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Travian (PC) artwork

Travian (PC) review

"Travian ensures that browser-based gaming can still pull its weight in this era of triple-A titles and HD remakes."

Travian doesn't try to be something it's not, or compete with established titles: it recognises the confines of playing in your browser, delivering a package that accommodates all skill levels. If you're expecting the depth of Age of Empires or the competitiveness of StarCraft, then you're going to be disappointed. However, should that turn you off? Fortunately, the answer is no.

Your first task in Travian is to create Rally Points - a command point for troops - as well as to discover and upgrade resources such as coal and wheat. Soon you'll be riding solo, and this is Travian. You'll constantly look to refine and expand your villages to gain more resources and more troops. Here, though, Travian immediately stumbles: translation is poor, with grammatical errors in English throughout. For such a quest-centric game, it is unfortunate that this is repeated - I often found myself re-reading sentences to understand quests. Content, though, is straightforward, with main quest goals explicitly explained and linked to to negate these grammatical flaws.

Recover from the inconsistent writing in Travian, dig a little deeper, and you'll be rewarded. Within an hour, characters will be sent on "adventures" - and will gain resources at the cost of real time - while quickly expanding core materials. The hook is that you can 'upgrade' resources, buildings and produce materials more efficiently. The offset is that materials are required and players are responsible for managing their input of materials versus output while being aware of how much time each task takes. You decide whether you to do each task individually, or create a queue and come back later.

Travian's multiplayer also allows you to invade villages, at least after a probation period: new players have 'beginner's protection,' an attempt to ease you into the world. However, the downside is twofold: you can't attack villages, or trade - through a Marketplace - by sending merchants. Despite the good intentions of the developers, this is a problem, as while protecting new players is welcome, I found 14 days of protection a tad excessive and off-putting for a game that is swamped by competition.

Inconsistencies in grammar aside, Travian’s well-presented and approachable package ensures players of all skill levels can jump in. While it lacks the depth of StarCraft II or the creativity of Scribblenauts Remix, Travian ensures that browser-based gaming can still pull its weight in this era of triple-A titles and HD remakes.


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Community review by itsjoncharles (December 03, 2011)

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