Is it worth playing?
CME is a fantasy empire-management FTP mobile game, dished out by Clicktouch Co., Ltd. The game came up on our radar recently as it is for all purposes an indie development, and it reminds us slightly of Mafia Wars and similar mobile hits. At first glance, this title does look like a good opportunity to have some fun, despite the somewhat mediocre ratings on the stores, but let’s just delve deeper and see what’s it all about through this Call Me Emperor review.
Indie Chinese developer Clicktouch Co., Ltd
On Google Play, Call Me Emperor Android has a better-than-average score of 3.6 stars, out of nearly 9k votes at the time we are doing the review. This is an average rating Clicktouch is getting in other markets, while CME is their first jab at the English speaking market. On the iTunes App Store, Call Me Emperor iOS stands at an average 3.3-star score our of around 500 votes and it is #140 in Role Playing currently. However, categorizing this game as an RPG is probably not accurate as it is more a dwelling-management or a strategy. However, this title also contains some interesting features as we discovered while playing it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ATMOSPHERE AND STORY
The main hook for the immersive experience…
To start our review, we want to first introduce you to the story aspect of the game, which serves as the main hook for the immersive experience it offers. You start by selecting your emperor type, and you are given a choice between four male and four female models. They are all different in appearance and character, but to our knowledge, this doesn’t affect the game in the slightest as you make your own decisions as an emperor.
One thing that might confuse people here is the randomize name feature, which rotates between pre-set names that are for male and female models, but they all appear regardless of which gender you choose. So, be mindful of this if you randomize your game otherwise you might end up with a male emperor called Hensley June.
You then ascend and you are placed at the seat of an unknown, fictional empire. This game does not use a real-world setting like other titles from Clicktouch Co. After your inauguration, you start delving into things any emperor does, which is quite cool. However, this game does not leave us solely with going through its gameplay features, as it still offers a story element to it. Namely, while you govern your nation, deliberate on laws, appoint ministers, and do stuff any ruler does, there is an underlying story that is nicely connected to the gameplay.
Whenever you go out of your capital, you are venturing incognito, sort to say. You have your guard and military advisors with you, but the public does not know you are their Emperor. Thus, when we first set out to see our empire from the streets, we are attacked by a renegade outlaw mob that is terrorizing the citizens. We confront the gang and show them whose boss, revealing to the public our true identity and earning renown. These types of mini-stories happen throughout the game all the time, as your seat of power is at one point attacked by inside enemies that wish to overthrow you, and you even meet your future wife on just such an occasion, but we don’t want to spoil anything.
The entire experience is followed up by a pretty standard video game soundtrack that is on repeat in the background, which might kind of become annoying after some time as it is pretty loud by default. The game does not have any specific trailers or video cut scenes, as the entire story is being told with in-game elements. Voice acting is also at a minimum, for character dialogue is mostly subbed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
An incredibly well-organized user interface and features…
As far as dwelling-management games go, game has an incredibly well-organized user interface and features. Most of the time, we are presented with clear visual cues of where we are and what we are doing. After we take our seat of power, the interface points us at the main screen of our capital city in a panoramic view. The buildings represent the main gameplay features, which are:
- Governance Hall
- Monarch Hall
- Education Room
- Imperial Academy
- Banquet Hall
- Minister Mansion
There are other buildings for specific purposes and to get our way around our empire, we tap on the building our minister is pointing us to. Each building serves a specific purpose and offers several sub-features themselves, like the Governance Hall enables us to Govern our Empire, meaning collect taxes, grain, and mobilize people, and it also offers the Imperial exam feature where aspiring scholars can be recruited to serve you as ministers. The interface is quite clean and comprehensive, possibly one of the most well-organized in this kind of game.
The main interface also shows you your character, level, and several other options like quests, change of wallpaper (which changes the way your main empire interface looks), the in-game store, events, rewards, mailbox, quests, treasury, and similar stuff.
