I claim this planet in the name of Mars.

My first game of Eight-Minute Empire lasted 20 minutes

iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac •

If you’re not familiar with board game designer Ryan Laukat, you should be. He’s designed some real gems with themes ranging from battling ancient titans to conquering the stars. That’s not all. In fact, Ryan is a true renaissance man, he’s a board game publisher, designer, and artist all in one. Each game from Red Raven is a complete Ryan Laukat creation, which is kind of cool. As of yet, however, none of Red Raven’s games have gone digital. That ended this morning when Eight-Minute Empire landed on the App Store.

Eight-Minute Empire is a quick and easy area control game with a 4X feel. Sure, it doesn’t have that epic feel of bigger 4X titles like Eclipse or Through the Ages, but for a 15-20 minute game, it gets the job done. The game has players bidding for turn order and then drafting cards which contain a resource and an action. The actions help you recruit more troops or move about the board, but sets of resources gain you points at the end of the game. Do you take that action you really need, or that resource that matches one you already have 2 or 3 of?

The digital version is from our friends at Acram Digital who you might remember from their conversion of Martin Wallace’s Steam: Rails to Riches. That was a pretty great port, so I have high expectations for this one, albeit in a much lighter package. The game features three levels of AI for solo play as well as both pass-and-play and online multiplayer. Yes, the online multiplayer is asynchronous! All the official rules are included, as well as some additional things you won’t find in the base game at your local FLGS such as a Europe map and more. For those of us playing for the first time, the app also has a full set of rules as well as a play-through tutorial.

Eight-Minute Empire is available for iOS Universal and Android with a PC/Mac version landing on Steam this coming weekend.

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Notable Replies

  1. Ryan Laukat is one of the few designers whose games I sometimes buy on name alone. Looking forward to this one!

  2. "Confusion reigns" - How does this relate to the article? Is the app any good or too confusing? I feel like I'm missing a paragraph where you say you enjoyed the game but lost horribly or the board game is awesome but this app needs work. Maybe I'm expecting more of a review instead of a product announcement.

    Steam started off with some problems but after a few updates is a great app. How did Acram do here?

    Glad to hear about async multiplayer!

    P.S. I'm not trying to be snarky here. I'm just trying to decide if I want to try out this game. So many games, so little time.

  3. I took it to be a bit of humor in that a game of "Eight" Minute Empire took "Twenty" minutes.

  4. Yeah, it's not a review. That said, probably a shitty headline. It sounded funny in my head when I wrote it. Mirefox is correct, though, the confusion was simply based on the fact that my first game lasted 15-20 mins and the game is titled "eight-minute" empire.

    Haha. Get it? I'll show myself out.

  5. Got it. Wow am I slow, I totally missed it. It is an amusing headline. And it is more funny than my jokes.

  6. For those who have played, what are your initial impressions?

  7. Seems like a solid port, with the same kind of polish and feature list as steam. I'll be first in line if this dev keeps putting out apps like this. This app also has the same monetisation as steam, as in you get a couple of maps for your money then the option to buy more maps if you want to. That might rankle some people or be a sticking point, but I'm fine with it.

    The game itself is easy to pick up and play. I've not played enough to see if it's deeper than that or if you're at the mercy of the deck.

  8. I've been playing quite a bit today and I think the luck aspect is diminshed by having 6 cards available each turn. There seems to be enough variation on each turn that you have interesting choices to make rather than just being steamrolled into picking the obvious choice.

    I definitely need to play it more, but it's pretty good thus far. Oh, and my games are getting down to the 5-8 minute mark now that I know what I'm doing. It can be very quick.

  9. There are a lot of extra maps, too. I think four and they're charging $3 for each one. I don't think they're necessary at all, however. Maybe down the road when you want something a little different. I felt the maps were far more important to buy for Steam if only for the different player counts and actual rule differences.

    There's also a Mountains expansion available for $3. Haven't tried that one yet, but will be picking it up.

  10. Was hoping to find some gameplay video, but haven't found any so far.

  11. You mean to learn how to play? Here's a playthrough of the cardboard version:

  12. No, I wanted to see more of the app in action. Thanks, though.

  13. I have failed you.

  14. It's cool. I just really enjoy watching gameplay footage of stuff before I buy it.

    TA users reporting an IAP price drop?

    Finally found a video if anybody wants to see the app in action. The person playing is doing so without knowing the game rules, but you can still get a good feel for the level of polish.

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