We Rule, one of the latest games from ngmoco, allows you to rule your own kingdom on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. You farm the land, plant trees, and build cottages and businesses in an easy-to-use interface. As part of the Plus+ gaming network, the developers have encouraged network play by allowing your friends to place orders from your businesses. The gameplay is fun, if repetitive, and the game’s graphics make it easy to see the beauty of the iPhone as a gaming device.
The game’s graphics are amazing. The firefly trees look like they’re surrounded by fireflies, and a wide variety of citizens wander around in wonderful colors and authentic-looking garb. Your castle, which is pre-placed when you start the game and can’t be moved, grows as you advance in levels. ngmoco has clearly put a great deal of thought and effort into the game’s graphics, paying attention to even the smallest details like the shadows along the castle’s staircases.
The game’s music fits the theme quite nicely, with a medieval faire sound. We Rule also has nice sound effects, including voices for the citizens: if you tap on them, each type of citizen says a different phrase, often related to what the citizen’s job is.
During We Rule’s tutorials, you will be asked to invite your friends to play We Rule. Getting at least one friend and having them hire one of your businesses to complete a job will finish out the tutorial and give you an experience point reward.
As you network with your friends on We Rule, you can accept jobs from them, and hire them to do jobs for you.
Each job provides a different payment to your friend, and gives you a different amount of coins and experience points.
To spice up the game, and speed things up, you can buy “mojo” via in-app purchases. You also accrue mojo as you level up, and spend it to speed up your crops and businesses.
Unfortunately, the game lacks sound controls. The only way to disable the music or sound effects is to turn your volume down or switch your iPhone or iPod touch to vibrate. It would be nice to have sliders to turn the music and sound effects down or off separate from the iPhone’s controls.
The game includes an iPad-specific interface that takes advantage of the device’s bigger screen and makes game play even easier. Unfortunately, it displays only in landscape mode with the iPad’s home button on the right, so users that typically keep their home button on the left will have to rotate their iPad ever time they play.
Although ngmoco seemed to struggle for a bit to keep up with demand, the servers seem to be much more capable these days of keeping up with the growing network of We Rule players. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had any problems connecting to the game.
Finally, the gamplay might get a bit repetitive after a while. ngmoco has been issuing regular updates to the game, adding new businesses, crops, and decorations for your farm. If the farming and collecting aspect of the game seems too boring, the ability to completely redecorate your kingdom with new buildings and other decor can make up for that.
The Bottom Line
We Rule is a free download, and it’s a fun game. You might get bored with it after a few weeks, or you might find the farming and collecting from your citizens and businesses relaxing. You might find your next gaming addiction. If you don’t, the game hasn’t cost you anything.