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Forgotten Lands: First Colony

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Rating: 4.7/5 (32 votes)
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Forgotten Lands: First Colony

JohnBA blend of Virtual Villagers, Westward, and strategy games such as Warcraft and Tribal Trouble, Forgotten Lands: First Colony is a casual RTS game that hits the sweet spot between challenge, complexity, and captivating casual gameplay. The title puts you at the helm of a young civilization looking to strike out and settle new lands. Everything about Forgotten Lands: First Colony is geared towards easing you into the experience, yet there's no shortage of depth or intrigue.

forgottenlands.jpgForgotten Lands: First Colony gives you the power to build structures, create units, and harvest materials you'll need to do both. To recruit workers, simply click on the town hall and choose which citizen you'll need. Some of the starting units available include general laborers, merchants, scholars and scouts, each with his or her own unique abilities. Drag and drop your units onto buildings to set them to work. Scholars, for example, love to research and when they're placed around a building it will quickly earn points that will allow an upgrade. Learning how to use the units effectively is one of the key factors in mastering Forgotten Lands: First Colony.

Food, gold and wood are the only resources you need concern yourself with in the game. Build farms and place workers there to make sure your population is fed. Create a lumber mill to harvest timber, and try distributing merchants across your buildings to increase gold production. In order to create new buildings and upgrade them, you'll need plenty of gold and wood.

Divided into a series of scenarios, Forgotten Lands gradually develops the story as you complete increasingly open-ended missions. You start with simple tasks such as building a farm, recruiting a number of units, or upgrading a building. Later you get to do much more interesting things such as trade gems for new property and repair an ancient seafaring vessel that's crashed on the shore. Bonus stages are unlocked at certain points, providing you with a little break from the main game.

forgottenlands2.jpgAnalysis: I've never been a big fan of real-time strategy games. The complexity and steep learning curve usually turns me away before I get to the meat of the game. Forgotten Lands: First Colony drops all of the confusing menus and needlessly long list of units in favor of a straightforward design. New workers are introduced at a slow pace and, at least in earlier levels, it's fairly obvious which you should be stockpiling. Managing resources is simple, there's enough variety in the scenarios to keep monotany at bay, and everything is knitted together without limiting your options, keeping the "S" in RTS vibrantly alive.

The visuals, while perfectly suited to the game's atmosphere, sometimes come across as a bit grainy with slightly stiff animation. It's nothing that detracts from the game, however, and I love the overall look and feel.

It's rare to see real time strategy make its way to the casual scene in such a perfect way. Forgotten Lands: First Colony delivers everything that's great about the genre without sacrificing very much at all. And you won't have to sacrifice hours of your life just learning how to play.

Download the demo Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.


Brilliant game. It has the structure of an economic RTS and the feel of a casual game... and what a great mix that is!

fuzzyface November 9, 2008 3:59 AM

Hmm, difficult to day what I think of it.

First its an okay game, no doubt, you can have fun playing it.

Second, buy it, is out of question for me eitherway, because it is BigFish games. I hate that fish already so desperately for having so little manners in where to install itself, and where to put icons again and again where it shouldn't. (Start menu without subdirectory, Desktop, etc). I'd never want to give them the impression that the money coming in, makes them right.

Aside the nasty distributor about the game itself. It kind of reminds me of the settlers. However without the "true settlers feeling" kicking in. "Breaking the tower" was much better in that regard. Being confined to pre-defined building places is sure a set back. Also are there not any more complicated production lines like in settlers. Actually its back to the basic question to find the optimal distribution between investing into powerup, and getting return of investment now. Its even the old stalins difficult question of being a dictator determine how to distribute production in "how much butter (use it now) versus how much canons (investion into the future)". A past game featured here "Outpost Kaloki" had actually a very similar concept altough themed very differently into space.

Within my free hour the game keept being interesting tough, but only by introducing a new concept level by level. I imagine it becoming relatively dull, once there aren't new things as bells and whistles kicking in.
I only reached to the part where "the defender" kicked in, and I wonder if it is a true addition to the gameplay, or only kind of "we don't really know how to enrich gameplay anymore"


I could really use some guidance with level 28.


