Idle Gladiator: A simple but fun-addicting idle game

March 9, 2015


Idle Gladiators is a simple game. It’s a willfully simple game that largely seems to parody the simple wait and tap play style of modern mobile games. Whether this works as parody or just a mimicry of the style it’s emulating is questionable. The interface is incredibly spartan. The premise is that you’re training gladiators to make you rich. Text along the top of the window shows a constantly increasing number of your acquired gold. Gold serves as the primary resource in this idle game, but it’s a self feeding loop. Gold is earned by putting your gladiators to work. Gold is spent on upgrades and more gladiators which allow you, simply, to get more gold.

You start with a single gladiator who is represented by a small window with three buttons. When set to “Work”, the gladiator is earning you gold. When set to “Train”, the gladiator gains experience, which allows him to level up, which allows him to (You guessed it) earn more gold per second. “Rest” fills the gladiator’s stamina, which. Stamina is continually drained as a gladiator works, with lowered stamina causing the gladiator’s income to decrease. More gladiators can be bought for gold, filling up the game window with more of these smaller windows. A second screen allow you to buy upgrades, which increase any of the three resources (gold, experience, and stamina). A third screen shows lifetime earnings.

The simplicity of Idle Gladiators is almost refreshing. The entirety of the gameplay loop can be discovered in less than a minute. There’s no skill, nuance, or growth. There’s no lose conditions. Your gladiators will continue to grow no matter what you do, and the gold bar will continue to tick upwards. It’s more diversion than game, perhaps a commentary on the increasingly compulsion driven games that are dominating mobile devices. As we see games that focus entirely on the most basic animal reflex of action and reward, it’s nice to see a game that boils the mechanic down to its very core and highlights exactly how remedial this behavior is. It likely won’t keep anyone playing for long, but it might make players reexamine what games they play and why.



HERE you can play Idle Gladiators. Enjoy!


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