However, one of the more interesting features is the option to Go Out, or to venture out through your Empire. This feature will bring up the map interface, and you can move around in a strategy-type fashion where your entire army is represented by a single military commander on a horse.
The map shows various points of interest, and this is where we delve into the strategy genre a bit. It offers various stages that represent an opportunity to do combat, and it also offers a wide variety of other buildings and locations, all with different purposes.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Stages that end with a boss fight” model…
Combat is done through the familiar – stages that end with a boss fight – model. However, much of the story and in-game lore is told through combat, as each stage has some sort of a dialogue screen in-between, which helps tell the story. Combat itself is resolved automatically, where you only tap the Fight button and the units collide and fight on their own in the idle combat style.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It is a minimalistic visual presentation…
This is where this review might take a turn downwards for visuals that are not this game’s strong point. The entire experience is being delivered through a minimalistic visual presentation, where most of the time we see still character models with very little movement and just a subtitle of what they are saying, kind of like a motion comic. Combat does feature fully moving units, but it is again done in a minimalistic style, showing very little actual action. This is, however, a standard characteristic of empire-management type games like Civilization and such, where the action is scarce and this is all left to the players’ imagination. And, given the fact that this game is developed by a small studio, we might let this slide.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It is not a demanding mobile game…
Having somewhat low graphics does have a positive side, as it is not a demanding mobile game, in terms of Smartphone quality. However, it might take up hefty memory space, as the initial download is around 150mb, but the game immediately takes you to download the patch and additional content page and you might need between 1 and 2 GB. We guess all these features and details in this game don’t come without a price.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It is not that heavy on the wallet…
We’ve played this mobile game up to a certain point, and we cannot speak for the later, endgame stages. At the beginning and mid-game, CME is completely free-to-play and does not demand any real cash at all. It does have an in-game store where it offers microtransactions and the chance to purchase various resources and virtual currencies, but it’s not necessary as progress in this game is not the focus, it’s the vicarious experience of being an emperor that is the entire point. Also, there are almost no ads in the game, even though it’s free, so this makes the experience quite smooth.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It is a solid mobile game for sure…
We must admit, CME did not look like something that could leave a positive impression at first glance. However, once we went through the game features and got the whole idea of vicarious experience of being an emperor, it’s kind of not bad. The game delivers what it wants to deliver and has succeeded in doing what its presumable goal was, without pretending it’s anything more than it is – a dwelling-management strategy. And, the subtle details, like owning a harem where all your wives are, is just cool. CME is a solid mobile game that has hit most of the targets it was after in terms of delivery and did not overstate or overreach, which is very important in our book. All in all, not bad!
What you need to do and how to do it…
Note: Use the button “GUIDES” in the lower right corner to jump back to this section.
We have played this game for quite some time now and we’ve enjoyed it, hands down. The vicarious experience of being an emperor of a fictional kingdom, owning a harem, holding exams for prospective politicians, and overall being a hero to your country does have its flavor. However, through beginning, mid-game, and endgame stages, Call Me Emperor game does offer an endless array of features and possibilities, so it is best to give you a guide bases on our experience.
And, we will also scour the web to see the most frequently asked questions about the game and try and answer them from our perspective. Despite the game having some mediocre rating, 3.6 stars on Google Play and 3.3 on the iTunes App Store, this game is still quite popular, to be honest. It’s developed by Clicktouch Co., Ltd., and the studio has thus far solely focused on such kingdom-management genre games. And, they have, in all honesty, mastered their trade by now as this title is their first jab at the western market and it is a successful one no doubt.
We will cove large part of the game, like how to marry, how to get gold, how to get Ryoma, reach beauty, go over consorts, male and female, ministers, palaces, descendants, and many other features we’ve found need a guide or a good tip. Having a good strategy in this game serves the sole purpose of increasing your pleasure and enjoyment, so it will be worth it.
Use links below to jump to the guide sections.
- How to marry?
- The Cruise
- The Imperial Exam
- How to get gold?
