Rise of Lost Empires

Rise of Lost Empires is a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game by Gameloft. It has a very similar feel to the computer game Warcraft and comes complete with great graphics, great soundtrack, and solid gameplay. You start as Gavan, fighting to protect his homeland against the orc hordes. You are a hero. The success of your empire falls on your shoulders as you you prepare your people for attack. Eventually the great story in Lost Empires will have you playing as both humans and orcs!!

It’s quite fantastic how Gameloft got everything to feel so good with touch controls. Selecting is done with a simple tap, and to select more than one character, simply draw a box around them with two fingers and release. If a hero is in the group, you can control everyone in said group by giving commands to just the hero. To move the map, just press and drag your finger. To attack, just touch the enemy. Everything feels pretty intuitive. Three controls are selectable in the lower left: a zoom function for when you need a wider shot of the action or grab a bunch of soldiers at once, a minimap to see where the action is, and your hero’s spellbook. The main menu is in the upper right. I find it very impressive that even with all the controls on the screen, your view of the action is rarely blocked.  

The presentation for Lost Empires is really awesome. The 2D sprites are bright and detailed. Animations are fluid and never slowdown, even when entire armies clash. There is a loading screen at the beginning of each level, but it’s quick. Even the soundtrack is outstanding! There are only a handful of tracks, but each one adds to the epic feeling of the game. As far as options go, things are pretty basic. You can select 6 different languages though, which is impressive. Other than that, you can  change audio levels, reset your profile, or select any level you’ve previously beaten.   

Gameloft should be proud of the game engine in Lost Empires. This is classic RTS goodness. The balance leans heavily on using your heroes, but victory can be accomplished without them if you’d prefer. Spells range from healing and speed bonuses, to powerful attack spells like “meteor.” If your hero dies in glorious battle, they can be revived at your headquarters, called a citadel.

One drawback would be that the game currently only has a quest mode. With how great everything feels, I can’t help but wish for a multiplayer option. I doubt 3G networks could handle it, but if Gameloft could get multiplayer on WiFi, I’d be all over that. I’d also like to see a quickplay option, with random maps and such for infinite replay value. As it stands, you’ll probably get 5-7 hours for your 2 bucks.

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