Eight Minute Empire was actually born as a board game for 2 to 5 players around 2013. The goal was the same as that of Risk, namely to conquer as many continents as possible. What’s great is that unlike Risk, which took hours and hours if you had the chance to play a game, Eight-Minute Empire prides itself on its very fast game sessions, with enough pride to even give its game that name! I can immediately confirm that you can play this game in 8 minutes or less, depending on the number of players.
The goal when you start a game is to strategically deploy and expand your armies, while capturing and holding as much territory as possible and collecting resources for endgame mascots that can help you win the game. Each match consists of 13 rounds, so there is a lot of strategy with the end goal in play.
Gameplay revolves around two main actions for players, with multi-level strategy mechanisms to make each round more interesting. When you start the game, you take your first bets on which round will be first. It uses static action points, very useful during the game. It is therefore better to bet wisely and not spend too much, otherwise you will have fewer points during the 13 rounds of the game itself.
After diving into the first round, you will see a general row of 6 cards, each with a value ranging from 0 action points needed to capture and play, to 3 action points. The mechanics of this community card game with uniform costs is something I personally know from some of my other favorite board games, including Mad King Ludwig’s Castles and Suburbia. The idea is that if a player chooses a card (and they should) before the next player’s turn, the missing space of the most expensive card is filled in, giving the next player the opportunity to use a new card on the shelf instead of one that may have expired. On the other hand, once you’ve cashed in all your action points, which often happens in the middle of the game, you’re obligated to use every available free card, whether you like it or not.
Once you have selected one of the 6 cards on the screen, you can search for different things depending on the action and also take action. Many maps involve reinforcing troops by adding additional troops at any point on the map where you have a city, or in a starting city where all players have gathered. The other action you’ll see most often is troop movement, which is almost identical to Risk and other strategy games and allows you to move troops to other areas to some extent. Other actions, such as building new cities or destroying a single enemy unit, can easily reverse the course of the war.
Each map also has a resource icon linked to a more game-related reward. Players who reach certain resource thresholds by playing the right cards are rewarded with ultimate play points, which can also play a big role in determining the winner. Fortunately, you can always check your opponents’ stats and see how far ahead they are to support your own strategy.
This may seem a bit overwhelming, but it’s actually very simple and most importantly done quickly. Your turn often lasts only a few seconds, if you choose a card and select a few places to move your troops, etc. This allowed me to finish 2 games for 2 players in less than 8 minutes and even won me a prize for this achievement. The best thing about Eight Minute Empire is that it simply doesn’t have the buzzz of so many traditional strategy games. He plays more along the lines of a quick card game. With the digital dongle for the Nintendo Switch, it’s convenient for many people, as there’s no reason why I can’t play a few games on a short trip or during a lunch break with friends.
So, with a very short play time, an important aspect will be how replayability will be managed, as a game like this can get long quickly. Fortunately, the game includes a set of playing cards (7 in total), 4 of which introduce a variation on the rules to shuffle strategy. There are also a few checkboxes that change some of the rules of the game slightly, including the inclusion of the mountain expansion, as well as a few extra reward tokens on the board. Personally, I’d like to see a custom game option that allows players to make some of these custom rules visible on specific maps at will, rather than having to enter them only in those specific regions.
For those who want to compete against CPU opponents or their own friends, the game also includes an online game mode that requires quick account creation. At the time of writing, we were informed that this functionality is currently being finalized and therefore some improvements are being made for this mode. Anyway, with a quick game like this, you can just go online, play a few rounds with randomly selected people, and you can spend the day as you wish. A small board game is always welcome, especially in a very portable game console.
Eight Minute Empire brings a solid digital adaptation of the fast-paced board game to the platform. Aesthetically and audibly, the game is attractive and easy to read and play. It supports both on-the-fly Joy-Con control and touch control, making it easy to interact at any point in the game. The game does a good job of tutorials to get you on board with mechanisms that are ultimately easy to learn, but offer a lot of clever strategy to implement. Eight Minute Empire delivers its title in its true form, making for a rather fun strategy game, similar to Risky – without all the buzzwords – in a nice timeline that’s easy to get into.
Eight-minute range Full Production Audit
- Charts – 7/10
- Sound – 6.5/10
- Gameplay – 7/10
- Late Call – 6/10
Final thoughts : GOOD PAGE
Eight Minute Empire is the perfect adaptation of a small strategy board game brought to a platform game adapted for the Nintendo Switch. The mechanics of the game are easy to learn without sacrificing strategy, and combined with games that can easily be played with a break of 15 minutes or less, it’s a lot of fun. I’d like to see the game customised as I think that would give players value for money, but thankfully what is being proposed is not too subtle.
Alex has been involved in the gaming industry since the release of Nintendo. He’s turned his hobby into a career, spending just over a decade developing games and now serving as creative director of the studio.
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