struggle with then the temptation to speed up building production might prove a little to much and you could find yourself out of a fair bit of pocket change.
Dragons of Atlantis is a much higher fidelity game than Travian (though I was quite fond of Travian's look) and it looks great. The theme is much what you would expect from the name, a mixture of Dragons, ancient Greece and some Norse mythology. It's a pleasant background for the building of an empire.
Pictured Right: The Amazon, one of the civilizations that you can choose to represent in Dragons of Atlantis.
The Not So Great
In Travian you had the ability to construct multiple buildings at once but in Dragons of Atlantis you can only build one at a time. It doesn't affect the overall game as it's simply a game mechanic but it felt slow. It just felt like you couldn't get as much done each time you visited the game.
Another small issue was that it costs resources to destroy your buildings. One would think that tearing down a building would net you some sort of refund but instead it's the opposite. I guess demolition crews don't work for free.
Dragons of Atlantis is a great looking, mechanically sound game with only a few minor annoyances. This type of game is slow going, things build in real-time and soemtimes that can mean a couple of hours or even days, so it's not for everyone. It can also get pretty competitive in the later stages with players teaming up to wipe each other out and then backstabbing their allies. As such, the community is large and active and anyone who puts a good amount of time in is sure to have many months of enjoyment with this game.