Who Smelt It? Forge Of Empires

Who builds a shanty town next to a landmark?
I can see a future where city planner is the new footballer. There’s a preponderance of browser-based city building games about, so easy to play, so right there, pretty soon Sky will have channels dedicated to them. Mark my words: in ten years people will be swapping blueprint stickers and the front page of the newspapers will be full of zoning scandals. Innogames‘s Forge Of Empires is one such game, and they’ve decided to let you have a shot of their upcoming strategy game. All you need is the browser you’re reading this on, an e-mail, a name, and the ability to make a password.

The beta is open to all. Even me, but I promised myself no more empire raising. Not after what I did with the Carpathians. But if you fancy fighting with friends over the best place to plonk the Coliseum, or tweaking the happiness levels of citizens, have at it.

EDIT: The developer has just mailed me. I shall cut and paste the relevant details. Fabio Lo Zito from InnoGames:

In order not to create a bunch of angry readers of your page, I’d like to mention that the access to our pre-closed-beta, which we call “Exclusive Preview”, still is limited. Players have to register via email and can then use a code they either get from our facebook page in irregular intervals, or from the ones we randomly send out to registered players.

Therefore, if you like distribute something to your readers or if you’d like to try the game for yourself after all, this key is 50 times valid: 8899d9b1853f710b69e8515ad7b9c1ae696cead4

So feel free to use the above code. Apologies, I got confused and dizzy.



  1. Qwibbles says:

    The trailer reminded me of the opening for Rise of Nations.

    Now that..that was a game.

    • lordcooper says:

      My sources inform me that you are most likely correct. There is a 99.76% probability that it was, in fact, a game.

    • carn1x says:

      Oh how I wish GOG would stock RoN

  2. kalleguld says:

    As far as I can make out, you need a Preview Key in order to start playing.
    To get a preview key, you need to sign up with your email. Then you have a Chance to get a key.

    • li says:


      You will now take part in our lottery of exclusive preview keys!


  3. jimbobjunior says:

    Genuinely surprised they didn’t require a Facebook account for sign up.

  4. Kollega says:

    I still want a decent follow-up to SimCity 4: a city-building games about modern cities. Sadly, we haven’t been getting a whole lot of that. I wonder why historical city-builders are more popular.

    • lordcooper says:

      Cities XL?

    • c-Row says:

      I guess they are probably easier to develop since historical city building appears to be slighty simpler than that of modern days.

    • Kollega says:

      @ lordcooper: i’ve tried Cities XL demo, and it just seemed boring compared to SC4. Don’t know if 2011/2012 editions are any better.

      @ c-Row: Good point.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Too difficult to license the Starbucks, Applebees and Outback Steakhouse you’d need every 400 meters.

    • Jimbo says:

      Cities XL was ok (I put about 100 hours into the beta way back), but it doesn’t really capture what was great about SimCity imo. It doesn’t feel organic enough – you’re actually building the city yourself, rather than just creating the conditions to allow the city to grow how it will. If that makes sense…

  5. IDtenT says:

    I still want a decent follow up on Impressions Games’ City Building Games series. The amount of hours I spent playing Zeus, Pharaoh, Caesar III…

  6. evaNERV says:

    Crunching some numbers….

    $10,000 1 $10,000
    $5,000 7 $35,000
    $1,000 35 $35,000
    $250 339 $84,750
    $100 1136 $113,600
    $30 4231 $126,930
    $15 5767 $86,505

    All 11516 $491,785

    < $100 11134 $327,035

    By removing the very large amounts of pledges, for people that would spend $100 for a Limited Edition or $15/$30 for the game, they almost funded it themselves. That says a lot about game funding.

  7. Pole04 says:

    Code is already used up or invalid =(

  8. Llamageddon says:

    Yeah, I refreshed the page about 3 mins after loading it and saw the new edit with the key. Went straight to the page and tried it cos I knew they would be used up fast but it wasn’t valid :(. It seems unlikely that 50 uses were used up in 3 mins, maybe you missed a letter or number of the end when pasting it from your e-mail :P.

    • Craig Pearson says:

      Code’s correct – I’ll ask the devs.

    • Craig Pearson says:

      From the lovely Fabio: “Key still has 40 uses left. But players need to validate their registration before they can enter the key, might be the reason.”

    • desirecampbell says:

      I just used the key and am playing now.

    • Llamageddon says:

      I guess it just doesn’t like me, oh well, I’ll wait for my lottery to come up. Thanks for checking with them.

  9. Meneth says:

    While the aesthetics are great, the gameplay is too Farmevilleesque in my opinion. Can’t see myself playing it again.

    • 3Eyes says:

      I’m going to have to agree. It’s incredible work for being entirely Flash. And it’s awesome that it being Flash means you can pick it up from any computer. And it’s pretty and can be run fullscreen. But it’s so slow… waiting 5 minutes for a few gold from a single house or 15 minutes for a single soldier.

      I understand that they need to make money from this, through diamonds that can eliminate some of the slowness, but I really would have loved to see a Flash game as complete as this while more along the pace of a regular RTS.

  10. jimbobjunior says:

    Ouch, just had a look at the price of the in-game currency. Not taking the preview bonus into account, you’re paying over £4.00 for 300 “Diamonds” which won’t even buy you enough research points (6) to research anything but the most basic 15 technologies. The most expensive technology is 80 research points, which at this price, would cost over £53.00. For one technology.

    Obviously buying the research points are optional, but that pricing is ludicrous, and given that people get seriously sucked into these games, irresponsible.

    • Fab_Inno says:

      Hey jimbobjunior,

      Please keep in mind that the game is still in a pre-beta phase. We’re still working on implementing and testing the premium features. None of those features have been part of the game for the first 6 weeks of public testing, because we wanted to focus on gameplay and stability before we balance premium options out. There will still be a lot of changes during closed and open beta.
      Fabio, InnoGames

  11. tomgus1 says:

    Have all of the keys gone, tried using it. Surely they all haven’t gone already.

  12. RyuRanX says:

    Stopped caring at “browser-based”.

    I’d love to have a traditional single-player and multiplayer 2D-HD game like this.

  13. 3Eyes says:

    Any site that stores my password as plain text will get no money from me. Why on earth would they have my password in the verification email? Please, encrypt it, never send it to me, and only give me the option to reset it.

    • Josh04 says:

      To be fair to them, while it’s not good practice still it is possible to send the password in the verification email without storing it.

    • Wisq says:

      Now, if you select “forgot my password” and they send you the one you put in instead of generating a new one …

      Mind you, I’ve ceased worrying too much about this now that I use 1Password and a different long random password for every single account. But I still wouldn’t hand over any money in a site that stores plaintext passwords, and certainly not a credit card.

  14. Daniel Klein says:

    Aaaand the code doesn’t work anymore :( Would have loved to try this.

  15. G8crasha says:

    I use to love the Caesar games as well. I wish they would release another one!