- How to reach beauty?
- Jade for Beauty
- How to use Gauntlet?
- How to get skins?
- How to get Ryoma?
- Palace Cuju
- Naval Battles
Consorts are crucial for success in this game, as well as descendants, and the two go hand in hand with each other. This fictional empire is set in ancient times, where a male ruler could marry multiple times and his wives are called Consorts. Now, consorts bear children, i.e. descendants, and together they will enable the growth of our influence and power. However, finding consorts is one of the main goals and challenges in-game, and it happens solely on random occasions, via encounters while you cruise.
Progressing through the game is mostly done through random encounters, which all serve to tell a different part of the story or for you to achieve a certain goal, but they may also present an opportunity to meet a beautiful lady. On most occasions we encountered, it is the damsel in distress scenario. After you have rescued the girl, you will get a dialogue screen through which you may complement her beauty or something similar and if she shows affection, you will be given the choice to marry.
Once married and with a consort under your arm, she will reside in the Harem, which is located at the main interface view. Depending on the skin you choose, the building may change locations, but it will always be marked. There, you can visit your consorts at any time to increase the intimacy level. Intimacy will, in turn, affect CME descendants, their specialty, aptitude, and level. This may also influence ministers, boost their stats, and as a result increase our total power.
Raising the intimacy level with the consort is done by gifting your wives precious gifts, and those are earned through the game, from events and quests. Attempting random summons, which you should always do because it replenishes over time, will also increase your influence. Call Me Emperor descendants have a chance to be born out of ever random summon attempt, but your job doesn’t end there. One of your descendants is born, you need to educate, develop, and ensure that your offspring grows into a fine figure in your empire.
You need to frequently visit the Education Room, once your descendant is there, and spend vitality points on them. Each vitality spent increases descendant’s stats, which in turn increases our power. This has a time limit, and you can spend 2 vitality points per child, but you can use vitality pills, which will replenish vitality and allow you to do this around the clock. Once grown, your descendants can marry the descendants of other emperors (players) which is where the fun begins, and this also increases our power.
Governing is a very important thing to do if you want to grow, get skill points, and upgrade your ministers. After you appoint one of your ministers to the Governance, he or she will get Growth and Skill points for you. However, one is not enough and you should expand the governance slots, so you can appoint more ministers and subsequently, get more skill points and growth points.
The cruise becomes one of the most viable options for players, after the beginning stages of the game. Once you get familiar with going out of your kingdom (empire/castle) you will notice lots of different locations around, some offering events, others various opportunities to advance in-game. Exploring the world on your own is important, but once you are at mid-game, you might feel a bit overwhelmed with the opportunities vs. the time you have. This is where the Cruise feature comes greatly appreciated.
You just tap the Dice icon in the bottom left corner of your World Map screen and it will take you to a random location, at the cost of stamina of course. Going around the world like this will mostly earn taels, rewards, and even affection increase in some instances. Of course, this is the main way you might meet potential Call Me Emperor consorts, i.e. your future wives, so spending a few turns rolling the Cruise dice is always worth it.
Ministers are your bread and butter in this game, as they always were to any real historical emperor or ruler figure. In CME, Ministers are there to help you grow and govern your empire, which is, as you will soon find out, a too-large task for one person, even so, powerful as yourself. Each minister has his or her strengths, stats, skills, and capabilities, and it is expected of a good ruler to know where and how to employ their helpers. Ministers have four main specializations, which generally determine their role in your empire, and they are:
Some strong ministers are specialized in more than one aspect of governing, like Columbus. Yes, Christopher Columbus is in the game and his specialties are Agriculture and Military. There are several historical figures which you can get as ministers in this game, including Napoleon, Shakespeare, King Arthur, and more. The question remains on how these authoritative figures would ever work for an emperor who is above them, but this is a fictional experience, so…it works.
