Developer: HeroCraft Ltd.
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★½☆☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★½☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Fate of Nations makes absolutely no bones about its desire to ape the classic Civilization franchise and that’s okay. We’ve all played games before that have ranged from “obviously inspired by” to “flat-out ripping off” that still manage to be enjoyable experiences on their own. But that’s not the case here.

Fate of NationsI struggle with where to begin explaining Fate of Nations’ failings because there’s just so much of it. Let’s begin with the fact that the tutorial, while present, still left me ridiculously unsure of how I was supposed to proceed once I was finished with it. And that’s speaking as someone who, between Civ IV and Civ V combined, has logged well over two straight weeks of playing these kinds of games. Then there’s the point that sometimes the game just kinda plays itself. I never was able to figure out how to shift technology research down the paths I wanted it to follow. Instead, the game just researches what it wants, making players wait through one of many, many time-gated tests of patience. But don’t wait too long! I came back from two days away to a message that because of my “long absence,” my account had been taken over by the AI. I was able to reclaim it, but at that point did I really even want to? So I either have to watch and wait through plodding, tedious countdown timers every day or, if I decide to play at a more casual “check in every now and again” type of pace, risk having my choices rendered meaningless due to AI control. Sounds fair.

Then there are the glitches. Missions like “Explore X amount of the world map” or “Build Y number of bonfires” reward the player with small in-game bonuses, such as new units. One of the early missions has been sitting since the day I started playing, finished, but unable to be cleared because the Accept button simply will not register my pressing it. In fact, there are a LOT of UI elements in Fate of Nations that only respond to player input when they feel like it, if at all. This apparent lack of quality control and testing carries over to the fact that large chunks of in-game text are still written in Cyrillic. There is literally no excuse for this. None.

Fate of NationsWe’ve all seen those horribad licensed toy knock-offs from overseas before. Take a stroll through any flea market or past some sketchy street vendor and you’ll see the ones I’m referring to. The kind where Spider-Guy and a disturbing green blob that vaguely resembles Shrek are rubbing elbows as part of the Super Justice Legion or some such trademark-skirting nonsense. That’s the best way I can describe what Fate of Nations feels like. Being inspired by a popular franchise is not a crime. But delivering a messy, broken, and just plain not fun game should be. Someone needs to call the Super Justice Legion.


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