Remember the old Super Bowl Ad with Kate Upton ordering her generals from a hot-tub? Then there was Arnold Schwarzenegger walking through a realistic battleground giving orders. Another showed an epic live-action tale of a tank being killed by a guy with a bazooka, who was killed by a sniper, who was killed by a bomb. One Ad had two young men playing the game at a coffee shop with a realistic holograph on their table, destroyed by a missile launched by two flirtatious girls across the room. The most recent is a young woman in a glued-on chiton watching a massive fantasy battle, complete with dragon, while she holds her cell-phone at the ready. So many network television Ads for cell-phone games.
It turns out they’re all pretty much the same game — conquer the world. And despite the Ads’ epic graphics, they’re text-based slow-play. You declare an attack, an arrow with “4 hours to go” appears on the map, maybe someone sends reinforcements, and you all finally get a text report of how many troops on each side died. I’m sure it’s exciting to read about how you crushed them, but not fully-3D dragon exciting.
The TV Ads are because these games are huge money-makers. Matches last several months and allow unlimited spending. Experienced players start off paying to get a fast start and spend more and more as the game tightens up. Near the end, after a big loss, players are so invested they rage-spend even more.
The best part is probably how reviewers never play them long enough to figure out what they are. New players start deep the game world’s boondocks where the only thing to do is upgrade your castle using easily obtainable wood. Oh, it’s a relaxing building game, they say. They don’t know everyone else spent $5 to skip that part, teleported (your castle can teleport) to the advanced and more violent area, quit after having their army pummelled into oblivion 2 months later, and resolved to do even more early spending next time.