Idle clicking games are wonderfully addictive, but frequently pretty shallow at heart. All too often devoid of much story, or even much varied content, they’ll scratch an itch but only for a brief time. Idle Empires seems different to that. Sure, you’ll still eventually end up burned out on the initially intoxicating mix, but it’ll be a fun ride getting to that point.
Where Idle Empires holds your interest for so long is through its constant supply of new content. This is in part due to its theme of having you play a power and gold obsessed tyrant who is trying to keep their people just about subservient enough so as to not revolt. Starting out, you’re tapping like crazy to either recruit a new auto clicking buddy or to upgrade the building located on that particular screen. Once you’ve upgraded the building sufficiently, you can then move onto the next screen and perform some similar actions. Except, it’s not always so samey. Sometimes you’ll be presented with different opportunities.
For instance, you might find yourself able to build a special type of building that enhances your gold production, or you might be able to improve your units’ strength en masse. Another time, you might find yourself needing to battle it out against enemy troops.
This involves placing down soldiers or casting spells (also purchasable at designated points) to vanquish them. This is fairly hands-off which makes it a little uneventful but it offers an important role. The catch here is that each time you buy a soldier, it costs unrest points. Unrest points build up naturally anyhow, while you’re performing any actions. Once they reach a set limit, your people revolt and you need to decide what to do next.
A revolution means you can’t carry on as usual. Your options are restricted to either watching an advert to reduce the level, buying your way out which costs substantial quantities of the premium currency, or appeasing your people through acquiring a scapegoat. If all those options are exhausted, and they will be soon enough, you have to restart the game. Fortunately, you keep certain bonuses along the way as well as being able to invest in a permanent increase to things such as gold production or troop strength. That means that, like many idle clickers, Idle Empires is all about repetition.
It doesn’t feel hugely repetitious, though. Oftentimes, there’s enough going on that you’ll still feel like you’re doing something slightly different each time. You can approach each playthrough differently too, opting to focus on reinforcing your military or upping your gold production.
There’s the bonus that Idle Empires throws some witty dialogue and sharply devised storytelling that’s a little tongue in cheek with its references to certain current political situations in the real world. It’s not overdone, but it’s there for those keen to see a little more personality than we usually see from this genre.
There are times you’ll feel restricted by any unwillingness to spend real money, and there are plenty of adverts to suffer through, but Idle Empires is mostly a pretty good example of the idle clicking genre. With a steady stream of new content, along with achievements and challenges to complete, you’ll find a regular urge to go back for more. It’ll last you longer than most games of this ilk, even if eventually you might realise you’re just tapping like crazy.