World-builders, warriors, and history buffs all love to play Forge of Empires online, but why? That’ll be because this 2D strategy game successfully blends city-building and player-vs-player battling with realistic historical questlines.
Gamers can sink their teeth into Forge of Empires on PC, Mac, or smartphones and tablets, with both browser-based and downloadable game options available – but is Forge of Empires really worth playing in 2023? While some criticise the game’s slightly old hat graphics, we think it remains one of the most unique Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games out there.
|Forge of Empires (FOE)
|🕹️ First founded
|🔒 Active players
|PC & Mobile
We threw a lot of facts at you just then, so for those of you who missed it – yes, Forge of Empires is a free-to-play game. This is a huge perk, as while many other MMOs and city-builders require subscriptions and in-app purchases to unlock their full potential, you can actually rise to the top ranks of Forge of Empires without spending a penny. Though you will have to be pretty darn skilled and dedicated to achieve this.
In terms of Forge of Empires costs, there is an in-game currency known as Diamonds in-play here – and these Diamonds are purchasable if you want to buy them. That said, Diamonds can also be acquired freely by completing quests, battles and more. They can be traded for the likes of Premium buildings, Forge Points – which let you explore new technologies, trade and upgrade, Expansions, Missing Blueprints and Goods and tools of many varieties.
Let’s skip to the good bit. In the following sections, our Forge of Empires review will break down for you what to expect from the game in a few key categories. So, take a deep breath, sit back and dive right in once you’re ready.
In a nutshell, Forge of Empires is a browser-based strategy game of the city-builder variety. Your task, at its most basic level, is to create a Stone Age city and nurture it right up to modern times and beyond – something you’ll need to achieve via effective military campaigns, skilful bartering for materials, quest completion and, of course, research into new technologies.
Fun fact – while the game is by no means 100% historically accurate, in previous years, one or two schools have claimed to have incorporated it into their curriculum on account of its excellent depictions of the Stone and Iron Age. What’s more, a prominent paper was published back in 2017 exploring the game’s potential as a social studies tool. This is a real serious game, guys. Sort of.
Forge of Empires isn’t your average city-building MMO. Part of the reason this unassuming 2D game has piqued the interest of the education sector and one or two social studies professors is that gameplay is driven largely by the need for diplomacy and the strategic conquering of your enemies – on top of the obvious building, bartering, and battling.
Naturally, all the above become exponentially more difficult as the clock ticks by and you progress from one era to the next. If any less experienced gamers out there are feeling a little intimidated by now, please don’t – our Forge of Empires review found that the site’s interface is uber-intuitive and pretty much child-proof. In short, if you’ve played a city-builder before, you’ll have no trouble navigating this one.
The game offers a single player campaign option that some gamers swear by, as well as other unique features you might not find with typical MMOs, including the ability to have full control over building placement. As the game’s been around for a while now, there are quite a few interesting stats floating around about it, too. For example:
|💵 Average time to complete the game
|6.5 years (or approx. 2,300 days)
|🤝 Estimated total number of players
|Approx. 10 million globally
|💰 Estimated lifetime revenue
Forge of Empires can be directly downloaded from the Apple Store, Microsoft Store and Google Play, but as we said before, one of the beauties of this game is that it can also be enjoyed via a standard web browser.
To play Forge of Empires online, you’ll need at least 1GB of free storage space and 2GB of RAM on your device. For those of you non-tech-wizzes out there, these are some pretty basic system requirements – and the slightly more old-fashioned graphics in play here mean that even older computers and smartphones can handle it.
Next up, let’s look at a few common game strategies that Forge of Empires fanatics swear by. Once you’re feeling settled with your Stone Age settlement, why not explore one or more of the following…
While Diamonds are used for most purchases, Forge Points are an arguably even more essential in-game currency with Forge of Empires, as they’re used to help you carry out research and unlock more buildings. You can only have 10 in-play at once, and they take a whopping one hour each to refill after use – so keep a close eye on how many you have at all times.
Boosters come in many shapes and sizes. Perhaps the most useful are Time Boosters – time-saving tools that can help you speed up your building and production. Collect and use these wisely, as without them you’ll need to dig into your Diamonds balance if a build is taking longer than expected – a common problem encountered in some of the later stages of the game. Note that Boosters can only be purchased via the game’s Tavern shop.
Now obviously there are times when patience simply isn’t a virtue – like when you need to finish a construction quickly or complete a quest against the clock, for example. But overall, it’s best to take a patient approach to Forge of Empires. What we mean by this is you’ll want to step back and take a look at the bigger picture rather than getting carried away by one tough side quest or story objective.
These can only be unveiled if you know where to look – which is probably going to mean watching a YouTube tutorial or two regarding the specific quests relative to your current era in the game. There are three sets of bonus quests in total, and you can grab hold of coins, supplies, military units and more by successfully completing them.
This is a building-and-moving game, which means that, puns aside, managing your space effectively is pivotal to your empire’s growth and success. This means understanding how to rearrange your landscape in your favour and avoiding building too many streets. Prioritise cultural buildings to keep your township happy, and try to envision larger layouts even in the earliest stages of the game, to avoid boxing yourself in.
Some say Forge of Empires does a truly epic job of recreating eras gone by and simulating the empire-building experience, while others criticize the game for being a little thin story-wise – but is it historically accurate? Find out the answer to this and other important iGaming questions today with our expert guides, reviews, and browser-based game comparisons.
Forge of Empires really blew up when it was first launched back in 2012, but since then tonnes of imitators and newer games have reared their heads. So, is Forge of Empires still popular today, or has it been overshadowed by competitors? Find out now with Strafe.com and read our detailed reviews of this game and others while you’re at it.
Forge of Empires is, above all else, a strategy game, which means experimenting with different tips, tricks and longer-term strategies is arguably the best way to ensure your empire’s success. Discover the latest tried-and-tested game strategies with Strafe.com today.
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Unsure whether Forge of Empires is a good fit for you? Check out these other strategy, MMO and city-builder alternatives instead:
Elvenar is without doubt one of our favourite strategy games right now – and it’s another title from InnoGames, too. Gameplay borders closely on Forge of Empires territory here, though there’s a magical elves-versus-humans theme where you can build either a more whimsical empire, or a slightly grittier, human-led one. It’s a great choice for those of you who favour the fantasy aesthetic.
Rise of Cultures is an up-and-coming MMO that’s, in a sense, fighting to steal Forge of Empires’ thunder. This is another kingdom-builder with a penchant for mild historical accuracy and a lean toward real-world civilisations, though it's perhaps better suited to smartphone gamers than the more PC-centric Forge of Empires.
Forge of Empires takes the cake as one of the best browser games available anywhere right now – particularly for those of you who are into city-builders, Stone and Iron Age history, or all of the above. And even if not, the gameplay here is so good, we’re sure 99% of gamers will have a whale of a time even if history was your least favorite subject at school.
This instant InnoGames classic stands out most when it comes to its free-to-play potential, impressive active player base and relative historical accuracy. But if you consider yourself something of a nit-picker when it comes to graphics, perhaps have a read through some of our other iGaming guides and comparisons to locate a city-builder that better matches your more cutting-edge tastes.
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