GI.net writes: "Some eight weeks ago, I began playing a multiplayer online game, and I've been hooked ever since. Yes, I hear the collective groan, "Ophelea, big deal. You're talking about half the games on the Internet!" Well, perhaps I am. But, this one is a little different, or I wouldn't have mentioned the time I've been playing - as verbose as I am want to be. You see, when I began playing, I was able to make a move every 7-15 minutes. Eight weeks later, I make maybe six to 10 moves a day. I am so hooked.
What is this mysterious game of limited interaction that keeps me riveted to my screen, you may be wondering? (Or simply wondering about my sanity ...) It's a title by Gameforge, a German company known for its Flash titles; only this one is in Ajax - meaning no real movement to speak of, just screen changes.
Called Ikariam, the idea is to build as many colonies as you can and then either continue to build and monopolize resources or build an army and conquer other colonies. The setting loosely can be considered Ancient Greece - particularly if there were a Steampunk version of Ancient Greece. The art is clean, passable and does exactly what it is intended to; I never confuse the marketplace for the tavern or the barracks for the academy.
The game is absolutely free to play, and though I did purchase $15 worth of ambrosia late in the game (partly for this review and partly because I wanted the benefits it would afford me at that stage), I honestly did not need to make the purchase. None of the content in the game is premium. There is nowhere I couldn't get to, nothing I couldn't achieve without spending money. It is, quite simply, free."