by Aethyna
Nov 27, 2014 | 0 Votes | 0 Played | 0 Reviews Your vote
Ikariam - rate Your objective as a leader of a Greek polis is simple your polis and army to be a mighty force that your allies in Greece will drink to your success and victories while your enemies will tremble at the mention of your name! In this game, you will need to upgrade buildings, gather resources, research new technologies, trade resources and of course, pillage any polis that defies your will! Play Now Similar Games Played Post a Review

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For players who are familiar with empire-building games like The Settlers Online and Sparta: War of Empires, Ikariam may strike you as a game that is a bit of both, although it does have a big portion of the game that is totally unique. Your objective as a leader of a Greek polis is simple – build up your polis and army to be a mighty force that your allies in Greece will drink to your success and victories while your enemies will tremble at the mention of your name! In this game, you will need to upgrade buildings and your army, hire workers to gather resources, research new technologies, trade resources with neighboring poleis and of course, pillage any polis that defies your will! Think you have what it takes to carry the mantle of leadership and bring your people to glory? Sign up at Ikariam and find out!


You are the newly appointed leader of a small Greek polis (a.k.a. city-state) in one of the many archipelagos in Greece. It is a time in history where Greece is rife with civil wars among its many poleis, so being new and all, you are given immunity from any attacks for a few days. You are also guided through the process of city-building and, of course, the process of building an army as well! Are you good enough to rise up from among the other poleis in Greece?


Being an empire-building game, the first few things that you should be concerned about in Ikariam is your resources. There are 5 major resources that you will need to know – wood, wine, marble, crystal glass and marble. Among these resources, wood is the only resource that is universally available in Ikariam, while the rest, dubbed as ‘luxury goods’, are rare and will require ‘wealth’ to be researched before you can harvest it. In fact, only 1 luxury good is available for each island and you will need to obtain the other luxury goods from pillaging other players, trading or colonizing new islands (that we’ll get to in due time).

The method of obtaining materials is slightly different in Ikariam from usual empire-building games, perhaps due to its rather realistic gameplay. Every island will have community buildings such as saw mill, which produces wood, and a building that produces the random luxury goods assigned to your island. For instance, if your island has a vineyard, the poleis on the same island as you are can get wine as a luxury good. In order to start receiving a steady supply of materials, for example, wood, you will need to hire workers to work for you at the saw mill (you can only hire as many workers as your town has and not more). You will need to pay them a fixed amount of gold per hour and they will produce and deliver the wood to your polis. How much resource you get will depend on the number of workers you can afford to hire as well as the level of the resource-producing building.

Since resource-producing buildings are considered community buildings, upgrading these buildings will require some community effort! Take the saw mill as an example. The amount of wood required to upgrade the saw mill is a lot, thus, everybody on the island has to donate any excess wood that they have to the saw mill. By contributing enough wood to the local saw mill to get it to the next level, everybody on the island can enjoy increased wood production rate per worker hired! There are also other community buildings, like ‘world miracles’, that, when upgraded, can provide increased resource production boost to all the workers on the island, regardless which polis the workers work for. Furthermore, do note that every player on your island is randomly assigned, so it may be a wee bit tough to coordinate the community to donate resources to a particular building first before donating to another community building.

Resources produced are delivered to your polis in due time, but where should you keep them? At the warehouse, of course! Warehouse is a vital component in Ikariam whereby it functions as a storage area for your resources and as a safe house to keep your resources from being pillaged by anyone who attacked your polis. Warehouse can be upgraded to increase its capacity and you can build more than 1 warehouse in your polis.

If you manage your resources cleverly, the economy in your polis will soon be booming! However, being a rich polis, you will soon catch the eye of marauding players looking for a polis to pillage. You will need to defend your polis! Build a barrack to recruit an army and build city walls to deter them! An army is also required for pillaging which is the easier and faster way of obtaining resources from your neighboring poleis or from the barbarians. However, do note that neighboring poleis may retaliate and, while barbarians will not do so, their difficulty will increase every time you’ve successfully attacked them. Take care not to underestimate your enemies!

