RuneScape's creator builds its own social civilization in 8Realms [Video]

8Realms logoStop us if you've heard this one before: There's a new social game in town that allows players to guide a civilization through many an era, developing its economy, culture, infrastructure and even military with the help of friends and in the face of enemies. Jagex, the Cambridge, UK-based creator of RuneScape, recently released 8Realms, its response to the social games craze.

"We were already enjoying some of the other games in this sector and we liked the concept of a fun and engaging game like this in the browser," 8Realms VP Phil White tells us. "When we looked around for that 'perfect game' we were underwhelmed by what was already on the market and realized we could do something a little different with a Jagex feel to it."

Those familiar with how most social games work will fit right in at 8Realms. Players assume control over a colony of primitive humans, directing them to build farms, lumber yards and quarries to produce the game's primary resources. Would-be chiefs can then use those resources to build new structures, like main huts, prayer circles, and barracks. This cycle generally repeats until players enter the next era, or Realm, of which there are eight--get it?
8Realms Imperial Age
Lumber yards quickly become steel mills, quarries transform into mines (and later into oil refineries) and farms into production facilities as players guide their civilization through thousands of years. Along the way, players will be advised by Gary, a cheeky caveman, and a series of quests that show exactly what must be done next. Of course, players can share their achievements and even ask for help via Facebook Connect. However, 8Realms is hosted on its own little corner of the web, but why?

"It was something that was seriously considered in the early days of planning," White says. "However we felt from very early on that 8Realms would be better situated if it started off on its own domain and was therefore not reliant on Facebook, particularly as we always wanted 8Realms to be available to play on a variety of platforms."
8Realms by Jagex
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RuneScape's creator builds its own social civilization in 8Realms [Video]
That's thanks to the fact that 8Realms was created using not the new hotness HTML5, but an older version of the web-based programming language, HTML 3.2. Regardless, players can access their burgeoning civilization from their laptop, smartphone or tablet at any time. However, we must say that 8Realms on an iPhone's Safari browser isn't nearly as responsive or well-fitted as you'll find on the good old computer.

One thing players will be refreshed to find is that 8Realms is not governed by an energy system, rather certain tasks take far longer to complete than others, like erecting the next city hall or raiding an enemy settlement. Speaking of which, players are tasked with expanding their sphere of influence by attacking neighboring settlements-turned-cities. While there isn't a combat system in place, attacking enemies provides players with extra resources.
8Realms World Map
What's impressive about 8Realms is that it's a fully-featured social game (including daily bonuses) that it can be played on several devices, though mileage may vary. And while it's tough to ignore its similarities to other civilization-building games, Jagex applies a certain humor and charm to the game that you'll be hard-pressed to find in other games of its ilk. And Jagex has "massive plans" for 8Realms moving forward.

"Expect to see more of Gary, your faithful pal and adviser. We've also got the elusive end-game content, which until now has only been hinted at," White tells us. "8Realms is more than just a browser game that appeals to the casual or hardcore player. We really feel that 8Realms bridges the gap between these two opposites and allows them to compete on a level playing field no matter what their play style is."

Click here to play 8Realms by Jagex Now >

Have you tried 8Realms yet? What do you look for in your simulation social games these days, and does 8Realms deliver? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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