Doesn't work under Wine on Linux (at least I can't get it to work)


I kind of had the same reaction as fuzzyface. The hour-long demo was nice, and it's a game I might be willing to pay for to play longer BUT:

1. The demo's really linear - use units 1 and 2 and 3 to accomplish A, B, and C. I know that this is, in part, to get new players used to the game, but I can see that getting dull fairly soon. The review says the missions become more open-ended - it'd be nice to get some sense of what that's like.

2. Some of the interface stuff seems clunky, though a large part of that is probably just that I'm not used to it. But, the lack of a speed-the-game-up button seems kind of strange.

3. The bigfish installer. I'd never downloaded a bigfish game before, and now I see what all the complaints are about: you want me to PAY you to install this ad-generating, kind of condescending thing on my MY computer? No thanks. And what's with spamming my desktop with "buy more stuff" icons?? (Quick search shows people complaining about this here at least a year and a half, and probably longer, so I guess it's not going to go away soon. I don't know if it gains any business for bigfish, but it certainly loses some.)

Bottom line: without the installer, I'd probably be willing to plunk down $10 to play some more. With it, don't think so.

fuzzyface November 9, 2008 2:14 PM

To be fair, it was possible also me again who played a part in this complains 1,5 years ago. I don't know how much this bothers other, I for one made my decission not to put a single cent toward bigfish for this respectlessness. But everyone has to decide this for his own.


I don't care for BigFish games either, but this game was fun enough that I dished out the money. They just keep adding more and more unit types and upgrades, as far as I've gotten, but it's remained fun for me.


We have had this Big Fish Games loader conversation before, yes.

I have voiced these concerns to Big Fish, and more than once. I have requested they offer a version of their games without the loader for those who request them.

That being said, most of the Big Fish audience prefers the loader. If you are one who complains about it, you are in a very small minority.

It is designed for people who do not have a lot of computer experience and want these things managed for them. Even for someone with computer experience, it still manages the games in a tidy, all-in-one interface. This helps them to reduce installation issues, and to support their customers more easily and efficiently.

Big Fish is a reputable company, and their customer support department is excellent. I have used them myself a couple of times and always had my question or issue resolved quickly and to my satisfaction.

I don't really see this changing anytime soon.

fuzzyface November 9, 2008 4:39 PM

Jay, I have nothing against a loader in principle. Thats loader enough for me. I have something against the loader installing itself directly into the start menu without any subdirectory, making itself in a more prominent position than any other software I've installed. Its just pretty uncool. Even microsoft office learned to not do this. And altough I explicitly mentioned in the installer I do neither want a menu entry, nor a desktop entry, it did both.


A fairly petty complaint.

fuzzyface November 9, 2008 5:05 PM

Everyone his opinion, and I think we can leave it at that. I for one consider it pretty bad manners. I wrote my longer opinion about that particular game, and just mentioned buying any game from bigfish is out of question for me, until they learn to behave themselves like 99% of all other software companies can. Just imagine every company would do that, what mess it would look like. I also understand if someone says, s/he doesn't care. So can we respect each others opinions at this point and stop arguing?


I'm not arguing, just expressing my opinion as well.

In any event, I have (again) forwarded the complaint to Big Fish, as I am in general agreement with you.

fuzzyface November 9, 2008 5:18 PM

Thanks jay! I will then stop pestering your site about this (that is for the next 2 years :-), further I wont promise, and as long the installer/loader doesn't get worser in that time) (just being careful what to promise)


Here is the reply from Big Fish about your complaint, fuzzyface:

"Though I am sure you can imagine, something as profoundly important to our business as the Game Manager receives an intensive amount of QA attention before being released. The most likely scenario in the case of people making the complaint you mention is misreading the language in the installer regarding icons being dropped in those two locations. It is amazing what people don't read when installing software."

"BFG will never intentionally trick the user into installing undesirable software, drop icons, or otherwise ignore user-authorized decisions. It goes against or business philosophy and desire to provide the highest-quality user experience possible. I must reiterate that the Game Manager has drastically improved the typical BFG customer's ability to play, download, activate and otherwise manage games. Complaints against it are in the VAST minority."


To K:

Are you still on level 28? What are the goals for that level? I might be up to that level and may be able to help.


