Infinite Realms takes the strategy gameplay formula used by Travian games (think Kingdoms of Camelot) and applies a sci-fi theme to it. So instead of trying to build farms to build your peasants, you’re generating food rations so you can feed your space peasants. The game’s visual design takes a lot of cues from popular sci-fi console games like Mass Effect, but the artwork is excellent and the game itself is beautiful to look at, full of visually distinct buildings and intricate animations. Even parts of the GUI are attractive.
As in most strategy games descended from Travian, you’re tasked with building up your resources, expanding your territory, and conquering both NPC foes and other players. Since Infinite Realms is a sci-fi game, you’re basically trying to conquer a planet for your colonists to inhabit. Instead of the varying terrain types you see in Travian-like games, you have the option of conquering areas that improve production of particular resources. Where you have Knights in the Travian games, Infinite Realms gives you a Hero that you hire to lead vast sums of troops. In a nice touch, your Hero tends to warn you about the probable outcomes of battle before you initiate them.
To get you acquainted with the game, Infinite Realms offers you a long quest tree to complete. The quests are well-designed and offer substantial rewards. It’s also easy to depart from the quests early in the game and start focusing on whatever part of the game you like best, whether it’s buying and selling resources with other players or building up your Heroes into efficient killing machines. You can have your Heroes attack other players’ settlements, but the usual “newb protection” rules apply until you’ve been playing the game for awhile.
Infinite Realms is loaded with complex and interesting animations for the main outpost map area. The planet surface and your mothership are depicted a bit more abstractly, but a stylish GUI makes up for this. One of the game’s few major problems is that the GUI is relatively complicated. Achieving some things involves clicking tiny counterintuitive links or navigating through layers of menus. As with most social games that descend from Travian, Infinite Realms is definitely not a game for someone who’s short of patience or just wants a ten-minute distraction. This is a game for the sort of person who’s willing to join organized alliances and carefully micromanage their build times.
Most games that descend from Travian suffer from feeling a bit too identical, but Infinite Realms breaks that mold simply by dropping the medieval theme and adding in a few new gameplay mechanics that fit its sci-fi theme. The still art and the design of all the little buildings and ships really helps Infinite Realms capture a player’s imagination. Players who like their Facebook titles simple should probably give this one a pass, but if you like strategy then Infinite Realms has a lot to offer. There’s not many true sci-fi games on Facebook, either.