Another vital building that every polis must have is the academy. Academy is where you generate precious research points that you can use to unlock new features in the game. Researches in Ikariam can be separated into 4 categories – economy, seafaring, science and military. Research in economy is mainly needed to unlock trading and new buildings that can reduce resource consumption like the carpenter which lowers the materials needed to build new buildings. Seafaring is vastly important as you will need the merchant ships that you can buy at docks to trade, bring home loot from your pillages, build embassies for establishing diplomatic relationships with other poleis, expand your kingdom, and transport resource and units between poleis in your kingdom. It will also reduce a ship’s upkeep and allow you to build naval defenses – you never know when a pirate may decide to hit your port! Science is generally required to increase the production of research points while military research will allow you to build stronger and better troops, especially when you unlocked the ‘gunpowder’ research.

Similarly to your resource-producing buildings, you will need to hire researchers at a fixed pay for them to produce research points. The more you hire, the more research points you will get! However, do keep an eye on your net profit of your polis. You won’t want to over-hire workers and cause your polis to go down the road to bankruptcy!

One of the best and rather unique features in this game is its holiday mode. If you’re going away on a vacation for some time, you can activate the holiday mode and keep your polis safe from attacks as well as keeping your game account from being deleted. However, in order to prevent players from misusing it, once you activate holiday mode, all your resource and research point production will come to a halt (your virtual workers need a holiday too!) and you will be barred from logging in for at least 48 hours. After a minimum of 48 hours, you can just log back in to Ikariam to automatically deactivate the holiday mode.

On the downside, the game only allows you to build or upgrade 1 building per city at a time and that could take quite a long time for you to establish a sizable polis, unless of course, you decide to spend some real money to buy ambrosia or sign up for its Ikariam Plus membership. There are absolutely no quests in this game and thus, the game can get rather monotonous after awhile. Furthermore, its interface can be rather confusing as some of the important features of the game are not explained in the game’s tutorial. You will have to figure it out yourself or by looking it up on Google and seriously, who has the time to Google anything when they are busy gaming, right?


The base community of Ikariam is still going strong even after 6 years. However, new players to the game who actually stayed are dwindling… perhaps due to the emergence of other empire-building games, like The Settlers Online and Anno Online. This event has led to the merging of several lower population servers to high population ones that is taking place on 25/11/2014. Hopefully, the merge will bring new life to the community of Ikariam and this may in turn attract newer players to stay for the long term.


The graphics is this game is amazingly adorable and cartoony, particularly the tiny people in the game who are doing the constructing work or who are having a beach picnic. Occasionally, you can catch seeing a cute donkey cart entering and leaving your city or an orca swimming around in joy on your world map. Sound-wise though, the game has absolutely none – no voice acting for your in-game advisers, no sound effects and no background music.


Ikariam is an online empire-building game that is facing immense challenge from newer but similar games in terms of reeling in new players to play the game. Despite that, the game still has a sizable amount of dedicated players that had kept the game going for so long! In Ikariam, you will have to show that you are truly capable of managing and developing your polis into a thriving town and the capital of a strong island empire! You can maximize your resource production, build up your army and fleet, expand your kingdom, establish a strong economy for trading and most importantly, ensure that your citizens are happy to accelerate population growth. All in all, if you are a fan of empire-building games, you should definitely give Ikariam a go!

Ikariam Blog

New Game Added: Ikariam

by Aethyna Nov 27, 2014
Your objective as a leader of a Greek polis is simple your polis and army to be a mighty force that your allies in Greece will drink to your success and victories while your enemies will tremble at the mention of your name! In this game, you will need to upgrade buildings, gather resources, research new technologies, trade resources and of course, pillage any polis that defies your will! Ikariam Fortress Your Guide in Ikariam Ikariam Units Read More
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