Tag: Empires and Allies

History in Gaming: Empire and Allies

History in Gaming: Empire and Allies

The newest offering by Zynga, the company behind social gaming phenomenons like Farmville and Mafia Wars, is the strategy game Empires and Allies. Available for play through Facebook, in Empires and Allies players strive to build up an island empire and defeat the evil machinations of a shadowy enemy that has been systematically attacking neighboring islands. The game mixes elements of 4X style strategy games (explore, expand, exploit and exterminate) with turn based combat and limited interaction and diplomacy with other players. An additional hallmark of Zynga games is the fact the game is “freemium”–that is to say it is free to play but certain perks and items can be purchased, with the purchased items often giving a marked advantage or circumventing the need to play for long periods to achieve the same goal.

What makes Empires and Allies interesting for the historically minded is the introduction of themed weeks usually echoing historical events as well as military units based off real world equivalents. So far Empires and Allies has had themed weeks based around Bastille Day, the Space Race and the Dragon Boat Festival, among others. During these themed periods, special items are available for purchase such as P-40 Warhawks or statues of the Eagle moon lander. Unfortunately, the items and events are disconnected from any real-world explanations and occasionally have some curious decisions in their artwork that do not match up with the actual items. Due to the popularity of Zynga games, we here at Wired History have realized this is a great chance to discuss the history behind the in-game hardware and items and reach a large audience that might be curious about the items in the game they play. Starting this week we will be featuring podcasts and posts discussing the history of the themed weeks as well as the history of the items in the game.