Why not just delete all the yat that big fish installs on the comp? I know it's irritating but it isnt that hard. Takes about as much time as it does complaining about it on the internets.


erin, everytime trying a demo I do exactly that. It was just a side comment in the beginning, that due to their bad behaviour of installing the big fish loader icons on places that go against nice manners, I personally and me only, feel not inclined to hand them over any money. Its just they come back again and again whenever JIG features some Bigfish game I try out, and I again and again delete them.


I've never commented here before, but I feel strongly enough about this to weigh in here:

I avoid BigFish games like the plague because of the obnoxious behaviour of their installs. It's just bad manners. I guess they feel they know their business, but they're losing mine.

Fuzzy, you're not alone.


Please let Big Fish know about your concerns...


Being silent about it only to complain about it here isn't really helping anyone.


If you think BigFish has a problem, use I Win.......it's 1000 X worse.



First of all, don't fret about the second lumber mill until you're getting close to time, it just takes up space. I just destroyed the mine and replaced it with lumber mill once I'd bribed all the nomads into going away.

Do buy and start researching your school pretty fast, it lowers the cost of upgrading everything else.

For the money goal, you'll need to upgrade the bank you buy from the nomad - if I remember aright just that bank and the purchasable from nomads treasury enhancer should do you on the money front. (I may be remembering incorrectly and you may need a second treasury)

Sorry I don't have more details handy right now, but it's been a few days since I played that level. I'll try replaying it tomorrow if you still need help to get more details.

Personally - the level I'm having troubles with is the last of the bonus levels. Sheesh!


matineemissy November 15, 2008 10:12 AM

I cannot pass level 26!!!! Please someone help?!!! Steps to pass this level would be sooooo appreciated. Thanks a bunch!



To Matineemissy:

For level 26 (Build Ancient Temple) -

1. Sell back 1 scholar.
2. Buy 1 worker and build farm.
3. Buy 2 scouts to dig up wood and gold. Move them as needed.
4. Buy 1 worker and 1 defender to put on the farm.
5. Buy 1 more worker to build lumber mill.
6. Buy 1 more worker for farm.
7. Buy 1 scholar for farm.
8. Buy 1 worker to build the market when you get 700 gold, then put him on the farm.
9. Buy 1 worker and defender for the mill.
10. Buy 2 scholars for the temple.
11. Use the market to buy wood to upgrade farm.
12. Sell back the scouts when they are finished digging wood and gold.
13. Buy 3 scholars for temple.
14. Buy 3 scholars for academy.
15. Buy 1 more worker for farm.
16. Buy 4 scholars for the temple.
17. If clash breaks out on academy, move the defender from the mill.

I finished in 8 minutes, 14 seconds using these steps, even while writing them down. :)


Hi everyone-

Does anyone have tips about the final bonus stage? I've been able to beat every other stage (after several tries on some levels, I've even been able to get the yellow efficiency flag on every stage), but I can't even seem to get close to finishing that final bonus stage. When it says it's an expert difficulty stage, it's not joking!

About the installer, no it's not perfect. But you know, lots of other installers are far far worse (especially for game sites). It's better than it used to be. Sure, I'd like more options, but it's a minor beef compared to what you get and what their competition does with their installers. A valid concern, but not one that keeps me from enjoying their games.


Does anyone know if this game is for the XBOX-360 arcade?

orchid queen November 22, 2008 4:04 AM

I cannot do bonus stage 4 with the ten survivors. I manage to achieve two of the three objectives but can't work out how to deploy the people to achieve all three. Does anyone have a suggestion, please? Thanks.


Orchid Queen:

That one has me stumped, too. :(


Bonus level four is easy.

Demolish the gem factory as your first thing (you need to do that in quite a few different levels) and build the wood one in it's place. Build the gem factory at the bottom and the market in the middle. Keep moving the little suckers around to stop clashes and upgrade. I passed with both factory's at 3 stars and the market at 2 stars and 2 workers at the wood factory.

Hope that helps, but you'd have done it anyway!


Any walkthroughs for level 28? I've been stuck for quite awhile, especially the money goal since I need defenders at every market with my merchants to prevent fights...thanks for any help!!!

Caitlin Barry December 6, 2008 10:22 PM

Anyone know how to beat level 28? I have been at it for weeks and can't beat it.
Thanks in advance!



