The Battle Of Polytopia


Whereas I enjoy the Civilization series as well as other popular 4x-style games, they can be a bit lengthy. That’s why the idea of The Battle Of Polytopia appeals to me. It provides a bite-sized model of the typical 4x-style encounter with an adorable art style and a simplified technology tree of upgrades. However, this game’s act of simplifying below its 4x-style gameplay includes its own complications. Polytopia offers players three main modes of play: perfection, domination, and creative. In perfect mode, players are given thirty turns to achieve the highest score possible. In domination mode, players compete to conquer and control all other cities on the map. Lastly, in creative mode, players have the freedom to set their own parameters and play however they like. Each mode offers different difficulty levels, allowing for a wide variety of challenges to be undertaken by players of all abilities. Polytopia is a truly unique online game where players can interact and compete with others from around the world.

There’s a great selection of tribes to choose from in The Battle of Polytopia. They’re based on historical civilizations, such as the Imperius tribe based on Ancient Rome, or the Viking-themed Bardur tribe. They’re also rendered in a colorful voxel art style that reminds me of Riverbond, which gives The Battle of Polytopia a pleasant, warm look that makes the violent brutality of war seem almost charming. Of course, it also looks a lot like a ton of other mobile games that have employed this style in the past, but some of the unit designs are very cute.

Many of the tribes in the game play similarly, but new tribes are added to the game as downloadable content. For the purposes of this review, I was able to use The Cymanti, a new tribe that relies on giant bug troops and poisoning enemy soldiers. Their unique feel made them one of my favorite civilizations to play as, so if you’re ok with paying a bit extra for DLC then these tribes may be worth looking into.

In Polytopia, you’ll have to manage your cities and their citizens in order to thrive. You’ll need to build up your empire by creating new structures and gathering resources, then use those resources to train soldiers and research new technology. You’ll also need to keep your cities growing by adding new buildings or recruiting more citizens. By doing all of this, you’ll earn Polytopia’s currency, stars. Once a city has enough stars, it can be upgraded and become an autonomous city. Cities can also be gained by moving one of your units into an unoccupied town.

The Battle of Polytopia is a mobile game ported over to PC, and while it operates fairly well, it could have benefitted from a better tutorial. It’s not hard to learn how to play, although it could have benefited from a better explanation of the controls. However, in simplifying 4x gameplay, it may have removed too much of the actual strategy. Rounds typically devolved into tribes sending unit after unit towards each other and cities constantly switching allegiances as they were captured, uncaptured, or re-captured. The addition of new tribes may freshen things up, but that depends on whether or not you want to pay for them.

The multiplayer component is the main selling point here as quick multiplayer strategy matches sound fun, yet even that is hampered by the apparent lack of an active online player base. All of these issues leave The Battle Of Polytopia as a title that doesn’t have enough options and content to make it worth fighting for.

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