“ Genre: Strategy / DVD-ROM for Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows XP / Release Date: 2012-05-11 / Published by Ubisoft „
I have been playing this free to play strategy game for a few over a month now and I really am addicted, (sad I know) but it is a game that can get you that way. I will only tell you about the experience I have had whilst playing this game, and as I haven't reached the top level yet there will be room for updates. The game is very slow paced, and will take a while to get anywhere in the game, but because it is played within a browser you do not need to sit there and watch it, do what you need to do and then leave it. When you log out the game will carry on playing itself which is a good and bad thing to most players, but keeps your resources coming in whilst you're not there, and not only that when you come back to the game most times than not you will have completed quests without even doing anything. I never thought I would get into a game like this as these types of games have never appealed to me in the past.
SETTING UP THE GAME
First thing you need to do is go to the settler's online webpage to get registered, here is the link http://www.thesettlersonline.com/en/homepage, and click on register, follow the on screen instructions and fill in the required fields. Once you have done that you will be taken to another page to fill in more details, like username, server you want to play on, and choosing you avatar, once that is done then it is time to log in and play the game. It will take a few minutes to do this, and with there being no installation or downloading to be done, it's a bonus.
PLAYING THE GAME
There are many things to do in the game, but does help having friends or a guild to join, which I explain about later in the review. First thing first you will be following a tutorial for the first couple of levels this will help you to know how to build, move around your island, how to access things in the game, basically just to help you.
Quests - you will follow quests in the game, they will either be difficult or easy, and normally it's about collecting so many resources, or building certain buildings, attacking bandit camps so not so very difficult you might think. Quest will give you rewards on completion, money, gems, resources, troops, or deposits. Quests are helpful to you in this game as it gives you a feel about the game, how to do things and also each quests will give you exp points which enough of these will level you up in the game and will enable you to build bigger and better buildings.
Building - Obviously you need to be building buildings in this game; the buildings are accessible from the tab at the bottom of the game, it is very easy to do, click on the building you want to build then place it on your island and then it will begin to build, they do take a few seconds to complete. Now you can upgrade the buildings using resources that you have collected within the game, hovering over the upgrade button will tell you what features it will give you.
There are different types of buildings you can build, some are for resources, some are for training up your troops, trading buildings, mines, and others are for production purposes. Make sure you have enough building licenses to build as if you don't you cannot build anything on your island without one. You will also get buildings demolishing too, this like exhausted mines, wheat farms, and water wells, where then you will just have to build more.
Economy - Here you can see where your resources are coming from and where you can toggle them, sometimes you will find that most of the production is out of resources so will put it in a minus and cannot produce the resources, other times if you have managed your buildings right you will be on the up and they will come flooding through. This is something I have been struggling with in the game, but this tab will help you conquer that.
Resources - you cannot play this game without these, these are used for many purposes in the game and are a must, you need them for things like upgrades, trading, building, training troops, making books, and more. It is difficult at first to gain resources that you need to require certain buildings but once you get to know the game and how it works they do come in a little faster with managing them properly.
Certain resources will need a deposit made which means things like your fishermen, cant fish in an empty pool, which in that case you need to go into a provisional house which there you can make fish food, to bump up the pools with fish. Mines on the other hand can be deposited with using you gems, same way but not using the provisional house, you use the merchant.
Things like water and wheat will become exhausted which then you will need to build more to replace them. You can upgrade the water wells but can't upgrade the wheat farms, but be careful the more you upgrade buildings they will cost more to move and also will make more resources but will deplete more quickly.
Trading Office - The trading office is just what is says, you can trade resources, coins or even adventures through here with other players, I wouldn't advise this in the early stages of the game as you will need to concentrate on your resources, it is helpful though for trading.
Barracks - As you will probably know what this is used for, this is a building for your troops to be trained to attack those bandits that live on your camp. You will get a garrison where your general will stay; all the troops you train can be placed in the garrison although you can only have 200 troops within each garrison.
Geologist - These are bought with your coins, these will help you find mines around your island which you will need and is important to have, you can have as many as you want to be searching for mines, and will show up as an icon on your island. It will let you know if your geologist as find such mines but you might have to many which will then lead to you not being able to have any more.
Use your gems to buy deposits from the merchant to keep your mines from getting exhausted and you having to blow it up, otherwise you will need to use your resources to build more mines, if you don't have enough gems then there is not much you can do except build more.
Explorer - He is someone else that you will need to buy with your coins, these people are extremely helpful into finding you treasure, more sectors on your island and adventures, without him you won't be able to find these by yourself, depending on your level they will either take 5 minutes and days to complete.
Star menu - Your star menu is used as a storage for you to keep your settlers, resources from quests, adventures, etc, but then are transferred to your mayors house, you need always make sure when you do find new sectors in the game, you need to place a store house within that sector, the storehouses are there to keep all your resources, settlers, ores etc. in there. Your star menu have tabs on the bottom of it to help with finding things easier like - All to view everything in there, Specialists - this is where your crew are kept, generals, geologists and your explorers, Buffs, resources and misc.
Buffs - you will get buffs in the game, either fish platters, solid sandwiches or baskets, these are made using your resources and will be used on your buildings and mines, this will give a buff to the output on each building or mine you place it on, each type of buff have different times before they run out. You can also use your buffs on your friends and guild member's islands which will are helpful for them and last longer if you're buffed by a friend.
Bandits and Adventures - These are either difficult needing more than yourself to kill or achieve them or they are easy and will only take you to conquer them. Each bandit camp will be named as easy, medium or hard, before you take the jump, you need to get your troops into your garrison, and click on the combat preview, then click on the bandit camp this will tell you how many troops you will end up losing if any, whether it will be a defeat and not to attempt it, it will tell you if you will get intervened, although clicking on a leader bandit camp you will not get this information it will be trial and error, you will either win or lose, but choose your troops wisely. If you are successful is killing the bandit camps in a sector that sector will then become yours, but if not then you cannot claim the sector until they are killed.
Adventures are a little different, to start an adventure, click it in your quest log, start, then it will transfer your troops across, this can take a while but keep checking the site of the adventure and wait for your general and troops to arrive, you will then be given quests to do over there once completed your will be rewarded, if not then you will have to retry with a different approach.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
I have to admit with this game being played in a browser I didn't think it would be much good, especially on the graphics and sounds side of it, but I was wrong. The graphics are excellent, very detailed, very clear and crisp, and very smooth looking. You can see the settlers moving about, you can scroll in and out it is a truly great game with amazing graphics, the sounds are equally good, each part of the game will have its own unique sound, like when your building you will hear sawing and hammering, when you knock a building down you can hear crumble, it's just amazing.
I really enjoy playing this game and I know it is slow in the making but I don't mind that at all as I know I can leave this game running whilst I do other things, it's not a game I have sit at to play, I enjoy the interactions with other players, I do also have to mention that if you decided on joining a guild it is very beneficial to you especially for trading and adventures and also you can have a good ole chat.
It is a strategy game so I know it won't suit most people reading this but like I mentioned it wasn't a game I would of chose to play in the past, but now I am very much into it. I would recommend this game to friends and people, as it is a good game and gameplay, graphics and sounds are brilliant.