Mastermind.li is a multiplayer empire-building and strategy game app that gives users the opportunity to take over the world again, and again, and again. Users who join games are given control of a random country, along with that country’s money, troops, tanks, and build credits. Users can also choose their government style and tax rates, affecting their country’s happiness and productivity. They may allocate resources to build better armies, create upgrades, create fortifications, and choose perks. The players may then proceed to occupy and invade other countries, expand their empire and fight for world domination. When the game is over the user can choose another game and do it all over again from the throne of a different nation, making this app very reminiscent of the classic board game, Risk.Show more screenshots »
Mastermind.li was developed by Johnson Web Labs in 2012. It has gained enough players for a good selection of games and an active leaderboard, but still seems largely to be underground, with a few blogger reviews and forum posts to promote the app. It has the potential to become more popular as word spreads.
The iPhone has Wargame, which certainly seems similar save that it is set in an alternate universe. Indomitus is another similar game, however it has a historical focus: players take on ancient Rome as members of barbarian tribes. Mastermind.li stands apart by being a reasonably modern version of the game. The random country feature is a nice equalizer as well, forcing players to work with what they’ve got and ensuring that nobody wins simply by virtue of choosing the most powerful nations over and over again.
The game isn’t complicated. There’s a clear, easy menu at the top of the screen where users can recruit troops, build tanks, and buy upgrades. If the user has messages they will appear at the top of the screen as well. The user can also click on any country to get information about occupying or invading that country. The game will give the user information about how many troops they will need to send in order to have a “fighting chance” at taking that country, allowing users to manage their resources more effectively.
The registration process takes very little time. There is a simple sign up form and an easily defeated captcha. Once inside the user may choose a game and begin playing.
The application is free, and the user doesn’t even have to contend with any ads. That means the user can focus on having some fun with the game. Mastermind.li doesn’t seem to be promoting a single product or service other than the game itself, making for a pleasant experience.
Mastermind.li will appeal to a very specific niche audience. Wargame enthusiasts will have a blast with this app, especially if they are already reasonably familiar with resource building and management games. The game replenishes resources on a time basis, which means it can run in the background of other tasks and work, allowing users to play, but to do other things as well.