This is a freemium game review, in which we give our impressions immediately after booting a game up, again after three days, and finally after seven days. That's what the strange sub-headings are all about. Click on the links to jump straight to day three and day seven.
The Asterix and Obelix comics were great, weren't they? Brilliant humour (for the most part), and a world that was simultaneously silly and authentic.
Total Conquest looks set to try and bottle some of that Roman Empire-era humour, albeit without the Gauls, in an irreverent freemium builder-cum-strategy game.
I'll be playing Total Conquest over the next week to give you the Vitalstatistix. The first impressions are below, so why not Getafix of Pocket Gamer and take a look? You know, Justforkix.
Last week, I reviewed a game that was very much another take on the management and strategy formula as laid out by Clash of Clans. This week, it looks like I'll be doing exactly the same thing with Total Conquest.
I'll skip the systems of play for my first update, because a) you already know what they are thanks to my comparing it to Clash of Clans, and b) the presentation is more noteworthy.
It looks great. The citizens that make up your Roman town and the buildings you create to produce resources are 3D, but so richly coloured and detailed are they that you'd be forgiven for thinking that they were drawn by hand.
The UI is clear and gives you a clean view of the action. Little special effects mark a new building being created, or an improvement being made, with a burst of light and energy.
The sacrifice is that this visual splendour means that the game takes marginally more time than its 2D alternatives to fire up from the home screen.
I'm very impressed with the sound, too. From the big brassy fanfares to the gentle tweeting of birds, it's all top stuff.
Fingers crossed, then, that this isn't just another take on the same iOS classic, and that Total Conquest manages to bring something new to the PvP arena.
At the mid-point of my time with Total Conquest, it seems it's more than just another take on Clash of Clans. It's certainly not a revolution in game design, but it goes slightly further with a few of the ideas laid out in Supercell's modern classic.
Most of these changes are to be found in the military side of things.
You still lose all the troops you send into battle, the game notifying you that the soldiers have "earned their freedom". It's an annoying hangover from Clash of Clans, as you'll waste large forces if a missions is particularly easy.
However, you needn't necessarily strike out on the offensive. You can build up troops and put them to work in your Militia, providing another layer of defence on top of your catapults, archers towers, imposing walls, and so on.
I also really like the potions you can wield during battles to instantly cripple enemy forces. Throw down a fire potion and you'll significantly damage building and enemy troops. Throw down a healing potion and your troops will withstand the horrors of war just that little bit longer.
Unfortunately, I've noticed that visual performance is becoming very spotty. The frame-rate drops when there's too much movement on-screen - especially in the building part of the game. Pop-up ads for other games don't help, and I found myself accidentally tapping them, leading to tedious detours.
Just before I started writing this, I noticed that the game had been posting to my Facebook profile - without checking with me first - each and every time I started it up.
Not cool, Gameloft. Not cool.
Even after an update, Total Conquest's performance issues persist.
It's not fatally bad, but it does make actions like selecting buildings a hassle as the game occasionally mistakes a tap on the screen for a hold. Suddenly you're re-positioning your Villa, when all you wanted to do was collect taxes from it.
I've made a decent chunk of progress in a week, but I don't feel that I would have done so had it not been for the Tokens. I've splurged this premium currency on expediting wait timers, which has allowed me to bypass several lengthy periods of time during which my Architects would have been tied up with work.
There are lots of improvements to make to your troops, such as how much damage they can dish out per second, and while these additional elements are effectively just another meter to fill, it does mean that you can focus on improving one type of unit if it happens to be your favourite in battle.
Now that I'm finished with the Spurius campaign, and well on my way to conquering Donatianus, I can confidently say that my army's artificial intelligence is generally decent after a push in the right direction, but it's still prone to acting illogically. There were situations in which my soldiers thought that guard towers firing arrows at them posed less immediate danger than a storage unit for apples.
Social elements are your standard selection: you can battle other players, join clans, and visit your pals. Post-update, Total Conquest still spams your Facebook timeline, telling your friends that you're playing, so that's definitely something to consider before playing.
Total Conquest's presentation is truly fantastic, and the small additions it brings to the Clash of Clans-esque play are certainly welcome. But the technical issues I've detailed, combined with the game's reluctance to stray too far from the resource strategy formula, leave you feeling that this could have been so much better.How are you getting on with the game? You can tell us and the rest of the PG community about your experiences by leaving a comment in the box below.