Royal Envoy 3
Who are you if you like to order people around, have purple hair, and want to rule the world? That's right, the snooty king in Playrix Entertainment's Royal Envoy games! He's is back in Royal Envoy 3, the next installment in the popular and oh-so-fun time management strategy series, and he needs you to help the inhabitants of newly discovered islands so they'll agree to be his subjects. Rumors of gold, pearls and other treasures of the isles interest the king, so once again he puts you in charge of surveying the land. In this popular time management sim, expand your empire by sailing to new islands, helping the natives build houses, and collecting treasure. Because if there's one thing we know that gets the king's attention, it's treasure. Who knew imperialism could be such fun?
Just point and click and you are off, though the game lets you look around and won't actually start the level until you click a valid move. This is valuable as you can take your time to see what's on the board and plan your strategy accordingly. You need wood and food to build houses which earn you rent money, and gold to build production buildings, and to buy what you can't gather yourself. Examine each level carefully, because sometimes there are available buildings such as mines or lumber mills you can occupy to get materials for free. Mouse over gold or other items to pick them up. Your inventory is listed across the top of the screen, along with the number of available workers and your goals for the level.
The series has figured out what works and stayed with it. Though perhaps some innovative mini-games would have been a nice addition, the levels are well designed and offer challenging gameplay. There are different islands with differing environmental challenges to help keep things interesting. All your favorite characters from the earlier games are back. From the sad leprechauns to the greedy pirates, you'll find someone needing something before they'll let you through. The graphics are somewhat updated, with houses changing appearances when they are upgraded, which is a nice touch, and there's a relaxed mode which gets rid of time restrictions.There's plenty of levels to play (especially in the collectors addition, which comes with 32 bonus levels) and achievements to earn to eat hours of your life away, especially if you're like me and thrive on going back to try for a three star rating on each level. Now go forth, and help his royal purple haired majesty expand his kingdom.
Note: Currently, only the Collector's Edition is available. It contains 32 bonus levels, soundtrack, walkthrough guide, and more. Remember that Big Fish Game Club Members pay only $13.99 for Collector's Editions (or 2 club credits), and collector's editions count 3 card punches of 6 total needed for a free game.