We all like to think of the Middle Ages as a time when kings oversaw their loyal subjects out of respect for the crown, but fear of persecution, imprisonment or death is more like it. And leave it to a Facebook game to address this fact in the briefest and most cutesy way imaginable: Serf Wars. Developed by Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Meteor Games, the folks behind Island Paradise, Serf Wars puts you in the role of a castle estate inherited from your late uncle. Like most royal estates during the time period, your subjects are largely serf, or peasants. And that's about as real as this game gets.
Honestly, Serf Wars is not much different from your standard property management game at its core. Structures to build, statistics based on arbitrary factors to maintain and expansion are all accounted for. Among all of the standard tropes of social games including paid transactions, what stands out most is this studio's ability to address a very real element of the past and turn the cute meter all the way up on it. In fact, the adorable look on those eager peasants' faces as they clean up your kingdom's filth almost causes you to forget that, in reality, you're a demanding aristocrat.
Snake N Bake
It's amazing what some cheeky artwork and a bright color palette can do, huh? But back to the gameplay, which revolves around players placating their peasants to prevent revolt (I'd love to see that happen) by providing them with food and pretty things to look at. When you think about it, that sounds oddly topical. Not to mention the ability to create a force of soldiers to protect your serfs from invaders--or are they to protect yourself in the event of an uprising?
To break the doldrums of keeping indentured servants happy and healthy, there is a slew of mini games to play in Serf Wars that provide players with coins and XP. There are only two available to begin with, though six more will unlock as you level up. The first is Snake N Bake, which is little more than the traditional phone game, Snake. However, replace the snake with a sticky glob of dough in a vat. By using the arrow keys, players will have to eat up more dough and toppings while avoiding walls, bugs and running into themselves. While it's nothing but a port, Facebook games need more skill-based gameplay.
Salaboundin' is the second game immediately available. Thankfully, this appears to be 100 percent original in that players control a strange, bipedal monster that walks as if it has four legs as it jumps over enemies, cliffs and obstacles. Along the way, your mission to gobble up as many strawberries as possible. What this has to do with serfs in a mythical interpretation of the Middle Ages, I have not in the slightest. Though, it is darn fun--purely because it's refreshing amongst the sea of simulator games. If you can ignore what Meteor Games is ignoring through its incredible art style, then Serf Wars will be a treat.
Click here to play Serf Wars on Facebook Now>
Have you tried Serf Wars? What do you think of medieval social games, especially those that address slavery so directly and indirectly simultaneously?