Little War on Facebook: Stone Age game at a Stone Age pace
If there is one niche that Facebook games have yet to hit, it might very well be the Stone Age. Thanks to Chinese social game developer Five Minutes, that's no longer an issue with Little War. Set in prehistoric times, Little War puts you in the role of chieftain, overseeing a fledgling tribe as they kill, expand and cultivate their way to caveman supremacy. Drawing obvious similarities from established warfare and city-building games like My Empire, Little War brings a lot to the table in presentation as one the most visually appealing Facebook games out there. Unfortunately, the game moves at a fossilized snail's pace, forcing players to wait for sometimes days before seeing the fleeting moments of combat.
Find more detailed impressions of Little War after the break.
Your nascent tribe begins already facing the stony tips of an opposing tribe's spears, which serves as the training ground for you, the only person this small community has to look up to. While that sure sounds pretty intense, it quickly boils down to "harvest this" and "train this." Worse off, these processes will take hours outside of the tutorial, which grants you with Hourglasses to instantly finish training cycles and push the invaders back with your own pointy weapons.
Unlike most games that operate in coins, Little War is all about Food, which is at least historically accurate to a point. Everything from building dwellings and warrior training grounds to decorations costs Food. Harvesting crops, completing quests, killing roaming monsters and leveling are all sources of Food. Of course, harvesting is the most readily available and reliable source of food, but also the least entertaining. There is also your population cap to worry about, which fills up with the more soldiers you train and increases with the more dwellings you create. Admittedly, it has the potential to become an interesting balance considering it all draws from a single resource.
To mix things up, your tribe can also tap ancient magics to summon more monsters to hunt, increase your tribe's statistics, damage other tribes and more. These are accessed by creating new Wonders, or buildings whose only purpose is to fuel new magic powers. Once built, Wonders can be upgraded using parts collected from defeating monsters, purchasing from the shop, completing quests or even--dare I say--asking friends. Yes, asking and helping friends with requests is a major component to Little War like most social games.
On to what should the most exciting part of Little War: combat. Unfortunately, I've yet to enter a combat experience with another tribe on any scale since the tutorial. And while it hasn't been a terribly long time since then, why should it be? When there are plenty of other games out there that are much more rewarding of building and maintaining a community, combat should be more frequent and far more exciting than it is. When fighting monsters, all that decides the outcome is a small cartoon-style scuffle cloud accompanied by a loading bar. When fighting opposing tribes, scale that same goofy animation to fill the entire screen, add some more oomph to it with more warriors and that's how large scale combat is decided. The only statistic that contributes to your success in combat is Combat Power, which is merely a measure of the amount of warriors you possess in your army. In short, the combat won't exactly have you running back to your computer screen for more like in games such as Mighty Pirates or Monster Galaxy.
As mentioned before, getting into combat takes long enough--but so does everything else. Training even the smallest regiment of warrior takes two hours, most of the more meaningful magic powers take almost a day to recharge and harvesting a worthwhile amount of Food takes a full day. You're going to spend a lot of time either staring at timers or setting alarms around events that aren't exactly enthralling. Little War has an incredibly charming art style and smooth presentation, but sadly is sitting on a gold mine of potentially exciting content while emulating elements of other popular social games so well. Just because your game is about the Stone Age doesn't mean it has to move like it.
Click here to play Little War on Facebook Now>
Have you tried Little War yet? If so, what are your impressions so far? What do you think of combat-driven, community-building social games? Let us know in the comments. Add Comment.