Socialgamesobserver

The Latest News on the Social Games Market in Europe and Emerging Markets

3Dec/12

Game of the Week – Stormfall: Age of War

By Huel Fuchsberger

As one of the few social games using voice output Stormfall: Age of War differentiates itself early from other castle building games. The Israeli developers manage to distinguish their game from others on the market and create an interesting world to play in.  With  1,300,000  MAU and 200,000 DAU on AppStats it leaves question, if the positive  initial impression is carried into the higher levels of the game.

Developer/Publisher:  Plarium
Genre:  Strategy
Languages:  English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Turkish
Best-selling Item: 3000 Sapphires ($14.47)
Platforms:   Facebook
Active users (Facebook): 1,300,000 MAU 200,000 DAU

How to play
Stormfall is a castle builder like many others. The main resources are gold, iron and food. With those the player has to construct buildings, recruit troops, buy upgrades or research new versions of the mentioned things. To defend and expand his castle, the player has to form alliances with other player or wage war against them. Also trading is possible. Interesting here is that is implemented as an open market. Players offer a good and name its price. It is up to other players to buy or ignore the entire on the market. Prices therefore are determined by demand and supply.

Another way to interact with friends, next to the trading and alliances, is the possibilities to summon ghost troops to reinforce the own troops. Together with the option of sending troop and resources to allies and the possibility of mailing each other, Stormfall manages to create an opportunity for real bond between players.

If played with the right persons the player in Stormfall experiences the game as if he was a real lord in this world. In these occasions Stormfall shines and engages the player the most. Players don’t play alongside anymore, occasionally interact with each other, but they start to play together by planning wars and calling for aid. In these cases the game works the best. For those players planning on the long term the premium currency gets interesting.

Pay to save

At first it seemed odd that Stormfall asks the player for real money to build something essential to a fortress like walls. But on second thought, it makes sense. Since walls are only needed in a case of defense they only result as an advantage when attacked. This means different than combat troops and other objects that are needed to expand, walls more or less saves the players progress. A strong defense makes sure that the spoils of war or the profit from trades won’t be lost that easily to others players. This advantage is only needed for players that plan playing on a longer time frame. It is possible to play without a strong defense, it is just riskier to do so.

Also the management of the player’s session is handled naturally. Stormfall doesn’t rely on an additional energy system. Only resources and traveling time of troops limit the player’s progress. This means that even if the player is not actively playing, the game moves on.  Since other players may move as well while the player is offline, it creates the tension of the classical browser game. In which the player always wonders, what is happening in the world of Stormfall.

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