Sunday, 15 September 2013

Android App: Time Of Exploration

Time Of Exploration: Its simplicity makes it instantly appealing.

Time Of Exploration: A game of statistics.
Time Of Exploration by Androdan Games certainly won't be for everyone's tastes, but for a spell when I first began playing it I found myself constantly and eagerly checking at regular intervals throughout the day to see how my settlement was getting on.

The game follows a simple format; your buildings produce resources which you can then use to construct additional buildings, and as the production of resources accrues in real time, it therefore makes Time Of Exploration the perfect game to dip in and out of for a brief spell a few times each day.

The object of Time Of Exploration is to expand your settlement, and in this modern day of flashy graphics and all action gameplay it's perhaps hard to explain just why I found it so addictive.  If you were to show someone a few screenshots of the game, they might perhaps be puzzled as to how a few menus full of statistics (which is all Time Of Exploration basically is) could combine to produce such an addictive game.  However, despite the games basic nature, there's nevertheless something strangely satisfying about unlocking new building options and watching your settlement develop.

You start the game with just a headquarters and the only building options are the tree feller and the stonecutter, but once your resources accumulate, further options soon open up in the progression tree.  For example, building a tree feller then allows you the option of building a sawmill, so as you can see the options for expanding your settlement generally follow a logical progression.

The menu system is incredibly simple and exceptionally easy to follow, and it's this simplicity that perhaps makes the game so easy to get into and in my case why I found it instantly appealing.  There are only two main screens within the game to refer to; the Buildings screen and the Resources screen, and both are fairly self-explanatory.

More buildings are unlocked as you
progress further in the game.
The Buildings screen lists your current number of each building and also highlights which of the building classes you currently have enough resources to build extra of.  The Resources screen similarly lists all of the essential data such as resource quantities, maximum capacities and production rates.  Tapping on a building type brings up that building's cost, resource consumption and resource production, and it's all well laid out and extremely easy to navigate.

At the same time, the simple nature of Time Of Exploration inevitably means that there's not a massive amount of replay value, but the simple gameplay is what makes it so accessible, so overall the developers have probably got the balance just about right.

Completing the game gives you a score (based on how quickly you manage to complete it), and at the concluding stages you're presented with a few alternative options regarding which final monument you wish to pursue, so the developers have tried to include some features to prolong the lasting appeal of the game.

Overall though, Time Of Exploration accomplishes what it sets out to achieve and does so extremely well, and at the time of writing it's a free app, so there's nothing to lose by giving it a try.  Adrenaline junkies craving a fix of edge-of-the-seat excitement should look elsewhere, but gamers who are looking for something a little bit different and a game to enjoy at a leisurely pace, may find that Time Of Exploration proves to be a refreshingly pleasing choice.

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