Empire Conquest is mobile turn-based strategy game developed by Magma Mobile. It plays like a board game. Three fantasy inspired characters, a warrior, a gunslinger and a mage team up on one side to battle against a group of enemy characters that start on the opposite side.
Each character has its own allowed movement, specific abilities and upgrades purchased within a multi-tiered skill tree unlocked up to level 20. The warrior has a larger health pool and a powerful sword, but is melee range only. The gunslinger has a longer range, but can only target enemies in a straight line ahead. The mage is the most valuable with a teleport, AoE damage and a healing spell, but also the most fragile.
Five skills become available over time (all can be upgraded to make characters more powerful) and these combine with six supportive skills that are also upgradable. The ability to upgrade older skills and unlock new ones is at the heart of game play.
Empire Conquest has a narrow focus. Think of it as a board game with three characters and obstacles that move between each match and it’s brilliant, but don’t expect more maps, more characters or more depth. It is a pity that players do not have access to more characters and locking gameplay in with a static design does detract from its replayability.
It is a beautiful, smooth and well-designed that outshines the usual thoroughfare of games in the free to play mobile space.
Empire Conquest is accessible if you have photophobia, motion sickness, blurred vision, visual loss or a colour vision deficiency. It has almost no flicker, flash or other bright visual effects. There is one significant minimal motion sickness trigger – when a combat ability hits the screen shakes. Colour contrast is at times not very high, like the yellow/orange fill on the terracotta tiles in the image above that could make it hard for those with significant visual loss or a specific type of colour blindness.
There are no dialogue or audio only cues and Empire Conquest can be played with or without sound.
Empire Conquest is reasonably accessible for anyone with a physical impairment. It does not need quick reflexes and instant reaction time and there are no timed sections or quick time events (QTEs). A moderate level of precision is needed to tap the correct tile. Empire Conquest uses only single point tapping. There is no swiping, holding, dragging, dropping, finger walking or multi-presses.
It is reasonably accessible for anyone with cognitive issues. The language used is primary school level and provided as simple text. The game mostly operate on icons and new abilities are illustrated with a small animation in the bottom left corner of the screen. A good memory is required to remember the fifteen abilities across three characters, the different potions and the basic nature of each character. Support is available through in-game icons, but if you can’t recall what an icon means, you either have to try the spell and hope for the best or exit the game to rewatch the animation in the abilities panel.
Empire Conquest requires an understanding of basic math. Players earn in-game currency that can be used to upgrade abilities or to buy potions. The game menu, mechanics, plot and game controls are easy to master and the difficulty level can be controlled by choosing which castle to visit. It looks like each castle has progressively harder content, so if it becomes to easy, skip to the next until the content matches your skill and ability.
The settings menu is sparse with only three toggle options for Sound, Music and Vibrations.
Empire Conquest is fun and easy to pick up and play for a few levels. It is not the type of game to play for long sessions and its narrow focus did not hold my attention for very long, but for the first hour or two, it was a gem of a game to carry in my pocket. It is a strategy based board game made to be played with the tactile memory of a real board game. If you still remember how the grain of the wood feels under your fingertips when you unpack a good chess set, keep that in mind when you start playing Empire Conquest.
[stars rating=”3″ type=”Game”]