Call Me Emperor Ministers that are proficient in commerce help out with taels and boost your Tax Levy gain. Those specialized in agriculture naturally boost the Grain Levy, while Politicians enhance the number of troops you can get from recruitment. Finally, Military ministers affect the battles themselves and their losses after the battle. The stronger the military minister, the fewer soldiers you lose.
Upgrading ministers is very important and they need to progress parallel to our empire, and you naturally need to have all four basic aspects covered at all times. Upgrading costs taels, but with level increase your ministers’ stats and power increases, also increasing your power. To plan, you should factor in the potential stats of a particular minister before leveling him or her. Many in-game items can be used to level up your ministers and raise their potential, like titles and fruits. You can check out the potential of each of your Call Me Emperor ministers in the Imperial Academy, just tap on the Potential tab.
The Imperial Exam is one of the main ways in which you hire additional ministers, though they are also awarded from various other in-game events, prizes, and stuff. Each time you level up as an Emperor, an Imperial Exam will be held in which the top three prospects will be presented to you. You then choose one of the three. The presented three ministers will all be preset ministers from the game, and you can go and check out each and everyone’s stats and potential in your Academy tab. Also, when you tap each one of them, they will give you a rough idea of which specialization they possess.
As far as the stats of ministers go, there is no particular priority in importance. All you need to remember is to keep them all well-balanced and to evolve those ministers you choose to favor. You can’t have them all as your resources will dictate how many you can evolve. But, it is best to cover all four basic governing niches with a specialized strong minister, and beyond that go with the combined ones, like Columbus who is Agriculture and Military.
With that said, it is perhaps a good idea to favor military ministers in the mid-game, for the fastest way to progress is through encounters and battles. Additionally, you can set your Ministers to govern your Empire early on in the Grand Council room. You only have one slot unlocked at first, but you should spend resources to unlock as much as you can early on, and this will pay off. Also, appoint your ministers at the Grand Council room according to their potential and your preference. There, they will earn skill and growth points, and that will increase your power as well.
When talking about how to get gold, we are not going to delve into real-money transactions, purchasing packs, and top-ups. Gold is one of the premium currencies in the game and it can be bought, while it is earned from various sources for free, but much slower of course. Nevertheless, it is possible to obtain enough to spend wisely on stuff that will make the most value out of it. The sources that may yield free gold as a reward are:
- Daily Quests
- Event Objectives
- Emperor Hall
Firstly, we must discuss the CME game’s cheats and hacks that are littering the web, preventing any useful and good info from coming through. Hacks and cheats are polluting the game environment, will harm your devices, account, and are in all cases fake. They will ask for you to do a survey or leave a phone number (probably both) and then the malware will charge you for an illegal service. This is how hackers are getting their money, while there won’t be anything useful for you game-wise, so we firmly advise you to stir clear of any hacks.
Daily quests are your bread and butter for any progress in-game. The main story i.e. progression is being done through the main questline, which guides the player through the game, but also when you are doing other stuff, you should check out the events on the map or use the Cruise feature. Doing quests and Event Objectives will not only grant you resources and potentially gold, but you will also meet Consorts, marry, and have descendants. As discussed, Call Me Emperor Descendants are crucial to your rise in power.
Achievements will grand your gold, but also a lot of other valuable stuff, like consumables, other premium currencies, stuff to spend on your Call Me Emperor Consorts and even unlock strong ministers. Just now, Christopher Columbus is being awarded for the two-day consecutive log-in achievement.
However, the most reliable source of Gold is Emperor Hall and the Rankings tab. You must make it a part of your routine to always tap and check Emperor Hall, where you consult the emperors of old and they give you free gold daily. A little stranger method is used for the Rankings tab, in which you practically worship other players which are ranked highly on the leaderboards, by tapping the Worship button, and you get free gold. Both of these methods are time-limited.
There are time-limited events and many other features in the game for which you need to use your Consorts. But, they mostly require them to be high rank or Beauty. So, Beauty is the rank of your consort and it is reached by leveling your consort and assigning handmaidens. This is also important if you want to marry. The progress of your Consorts is being presented by your intimacy level with them, as well as the overall Harem Level.
