8Realms lets you manage a civilization from virtually anywhere

Like most civilization building strategy games, 8Realms tasks you with taking a tiny settlement and growing it into a thriving empire. You’ll train troops, gather resources, and build your population. And as a web-based social game, you can also interact with other players. So what makes 8Realms different? You can play it on any device with a web browser.

The core gameplay feels largely familiar. You have a small patch of land to begin with, which is divided into a grid-like set-up. On each square you can place homes for your citizens, resource producing facilities like quarries or farms, as well as special buildings like libraries for researching new technology and barracks for training soldiers. The progression will feel very similar to anyone who has played a similar title but, in a nice chage of pace, you actually get to see your society progress through the ages, from an ancient civilization to modern times.

The progression is slow, but it can be quite satisfying.

Actually playing the game largely involves navigating a series of menus. You’re given a steady stream of quests to keep you on the right track and, despite the game’s rather charming visual style, much of your time will be spent tracking how many of a given resource you’re producing or how long it will be before a particular building upgrade is complete.

8Realms

8Realms utilizes HTML5, which means that it can be played on pretty much any device with a web browser. While the game seems ideally suited to a mouse-and-keyboard set-up, playing on a tablet, for instance, works well enough. We also managed to get the game running in Safari on an iPhone and, while it technically worked, the screen is simply too small for it to be manageable.

The game is currently in an open beta, so you can get a feel for how things play out by heading over to the 8Realms site. Despite a few noticeably missing features — including a full-screen mode or any sort of audio component — it’s shaping up to be a solid strategy game.