Dragons of Atlantis is a social MMO that is very similar to games like Civilization and Sim City, only you play it in a browser. The game was developed by Kabam, an interactive media company that has produced a huge number of social games, including Kingdoms of Camelot. Like all social games, Dragons of Atlantis is extremely addicting, if you’re into building a massive empire backed by powerful dragons and Amazons.
When you start up the game, you have to choose one of four races to play. Apart from some minor back story, this decision is completely arbitrary. Each of these races has been revived by the ambiguous Ancient Ones to fight one another until there is only one race left, Hunger Games style. The victor will inherit the world, but don’t expect to ever get to that point as the game has no end in sight. The story dwindles off beyond the tutorial, so you wouldn’t be getting much anyway.
Dragons of Atlantis is a typical empire building game. You’re tasked with fostering the rise of a mighty kingdom, controlling the various aspects of empire to ensure your dominance over others. You’ll raise buildings, upgrade these buildings, train troops, upgrade troops, build, upgrade… you get the idea.
The thing that sets Dragons of Atlantis apart from other games is the fact that you get your own dragon. Your dragon is like an empire building game in and of itself. You’ll have to manage the beast and train it to ensure that it can protect your kingdom and crush your foes. Various mini-games help in this endeavor and break up the monotony that often comes with social games.
As will pretty much all social games, Dragons of Atlantis has a cash shop. Through the shop, you can buy rubies, which are a form of premium currency that can buy you all sorts of goodies. You’re not forced to purchase rubies, however, as you can earn them through signing up for various services, such as Netflix (netflix.com/gamebreakertv = free 30-day trial FYI).
Building, researching, and training troops takes time rather than traditional currency. As your empire becomes more sophisticated, it will take longer to upgrade the important aspects of your world. This is, of course, deliberate, as the game is designed for you to hop in, get some things done, then get back to the real world.
Dragons of Atlantis isn’t really graphically impressive. An isometric view typical of empire building games and the fact that it is based in a browser shows that the game has a limited scope in terms of visuals. The art style was recently updates, so many of the portraits that represent races and creatures in the game are more stunning. The game is accompanied by a powerful score that is much better than what you’d expect from a typical social game. The overture bores into your mind and gives you delusions of grandeur as you build your epic empire.
PvP is very simple and straightforward in Dragons of Atlantis. If you’re looking for something really challenging, you’ll have to find it elsewhere. You have the ability to attack other players or NPC camps around the world. The outcome of these battles is defined by which party has the best mix of units and items. As soon as combat finishes, which is very quick indeed, you’ll find out whether your won or lost with a simple splash screen, accompanied by minor details regarding the battle. It’s nothing fantastic, but it can be very satisfying to stomp all over someone else’s sand castle.
New players don’t have to worry about getting abused as they’re learning the ropes. You’ll have six days worth of immunity to get your affairs in order before people come knocking at the front door of your castle.
Dragons of Atlantis is simple fun. It has all the pros and cons of a social game and the addiction of an empire builder. It has just the right amount of depth to get you enthralled for hours, but not enough to keep you entertained for days. There is literally nothing to do while you wait for buildings to finish upgrading or troops to finish training, apart from trying to barter with other player kingdoms that surround you.
If you’re looking for a social game that lets you build your own kingdom without having to sit and stare at the screen for extended periods of time, Dragons of Atlantis is definitely worth a peek.