The bastard child of 4X and Tower defense, with a black humor infused plot, set in a grim, disillusioned world. Quell the rebellion, tame the Western Marches, disobey your orders and save your brandy. Not strictly in this order.
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Release Date:
Sep 27, 2019

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“After almost 5 years in development and several Alpha builds, Empires in Ruins is now entering a crucial final stretch. The very core of EiR is in place; the gameplay has been finalized, the campaign is ready, and the battle maps are planned out and laboriously tested. Nevertheless, we are left with polishing, prototyping and testing optional features, fine tuning, and introducing a few quality-of-life features and aesthetic improvements.

We decided that Early Access will provide us with the perfect setting to review these tasks and features, with the players being at the helm of deciding what makes it into the final version and what gets summarily ditched.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Having planned on a roadmap, we believe that Empires in Ruins can easily leave Early Access after a period of 12 months. More specifically, we will need:

  • 2 months > Campaign polish and balancing
  • 1 month > Heroes Of Might and Magic-like province screens with visualization of
    all build assets (both snow and grasslands)
  • 1-2 months > Arcade mode (TD only) with the original 26 maps of the campaign,
    playable at various difficulty levels and a custom-made upgrade system (similar to the core game but based on arcade mode progress)
  • 1 month > Full merged in-game encyclopedia inc. Towers, Tower Abilities,
    Buildings, Enemies, Cooldown Abilities, Province assets and encountered characters.
  • 1 month > Integration of Steamworks achievements and leaderboards
  • 2 weeks > Add features to main map Scouting (display preview of enemies types
    and numbers, etc)
  • 2 weeks > Special effects for battle map Cooldown abilities
  • 1 month > Additional features to building and research queue systems
  • 1 month > Personalized start character for Sandbox mode, Sandbox mode
    pseudo-procedural elements

Along with the roadmap framed above, we expect that Early Access feedback will provide a constant source of invaluable bug splatting and gameplay and difficulty balancing.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The main difference will be obvious in the level of polish and balance. We aim to release the full version of the game bug-free, visually robust, and loaded with the features we envisioned.

Gameplay-wise, the 4X map will feature more options for Scouting, Diplomacy, Management and information in the form of an in-game Encyclopedia.
The TD battles will have improved balance, some map-unique events and props, and an additional layer of optimization and visual effects.
The Arcade mode will have its own research-tree system (a variant of the campaign tech tree) and map-unique leaderboards and statistics. Basically, a number of highly requested nerdy stats. We’re so proud of you!”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The game has all the core features, a lot of the “extras,” but lacks several aesthetic elements, balancing, and overall polish. There is also a number of potential gameplay elements and partly developed features that we would love to test with actual players in order to decide how they would work best, and whether or not they would fit to the final release.

In detail, it's already available:
  • Full campaign with 5 Chapters,26 battle maps and research system
  • All the 17 Towers and 5 Buildings
  • All the 20 Enemy units
  • Sandbox mode with free-roaming main map
  • Arcade mode with 26 different battle maps

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“During Early Access, Empires in Ruins will be available for a lower price. We expect the difference with the full release to be on the 25-40% range. We plan to gradually raise the price as we ship new content and features. We strongly believe that it’s only fair that people who are able to support us early on and want to get involved in further testing and developing EiR, pay less to own the game!”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Most of the members of the team will be present in two channels; the Steam community forums and our official Discord channel. We have been blessed with a passionate core community which already provides us with daily feedback and lots of interaction in both!

We also expect to be able to release a weekly blog entry on Early Access development and changes, as well as stream gameplay sessions where the team can interact with our fans and followers.

For those looking for more, we plan to keep a Trello board open with live information about the Early Access development progress.”
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Planned Release Date: TBA

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Recent updates View all (18)

June 26

Road to Early Access and roadmap out of it

So, it's shaping up it seems! We start this update with our first developer let's play of the game campaign, 90 minutes without having even finished chapter one, but with the designer (that'd be me :D ) talking about design, gameplay, lore and whatever else.

And, not a single bug in all that time!

But a lot is happend in general, and we're nearing our Early Access release. Here's the roadmap, and you can also now read on the page our full "Why Early Access?" set of answers.

Ping us anytime, with anything you want to know, and, if you want a real time interaction, join our Discord too.

Talk to you soon!
Dr.H, Lead Dev

5 comments Read more

June 19

A lot is happening!

Empires in Ruins keeps on growing, and the updates frequency is very high, specially on our discord channel!

