Oh look, it's another Facebook game from FarmVille social gaming behemoth Zynga. This one's called Empires & Allies, and it's…well, you know Sarge and the Bucket O' Soldiers in Toy Story? That, only with actual strategy and combat. Group warfare? Social skirmishing? Collective clashing? Whatever works. It goes live today, and this appears to be its official Facebook page.
"Build your army, fight with friends, lead your empire"—the game's tagline in the official trailer.
Zynga's LA-based studio pulled Empires & Allies together over the past year. It takes place across a chain of islands and looks a little "diet-Civilization" to me (aka "Risk"). Though with the game's emphasis on combat, maybe comparisons to Advance Wars (Nintendo DS) are more appropriate. Zynga claims it also includes "more social features than any Zynga game."
Some of those features include recruiting other friends (they have to be online—the game's played in real-time) to wage war on other players. You fund your empire by collecting rent on huts, cottages, houses, and the like. You'll work with a computer advisor, who'll keep you apprised of what's what. And you battle with ground, sea, and air units, electing either to work aside your friends, or against them. If you choose the former, you can actually tend their empires, FarmVille style.
"Empires & Allies is strategy combat gone social – think CityVille meets Risk," said Amer Ajami, the game's executive producer, in a statement. "We’re focused on bringing our players a new form of entertainment and a strategy game is definitely a new playground for us. Play is in everyone’s DNA, and this game lets you have fun and get creative by choosing your own destiny, building a nation and eventually, conquering the world.”
The game's launching worldwide and simultaneously today in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian, Turkish, Malay, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Norwegian. Zynga claims it's "the world’s largest social game developer with more than 250 million monthly active users." You probably know most of the games behind that number: CityVille, FarmVille, FrontierVille, Words With Friends, Mafia Wars, Zynga Poker, Café World, and Treasure Isle.
Overwhelmed yet? Me neither. Checking it out as soon as it's live.