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About Oriental Empires

Step into the world of the ancient Orient. Control a city or tribe from the dawn of Chinese history, and turn it into a great empire. Develop your land, create great cities, raise huge armies and fight epic wars. Advance your technology, culture and religion to create one of mankind’s great civilizations. All the action takes place on one spectacular game map that brings to life the mountains, forests, plains and deserts of China. Zoom in close to review your troops and see your peasants toiling, or zoom out for a strategic overview. Plan your battles, end your turn, and then watch as your armies obey your orders, with hundreds of soldiers battling right on the game map.

Highly regarded 4x turn-based strategy title Oriental Empires (PC), available on the Steam Early Access program, immerses players in 3000 years of Chinese history. After a highly positive reception, the game continues to receive regular updates, greatly improving all aspects of the game, including siege mechanics, battles, economy and play balancing. 

For details on the big update, please refer to the changelog in the Steam Hub.

Furthermore, an important feature on the roadmap has been accelerated, due to community pressure, and players are now able to opt into a simplified Chinese version of the game. In order to access the Chinese version of the game, players must click their right mouse button on the game in their Steam list, select properties and click BETAS. From the drop down menu, select chinesebeta and the Chinese version will be downloaded automatically.

Development of Oriental Empires continues apace, and developers R.T. Smith and John Carline have more in store for their growing community in the upcoming weeks, including the hotly anticipated multiplayer mode. The game is now available in Steam’s Early Access Program at $29.99 For more information regarding Oriental Empires, please visit the official website at:


Oriental Empires is a game of value for strategy players who enjoy thoughtful and clever challenging battles. It is as tactical as it is strategical and it requires a lot of intricate determination and careful planning as well as an awareness of who and where your opposition is and what you consider them to be planning. You also have to be careful when ending your turn for you can take back moves and actions, builds and research right up until you click the [End Turn] button at which time the actions are automatically and speedily triggered. I mention the speed of the button because although you have plenty of time to make your decisions it only takes one click to put your plans into action.

Oriental Empires is graphically excellent. It is also one of the most satisfying of this genre of computerised wargames. It draws the players in through its powerful and complex but oddly also fairly straightforward gameplay letting adversaries set up shop and explore and build merrily without fear of immediate destruction. Although it came as a code only, with no instructions, it wasn't too long before I had figured out the main and necessary input commands, though there are still a few that I haven't memory - mastered (in other words I sometimes hit the wrong key). Mostly the actions are carried out by mouse-click, left or right as necessary, and there is plenty of in-game assistance and help - simply laying the cursor over an icon usually brings up the required name or information. 


Quite often I personally prefer a boardgame instead of a boardgame simulation, which is how I view Oriental Empires to be, but when speed (as in time available) is an issue then the computerised wargame can be a boon and Oriental Empires is certainly a boon for anyone wishing to play authentic but exciting ancient warfare.

Units can be moved around, joined together, disbanded, added to and given orders befitting the tasks you have for them. They generally do not think for themselves though there are times when the computer will elect to do something that you have either forgotten (it gives you a warning first) or haven't thought of or bothered with; the game will rarely let you rest in these cases, nor will it let you fail your command.

Technologies & Cultures are shown on separate screens where you can select various aspects to research and develop. By choosing the correct icons you can also build farms and numerous other buildings, as you would expect from a resource and man management, land and mass control game, to expand your stronghold - and to feed, cloth, arm and equip the men, women and units who are doing all the hard work for you. 


Whilst your workers are toiling in the fields - the closer you zoom in the more detailed and animated the action and figures is - your army units can be maneuvered; again zooming in will show both male and females amongst the ranks.

There is a lot going on in Oriental Empires that you need to take stock of and understand and most of it you will only get to grips with fully once you have spent time playing. It's quite possible that you will want to restart once or thrice before settling into anywhere near the level of play that you are personally comfortable with. Restarting isn't failing, it's learning. Iceberg Interactive have given you a great opportunity here so don't waste it by worrying about taking baby steps. The more you play the more you learn and the better you become, though letting complacency settle in isn't a good idea either. I have yet to find a straightforward easy way to achieve and accomplish all I want to do and am actually actively hoping that I do not find such a possibility. Once challenges become predictable then the game can become about endurance and not skill whereas Oriental Empires is about endurance and skill, a marked difference even if it reads similar. This is not a game for short term play when you have a few minutes to kill, it is an experience for a fairly long term; there are a good number of game hours waiting for you here.



© Chris Baylis 2011-2021