You increase the intimacy levels by granting your consorts with gifts, which come in the form of various items. Some are more precious, others are not, but they are all viable and can be gifted in a bulk of 10, like all other leveling in-game. You get these Consort gifts from various events in the game, achievements, as well as some activities like the Banquet. Finishing an event will always grant Intimacy EXP increase items and in most cases, you will also get the gifts. Holding banquets will earn you Banquet coins, which you can use to buy items for consorts.
To participate in the event, you need to have 1 consort at least with the Beauty level. Then, you need to dispatch it on the event daily. To play this properly, you need to:
- Participate in the event with at least 1 consort of level Beauty
- Slide-in four directions with the decoration (left, right, up, and down); each movement will cost 1 Stamina.
- Each move you make that is successful will add a new random decoration in the table’s space
- If the space you move to has the same decoration, you will get an advanced decoration
- The consort in play will get a free intimacy bonus in the daily time-limited event
- The opportunity will reset daily and you can reach decorations up to level 9
- Items like Gold Hammer, Gold Finger, Eight Diagrams, and others can get you out if you get stuck
- Based on the points you earn in a single game will yield appropriate rewards, so participate in as many challenges as you can.
The Gauntlet is a very traditional historical symbol of issuing a challenge between two more popular figures, and it is so in this game. Gauntlet can be purchased in the shop for 300 gold, a bit steep for sure, but it allows you to do Revenge and Challenge in the Parade Ground. To use it, you must first check the inventory if you’ve got it. If not, go to the chop and purchase. Then, it is easy:
- Go to the Map Screen
- Travel to the Parade Ground
- Tap the Enter PG
- Tap Foe List
- Tap the desired Foe (Avenge)
- Tap the Send option
Sending the Gauntlet will issue a challenge that your selected Minister will do against a CPU controlled enemy, even if it’s a real player’s minister you are challenging. You can also spend additional gold to purchase buffs for the encounter. 50 gold buys you a 100% ATK bonus, while 100 gold buys you the 150% ATK bonus.
Skins for your Empire, or Wallpaper as it’s called, are obtained through leveling or purchasing. Skins or Costumes for you, i.e. the Emperor, are obtained with various boost purchases, so for real money. Lastly, Minister Items are obtained with various pack purchases but also awarded from quests, events, and other stuff in-game. Skins are also awarded from various time-limited events available in-game during various events and celebrations.
Ryoma is a very powerful Minister and he is obtained by completing the Palace Run. Once you do the Palace Run, you will get the reward via Mail. Just tap the mail and then Claim the Dragon Pavilion Emissary reward, which will be Ryoma. Ryoma starts with a 24 total potential and his specialty is Military. Once you obtain it, tap on your Imperial Academy and upgrade him further.
Palace Cuju is an in-game event that brings the ancient Chinese ball game. The event was added sometime in the middle of 2019, although it is time-limited. It is a lucrative opportunity for you can get many rewards through, but more importantly, you can find several consorts there.
Naval Battle is also a feature that was added right at the release and it is available on the Map interface, once you go out. To participate in the Naval Battle, just Go Out and travel to the docks, which are marked with the Naval Battle banner. The event is time-limited but refreshes regularly, and it represents a scenario event like many others when you venture out.
- Tap to Go Out
- Tap on the Naval Battle (the docks west of your Empire)
- Go through the scenario
In the Naval Battle scenario, we fight against the pirates who are threatening the stability of your kingdom. Together with your ministers, your Majesty can Engage them at sea with your navy. The interface for the event will turn into a ship’s first-person shooter mode, where the cursor moves until you tap it to stop, preferably to hit the pirate ships. Your aim must be as close to the line on the enemy ship as possible, to inflict greater damage. Damage dealt also depends on your Minister. It might take some time for you to get the hang of it, but it yields Rank and Server rewards, which are quite lucrative, so participate regularly.