Zynga launches strategy/combat game Empires & Allies

Zynga has launched a new strategy/combat game named Empires & Allies, meant to blend strategy game mechanics with the social networking aspect of its popular Ville titles.

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Zynga has launched a new strategy/combat title that blends core game mechanics with its popular social features. Titled Empires & Allies, the game lets you build an army on a small island-nation, then use your troops to fight through enemy territories. It's available now on Facebook in 12 languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian, Turkish, Traditional Chinese, Malay, Korean, and Norwegian.

Oh yes. They're going after the coveted Norway market.

Of course, since this is a Zynga game, social interaction is deeply integrated. You can recruit friends to invade the enemy armies, or just invade your friends' empires yourself to get score bonuses in the form of Infamy Points. Visiting friends can help you get more energy, decorations, collectible items, and Honor Points, and enable special attacks.

E&A aims to attract strategy novices, giving you tips from your personal military advisor Scarlett (no relation), who serves as one of the game's 30 characters. Progressing through the story with Scarlett unlocks more buildings and decorations.

Zynga has been aiming to implement deeper mechanics in its games. We recently heard that chief game designer Brian Reynolds wanted to give the casual games market more complexity. When Zynga opened its studio in Los Angeles, it picked up Amer Ajami, who had previously worked on EA's Command & Conquer series.

Still, the game's first half-hour is more FarmVille than Command & Conquer. I spent most of my time so far bulldozing trees and building houses to support my adorable military-industrial complex. My only battle was a tutorial mission, and I was finally given the opportunity to attack friends at level 5. The city-building and collection mechanics give a distinct feeling that this is a strategy game built on top of existing Ville framework -- which is probably exactly what it is.

"Empires & Allies is strategy combat gone social - think CityVille meets Risk," said Ajami, who served as executive producer on the game. "We're focused on bringing our players a new form of entertainment and a strategy game is definitely a new playground for us. Play is in everyone's DNA, and this game lets you have fun and get creative by choosing your own destiny, building a nation and eventually, conquering the world."

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  • reply
    June 1, 2011 2:45 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Zynga launches strategy/combat game Empires & Allies.

    Zynga has launched a new strategy/combat game named Empires & Allies, meant to blend strategy game mechanics with the social networking aspect of its popular Ville titles.

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      June 1, 2011 2:50 PM

      [deleted]

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        June 1, 2011 3:03 PM

        please send Shacknews a list of acceptable games that you're interested in so all others that cater to people with different tastes can be ignored

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        June 1, 2011 3:06 PM

        They also cover Skyrim and BF3 rumors!

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        June 1, 2011 3:21 PM

        they are just doing it for randoms googling around hoping this increases traffic to the site


        remember when irc was all the rave and we talked quake and doom 24/7? kids these days and their toys

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        June 1, 2011 4:00 PM

        zynga is a HUGE PC game dev, and you want us to ignore it?

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          June 1, 2011 4:16 PM

          They're a huge shit factory.

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            June 1, 2011 8:42 PM

            So are many companies and they still get coverage, too. Your point?

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              June 2, 2011 2:05 AM

              I wouldn't consider Zynga a PC dev. They build internet driven click builders. They are as much about gaming as banks are about interior decoration.

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                June 2, 2011 8:04 AM

                They're one of the largest game developers. They get covered because of it. There's nothing else to discuss.

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                  June 2, 2011 8:58 AM

                  I'm not really arguing that they shouldn't be covered. I just find the 'huge PC game developer' label misleading.

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        June 1, 2011 4:32 PM

        [deleted]

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        June 1, 2011 10:13 PM

        I would like to see some iPhone, iPad, and web game coverage on the shack.

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        June 1, 2011 10:15 PM

        games are games; zynga has a giant share of the casual market, to not cover them would be a greater travesty.

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        June 1, 2011 10:35 PM

        Hahaha Shack Entitlements!

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        June 2, 2011 2:12 AM

        i KNOW, Skyrim news never gets ANY coverage, it's SO UNFAIR!!! why the Skyrim hate, Xav?!?

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      June 1, 2011 3:03 PM

      seriously. this news is totally relevant to our gaming interests...lol

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      June 1, 2011 3:08 PM

      it's really not any different from cityville. i liked cityville for several days, but now i'm over it and this is dull :(

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        June 2, 2011 7:40 AM

        Maybe you just think it's dull because you have way more awesome Facebook games to play that are in closed testing.

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      June 1, 2011 9:29 PM

      I'm probably going to get flamed, but this is a lot more fun that Citiville. The engine is a lot faster, UI is cleaner and the gameplay is fun! Reminds me of Advanced Wars for the DS a little bit.

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      June 2, 2011 7:36 AM

      is this a game, or another interactive spreadsheet mafiafarmbullshit wars?

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