Legend: Rising Empire by NetEase Games is a game that no aspiring mobile strategist should miss. Released both for Android and iOS devices, this clever combination of city building, real-time strategy and simulation will require of you to become a complete and versatile leader if you want to prosper and establish yourself as a successful ruler of your very own medieval kingdom. Granted, originality may not be one of the stronger points of Legend: Rising Empire and you’ll witness it liberally borrowing ideas and concepts from a variety of different games. However, what separates it from the horde of similar titles is not only the successful restatement of several gaming genres and packing them in a consistent format, but also an appealing visual presentation done in the vein of recent Disney’s production with a touch of Don Bluth’s unique style, especially in the design of characters.
The game takes place in the fictional feudal kingdom Favilla. You’ll start as a vassal of a puffed-up, selfish and cruel emperor called Gufeld Balsa, but soon you’ll have the chance to take matters in your own hands and take a more active role in the shaping of the continent of Favilla, which will start by disposing of your former master. One of the great things about this game is how it managed to reconcile elements from all those different genres while maintaining a simple and intuitive gameplay. As a canon decrease, you’ll begin your city/kingdom building journey from a scratch, with a humble village without even the most basic structures. You’ll start by establishing your economy and infrastructure with buildings such as farms and marketplace which will in combination provide you with a stable inflow of silver crowns.
However, that’s only the beginning, because Legend: Rising Empire supports more than 40 different types of buildings, which will be more than enough to precisely profile your city and establish it just the way you like it. Naturally, just because you’ve built something, it doesn’t mean that your city will function properly, so to ensure that all goes as it should you’ll be required to do a bit of micromanaging. Essentially, as always in this type of games, you’ll need to organise a production chain where all instances will be satisfied, such as to provide food for your citizens in order to keep them happy and productive, which will, in turn, provide you with resources and money to finance your further exploits, thus creating an economic virtuous cycle. Another of your duties will be to establish a functional and balanced standing army, with several different types of units, from basic infantry and archers to mighty knights, destructive siege engines and crafty thieves. Although the combat itself is relatively simple, with your role reduced to ordering your troops where they’ll attack and activating special attacks of your heroes, you’ll still have a plenty of opportunities to strategize on the field of battle, especially because your army can have up to 200 individual units.
Of course, since the management aspect of the game is more pronounced than that of strategy, proper preparation and building a massive well-balanced army is the real key to success. Just like in more complex games such as those from the Civilization series, you’ll come to a point when you’ll have to decide on the direction where your kingdom will be heading. When you reach a certain level of development, you’ll place emphasis on industry, money, and war, which will pretty much determine the future course of your empire.
To sum it up, Legend: Rising Empire is somewhat derivative but still extremely satisfying game for Android and iOS devices, which skilfully and elegantly combines several genres. If you’re into city building games and you have strategic ambitions, you’ll probably enjoy it.