148Apps Network Post
Developer: Zarksoft
Price: Subscription-Based ($1.99/month, $19.99/year, other intervals and prices available)
Version Reviewed: 1.0.6
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

One thing that defines Empire of the Eclipse is its depth. Deep enough that a review like this may not be enough to even scratch the surface of the game – it could take months of play to truly encapsulate the experience, so consider this review to be a general overview of the game, and a guidance on whether it’s worth checking out.

This is a space strategy MMO, where players on the same server interact with each other while trying to complete their objectives. Players can either specialize in trading, military conquest, or advanced technology, aka the crazy “let’s blow up the stars and transcend the universe with advanced technology” faction.

Now, what’s interesting is that it’s possible for a player to ‘win’ the game by achieving certain set conditions, that ends the game on that server. While merchants and military factions’ endgames involve being dominant in their field, the crazy researcher folks need to convert multiple stars into black holes to complete their endgame. Seriously. It’s possible to lose, too – lose the homeworld, and don’t reclaim it within 24 hours, and it’s over.

Empire of the Eclipse makes social games look puny and isolated by comparison. Other players in the galaxy can be communicated with, declared as allies that can be traded with, or enemies that will be attacked if they come near. Of course, maintaining the fleet is also important, by exploring sectors and galaxies for new planets, mining resources, and building up the armada to try and achieve the endgame.

The game is currently designed for iPhone and iPod touch (no iPad support yet), though 4th generation iPod touch owners should beware: there are occasional crashes (especially when watching tutorials) and the game is not Retina-enabled on iPod.

Who is Empire of the Eclipse for? It is for the serious player, the hardest of the hardcore. It requires a commitment to understand the game and its experience. Patience is required, and watching the tutorials is an absolute must, tedious though they may be. As far as a financial commitment goes, it’s free to download, but requires a subscription to play, starting at $1.99/month.

But this game is unique: a truly hardcore mobile game. I don’t mean that in the sense that it’s like N.O.V.A. 3, but that it is for a player who wants to combine mobile gaming convenience with an experience that requires serious commitment. But will that audience find the game and enjoy it on a long-term basis? That’s what will truly define this game’s quality, if the promise the concept and rules provide pan out. For anyone intrigued, I definitely recommend checking it out.

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