New builds, with your feedback applied, are coming out almost weekly, with new contents, new maps, new fixes, and always new parts of the campaign.

We're loving the idea of building this game together with our community, it makes the world out there feel a less scary, by knowing that we're gathering the shared feedback of many, and creating something that it's not only pleasant for us, but for everyone to play!

Sneak a peek here at the new maps terrains, some of the new UX elements and at the rewritten dialogs dripping dry humour ;)

We hope you love what we're doing as much as we love doing it, don't hesitate to ping us with questions and feedback, and if all this looks appetizing enough, come to discord and try the beta!

Dr.H, Lead Dev
1 comments Read more
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“I can see Empires in Ruins as one of those strategy experiences you could lose a lot of time to, either driving through its main campaign and building out your nation or continually challenging yourself to harder levels in the game’s arcade mode.”

“The most low-fi game I tried was also one of my favourites, the excellent Tower Defense game, Empire in Ruins.”
Geek Bobbage

“On the surface, and I stress on the very surface, Empire In Ruins looks like classic tower defence. Hammer and Ravens themselves call it "the bastard child of 4X and tower defence" and it's certainly not straight up tower defence.”

About This Game

The bastard child of 4X and Tower defense, with a black humor infused plot, set in a grim, disillusioned world.

Empire In Ruins presents a new take at strategy by merging the Tower Defense genre's detailed, recognizable gameplay with elements of Turn-Based Empire Management, in a hybrid never before seen.

Conquer, build, defend and lead the grumpy Sgt. Hans Heimer in his own personal vendetta against "the system".

  • Plot driven campaign - betrayals, diplomacy and nasty twists
  • Turn based strategy - quell the rebellion, kick back the enemy and restore the law.
  • Empire management - conquer back the provinces, strengthen your command, chose your best governors and grant your military campaign a steady flow of resources
  • Arcade play mode. Because... FIGHT!
  • Tower defense-based combat - fight your battles in a new, advanced tower defense style that winks at advanced real time strategy
  • Dark humor, dark humor everywhere! - Don't smile, it's punishable.

In a corrupted little Principality governed by spruced up popinjays, snobby clergymen and power greedy army officers, something just happened. A god forgotten borderland, the Western Marches, just got inflamed with rebellion, cutting every contact with the capital and declaring independence.

And in such a critical moment, who to send in order to quell the rebellion if not a grumpy alcoholic sergeant with discipline problems and bad bad temper?

Why him? And what is the neighboring kingdom, the Krovans, plotting to do with the Principality of Koth?

Empires in Ruins is composed of two main parts. The turn based Main Map, where the campaign develops and you are called to managed the conquered provinces and the Battlefield, where the real time blood flows and you need to kick the enemy in the arse or be the one kicked.

Empires in Ruins whole plot-driven campaign of turn based strategy and empire building, is managed in the main map. Through it you will access
the single combat maps (according to the plot flow or in order to defend/replay maps), manage diplomacy and access the single province to improve or check their assets and governors.

  • Expand, fortify and expand further taking advantage of the conquered provinces reach and infrastructures.
  • Improve the regions' production, increase the flow of resources to fund your brutal military campaign. Don't expect much help from above.
  • Handle diplomacy - Like a bull in a china shop.
  • Assign trusted men to govern the regions. Expect betrayals or hang them before that.
  • Manage research - More than 100 technologies to research.

Battles are fought in real time, using a hybrid of Tower Defense and RTS mechanics.

  • Erect your buildings in real time. Avoid getting your workers killed if they walk the wrong path
  • 17 towers with unique feats
  • Manage resources in battle
  • Combine the special abilities of your towers to obtain even deadlier effects (Ever tried a flaming arrow on an oil covered enemy?)
  • Manage multiple resources, production and special buildings
  • Deploy Officers to command and enhance your battlefield forces
  • Beware of nasty, canny enemies. They will open new unexpected paths, sabotage your towers, blow your production and get through your defenses in surprising ways.
  • Ground, air, water, amphibian and secret enemies paths to defend against.

The path to victory is paved with opponents with badly planned research trees. [cit. Gottfried Megler]

Few things make progression in a game as interesting as unlocking new technologies to empower your troops, weapons and economies. Provided your hated engineer chief, Gottfried Megler, with the tools to evolve your ragtag army against all odds.

  • 70+ technologies to research
  • 30+ unlockables with towers, abilities, buildings and headquarters

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7 32bit
    • Processor: i3
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 5 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 10 64bit
    • Processor: i7
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Storage: 5 GB available space
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