If youve played some of the Civilization or Total War games on the computer, this game will seem familiar. You have cities, construct buildings, train armies, and conquer your foes, and there is even a battle system much like a board game. All of this sounds good, but none of these components are deep enough for you to forget the complexity and cutting edge graphics of current or former turn-based strategy games.
EEE at least gets very close to being something of an early version of a game from this genre. The problem is that despite it being a touch-based interface on the iPad, its still very hard to navigate the menus, and 90% of this game is spent in menus. It doesnt help that you are restricted to a single construction, research, or unit build order at a time for each settlement. And though there are many tips to help you play the tutorial, it took me a while to figure out how to cancel the automatic unit build order. The bottom line is why does an entire settlement stop to do one thing at a time?
There is an economy and you can play simple politics, but when the only objective is to destroy everyone you must resort to war; while the objectives where you must survive for 200 years may be even less thrilling. Fights take place on a game board that has varying tiles that can boost or worsen stats depending on the terrain it represents, but for some reason the CPU can move faster and always goes first, so from the start you are playing from behind. Worst of all, even on easy I was unable to down the tutorial foe with my first or second army. And many of my turns were just me pressing the End Turn button to build gold.
There are more nations, and the game opens up to a bigger monster as you get past the tutorial. But in the end, EEE is only a nice start to a game that at least offers the micro-managing thrills of a proper turn-based strategy games. However, lacking a satisfying fighting system, having a clunky interface, and not going deep into the mechanics, you would be better served to pick up a reduced-price copy of an older Civilization or Total War game for a better experience. You could do even better and just get Civilization 5 or Shogun: Total War 2, or both. This suggestion may seem harsh or unfair, but if an iPad game is trying to emulate a real game, then the expectations are raised much higher as well; especially when you can find $10 PC games that are much better.
Final Rating: 45%