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Preview: 8 Realms

Once upon a time, this old git remembers when you had to sit in front of a (for the time) powerful PC to get your god gaming fix with the likes of Populous and Civilization. Now due to advancements in technology this is no longer the case, I present to you 8 Realms designed by the fine chaps at Jagex Games Studio.

The British based developer is currently one of the strongest names in browser based MMO games and now they are looking towards expanding into the real time strategy genre with 8 Realms. To those who have played the two aforementioned titles the premise of the game is simple. To build, research and fight your way to victory across the ages of man from the dawn of civilization to the far distant future.

Of course this would lead you to wonder, what makes 8 Realms unique over its predecessors? Jagex have taken the established god game premise and have infused it with browser based casual gaming aesthetics. In other words you can play the game for hours at a time or simply log in for a couple of minutes set up some new build orders and then log out again knowing that they will be complete and waiting for you later. Also the other obvious advantage of being a browser based game is that 8 realms can be played on almost any internet enabled device allowing you to play at work, home or on the move.
Modern Settlement.
The other major feature that separates 8 realms from its competition is the use of a unique and game changing currency in the form of gems. These gems can be used to produce a vast number of effects from automatically completing construction, temporarily boosting the effectiveness of your army and even amassing a certain resource with ease. In other words gems are worth time, your time to be exact as every action in 8 Realms takes time before it can be completed and the game allows you to watch these actions in the form progress meters so you will know exactly when that will happen. Essentially 8 realms can effectively tap into the very psyche of the most impatient of you out there. If something is taking too long simply spend some gems in a variety of different ways to solve the problem, simple as that. Now while 8 Realms is free to play, the game allows you to purchase additional gems at the cost of your real world hard earned money..........

“Oh dear!” you may be crying, well without the use of annoying advertising popping up in your face the game has to make money somehow and personally I’d take that option over unnecessary and unwanted advertising any day of the week. But just hold up one second before you go and burn this game at the stake let me just establish something very clearly to you all. Firstly 8 Realms doesn’t require you to purchase these gems to enjoy or win the game, that choice is simply yours to make alone. Secondly after completing major milestones the game awards you with gems anyway, yes Jagex aren’t going to cruelly dangle them in your face instead they reward your hard work and effort with a lovely little supply of these precious stones. Have you stopped crying now? Good, now let me continue.
Construction Screen.
The game is accompanied by a crisp cartoony aesthetic which complements the game very well and prevents any confusion or hindrances during general gameplay. 8 Realms also sports some charming character designs but my only gripe is that I don’t think they are used as much as they could be, and it would be a shame if this didn’t change in the final release.

Speaking of which the game is currently in a closed beta period at this time with no word as to when it will be officially release and while the game looks almost complete there are a few little issues that hopefully will improve before then. I found that even on a 10mb internet connection that sometimes the game could chug along which can be frustrating when you don’t know if the order you’ve just made has actually been executed or not. Also in the later stages of the game this issue can also be seen when trying to navigate through the games world map and can lead to even further frustration.

So despite the odd issue 8 Realms is shaping up to be an exciting social game that will allow friends to compete against one another with consistent updates thanks to the games Facebook integration. So if you’re a veteran of the genre and want something to enjoy while on a busy commute or if you’re curious about god games and want a friendly introduction then you can’t go wrong with 8 Realms. Be sure to stick around as myself and the team at We Know Gamers will inform you as soon as this game ascends to public play.


  1. 8realms is awesome

  2. best way to break up a monotonous day at work ever! =D