Having already gone hands-on with the game over at AppSpy, I know what I'm getting into with CivCrafter.

Naquatic's new 8-bit beauty is definitely a "clicker", but even if that word makes you want to run a million miles, you should know that from what I've seen so far there appears to be a lot more management than your typical tap-a-thon.

So join me for my week-long review as I build a mighty empire and see if CivCrafter is worth your time and money.

First impressions

Remember when I reviewed Sword King for Pocket Gamer, and Hero Tap: The Finger of Justice for 148Apps? After a single day with CivCrafter, I can already tell that it's in a league of its own compared to those train wrecks.

The game initially presents you with just three resources - Food, Wood, and Stone. To collect them you tap on their corresponding icons and see your stocks go up by one.

Pretty soon you're producing people for your settlement, and then assigning those people to gather these same materials for you automatically.

From here you need to start thinking strategically. You'll need plenty of food to ensure your villagers don't die, but you'll also want to set some of them to become Woodcutters, for example, so that your Wood reserves are kept topped up.

Then you'll need more buildings to increase the amount of stock you can keep in your settlement at any one time, as more advanced buildings - like Barracks to train Soldiers - require a bigger investment of materials to create.

Once you have access to Soldiers, CivCrafter allows you to battle random opponents around the world, invading other Thorps, Hamlets, and Villages for resources and more land to expand out your empire.

You can also create or join Clans to prove who has the biggest civilization, and I find myself checking in on the Pocket Gamer clan every time I fire the game up, to keep an eye on our standings and throw more men at the fight for world domination.

Day 3: The clicking stops

CivCrafter isn't a clicker anymore. I mean, it's still in the clicker genre, I suppose, but in the last few days I've barely found the need to tap the screen to generate resources.

My citizens are bringing in more than enough materials to look after themselves, so I've set about concentrating on the finer parts of ruling.

My biggest issue is balancing the amount of Ore that's being found while mining, with how quickly it's being converted to Metal by the Blacksmith.

I need both to grow, but while having lots of Metal is great for producing units, not having enough Ore slows up production of other items at home.

The military campaign is laid out in such a manner as to stop any empire racing ahead too quickly. The biggest army usually wins, and every time you defeat a settlement at a higher level than the last it blocks you from attacking weaker ones.

Bigger settlements equal bigger armies, usually with more powerful units. This means that you can't bully smaller societies, but it also ensures that every battle you fight is worthwhile in terms of the resources you gain from it.

I'm also getting deeper into the tech tree, researching new technology types to make my Farmers more efficient, and gaining access to whole new buildings with which to expand.

Day 7: Clique

The game's really clicked with me.

Sometimes I leave CivCrafter on while I'm working, checking in every couple of hours to begin construction of a set of stores, or raise more people, or research new tech.

A big part of that compulsion is having found a good clan to be a part of, and feeling like I need to keep up and pull my own weight. It's also in seeing how much bigger my civilization can grow, and I guess it must be able to get pretty massive as it shows no sign of slowing its growth.

I'm also currently in the process of building a Wonder. I've no idea what that will do when it's finally completed, but that's a part of the fun isn't it? Seeing what comes next is partly the appeal of clickers, and Naquatic nails that sense of discovering the unknown.

With excellent presentation, a compelling structure, and gameplay that goes far beyond what the vast majority of clickers offer, CivCrafter is not only the best title in its class for those new to the genre, it's quite possibly the best title in its class full stop.

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. Click here to learn about our free-to-play review policy.