A set of most specific requirements for a game.
August 17, 2009 5:41 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a turn-based platform independent online game that can be played asynchronously with hours or days between players turns.

I'm a member of a group of nine friends now scattered throughout the US and abroad. While we were together we enjoyed playing Risk. We all are pretty busy these days and finding time for a video game is difficult let alone finding a set time to meet up, that is we would require a game that allows for players to take time upwards a few days before they play their turn. I'm wondering if there might be a strategic conquest, resource management, 4x, or simply an interesting game that can suit us. We are on various operating systems so something platform independent or a web game (maybe an app on Facebook) is preferred. Though there are nine of us it's doubtful that all will commit, so though I would like a game that would allow for all of us, a title with a player limit of 6 or so could work just as well.

Games of interest might include:
Settlers of Catan
Civilization Series
Galactic Empires
posted by MeatyBean to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Swirve has had a number of turn-based games around for years. Their two best are Earth 2025 and Utopia. I remember playing these back in middle school and they were quite fun, with a minimal time commitment.
posted by Aanidaani at 5:45 PM on August 17, 2009

I think the older Civ3 title had a PBEM option. I tried that with a few friends, but it got really lame, really quickly.
posted by thanotopsis at 5:47 PM on August 17, 2009

Dominions 3 is a fantasy wargame that meets your requirements. It supports Windows, Mac, and Linux, is a 4X game, and can support dozens of players. You set an arbitrary time limit for each turn (either hours or days), and then all turns are processed synchronously. You can play a 2 person duel in a few hours, or a 60 person mega-game over 6 months.

Besides the above, Dominions3 is quite possibly the best strategy game in existence. There is an absurd number of interesting choices and varied power interactions, with 800+ spells, 1500+ creatures, and several hundred magic items. Each of these has its own special quirks and uses, rather than simply being the same thing with the numbers changed slightly. Of course, the downside is that the game is complex, and playing well requires a lot of thought and reading. Also, the graphics are not pretty.


Extensive forums & strategy page (100,000+ posts):
posted by Balna Watya at 6:25 PM on August 17, 2009

Civilization 4 supports play by email (PBEM) and many players.
posted by axismundi at 6:40 PM on August 17, 2009

You mentioned enjoying Risk. I love Conquer Club. The gameplay is similar to Risk, and there is a variety of maps/game boards to choose from so things don't get stale. Best of all, it is free.
posted by kjars at 6:45 PM on August 17, 2009

GamesByEmail.com has tons.
posted by comwiz at 8:40 PM on August 17, 2009 [3 favorites]

Civilization 4 also supports asynchronous play by connecting to a server, which may be less of a hassle than PBEM, and which for me was responsible for some of the most fun I've had playing a computer game (which is saying a lot). Bear in mind that Civilization games are *long* - with the fairly default options we had set up, and playing an average of two turns a day (one in the morning and one at night), these games lasted a few months each.

It's got Win/Mac versions, but IIRC (years ago) Wine had some issues with network play, so if those various OSes include Linux you'll want to test it first.
posted by roystgnr at 8:48 PM on August 17, 2009

It's not a game that only you and your friends can play, but I've been a player and fan of Kingdom of Loathing for years, most of which have included me playing it with my friends. Hilarious quests and even funnier items make it a really enjoyable, albeit HTML frames-based, game.
posted by jacquilinala at 9:02 PM on August 17, 2009

I used to play a game (back in the day) on my mainframe account, I think it was called Conquer. It sounds like exactly what you're looking for, but I can't find any information about it immediately. I will dig into a deeper session of Google-fu when I get a bit more time.
posted by hippybear at 9:03 PM on August 17, 2009

You could start up your own group in Urban Dead, the free low-tech browser based zombie vs. survivor role playing game.

Although it's not turn based as in a player must wait until all the others have had their turn before they can play again, but you are limited to the number of actions you can take - maximum 50, and they "recharge" at one per half-hour.

So you could make yourselves a group (playing as either survivors or zombies or both); and hang out in the same place. Those who play more can go around and collect useful items, build barricades etc., and you could organise times where you could log on at the same time and go on raids killing zombies or breaking down defences and killing humans.
posted by trialex at 9:12 PM on August 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Metal Knights
Game play is similar to Advance Wars, except with bigger maps and more resource management, and it came out in 1998. Fun, although I haven't played in a long time [but I did check that it was still running].

Free (well, paying is optional and the disadvantages in game play are irrelevant if you're all unregistered)
Up to 10 players
Set turn lengths to be 8-72 hrs
Simple but deep game play, that definitely has the resource management and strategic conquest things going on.

Windows only (which would probably be the fatal problem)
Annoying music on start up (though that can be disabled)
Graphics - it's from 1998!
posted by radicarian at 11:09 PM on August 17, 2009

I've scanned all up to here, currently GamesByEmail.com's W.W.II "A clone of Hasbro's Axis & Allies" allows for what I'm trying to do, that may change as I'm still brainstorming what I want to do exactly - this is to be a bit more than simply a "game" we are going to "play", I am in the process of putting together a package of elements, for instance a web site for battle plans, how the role of a second in command will function, what roleplay elements are possible, etc.

Thanks heaps for all the comments, a lot of great titles here, keep sending them.
posted by MeatyBean at 1:07 AM on August 18, 2009

Wee War.
posted by jrockway at 6:03 AM on August 18, 2009

The Sentence Game is a fun one.
posted by TheClonusHorror at 6:59 AM on August 18, 2009

Warfish is a browser-based Risk clone that's pretty awesome, it's addicting though! MefiMail me if you want an invite.
posted by bertrandom at 9:58 AM on August 18, 2009

I'll second Kingdom of Loathing and add that you can all get into a clan together. Then you can easily share resources and build things as a team.
posted by soelo at 1:03 PM on August 18, 2009

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