    Level 28
    Goals: Build 2 lumber mills; build and upgrade academy; upgrade city guild; earn 500 gold per cycle

  • In the beginning you should demolish the factory, build a lumber mill near the treasury you already own and and two farms. Send one scout to the deposits and two scouts to the mine. One scholar should directly begin to upgrade the city guild.

  • When you have gathered 100 gems, purchase the first market and place two scholars on it. When it is upgraded to one star, place a third scholar on it and when it reaches two stars, place a fourth scholar there to boost the upgrading process. Purchase the second lumber mill when you have the required gems and demolish the mine immediately after. You can also sell all the scouts then. On this new empty plot you can build the academy and place a scholar on it.

  • As soon as the city guild is upgraded you can send the scholar from there to the academy, too. When the market is upgraded to four stars sell all the scholars and recruit four leaders. After placing all of them on the market and three merchants on the lumber mill near your own treasury you have achieved all the goals.

Greetings, Kayleigh

grammajoe January 25, 2009 2:10 PM

where do i get the cultivators for level 19?


To Grammajoe:

You get cultivators after getting your farm to level 4. You train them just like you do all of the other workers.

grammajoe January 25, 2009 7:01 PM

Thanks Pam, I will try that!

grammajoe January 31, 2009 3:53 PM

how do i get my explorers on level 24?

grammajoe January 31, 2009 4:06 PM

oops never mind i did it!

grammajoe January 31, 2009 8:04 PM

stuck on level 27


I need help with level 29. No matter how hard I try, I cannot do it.


To Angela:

For level 29 -

Your goals are to recruit 5 explorers, have 90 gems per cycle, and they throw in recruiting 3 woodsmen after you achieve the first two.

First thing, put all of your initial workers (Scout, Explorer, Scholar) on the mine. Recruit a Defender and put him on the mine, too.

As soon as you have enough gems, buy the farm and put your remaining Worker on it.

Don't upgrade anything except one level of the mine until you have a lumber mill, which you need to build on a piece of land that you buy from the native as soon as you have enough gems.

Work on building up your workers on the mine, farm, and lumber mill. Also buy up the other land as your gems increase. Build a second mine on the next empty piece of land. Recruit a couple of Merchants to earn gold. Put them on the second mine or on the Academy. You can demolish the Academy and build a Market, which will earn them more gold.

Once you have the mine and the lumber mill upgraded to 4 stars, start recruiting the Explorers and Woodsmen. Put an Explorer on the second mine to meet the gems goal.

Here's a screenshot of the level just before my final Woodsman was recruited so you can see what the winning level looks like.



To Grammajoe:

I'm sorry! I missed your comment. Do you still need help with level 27?

sonicscrewdriver February 27, 2009 12:18 AM

I bought this game via Big Fish. Boy, what a mistake! Not only did it cause major problems to my laptop, the customer service I received afterwards from Big Fish was terrible. Routine waits of over a week for each email reply, and even then the replies didn't address my problem but tried to flog me more games! Plus I continually received automated emails telling me my problem had been 'resolved' when it hadn't. That was extra infuriating.

Jay, you say the Big Fish customer support is great. Says who? I've never met anyone with that experience. If Big Fish is the best there is out there, I weep.

It was kind of on the recommendation of jayisgames that I signed up to Big Fish. I still love jig, but boy, was I stupid.


I'm sorry you feel that way, sonicscrewdriver.

But I stand behind my statement that Big Fish has excellent customer support.

I wouldn't say they are especially expedient in replying, though, but certainly not "over a week for each email." I find that a little difficult to believe. A few days, sure.

I will follow up with you via email, as I would like to see you get proper resolution to your issue, and I will do what ever I can to make sure that happens.



I had a problem with a game on a laptop, too. I was very happy with the service from Big Fish. They tried a number of things to help me resolve the issue. They were very timely, too. In the end, the problem was with my computer's security not allowing the installation of the game. Big Fish gave me a coupon to replace the game I couldn't install, plus a second coupon. They were very gracious and apologetic. I was pleased with their customer service and I hope you get the resolution you desire.

sonicscrewdriver February 27, 2009 2:01 AM

Pam, glad you had a good experience. Perhaps I was just unlucky. Anyway, I try to look at it this way - the fewer computer games I play, the more other things I'll get done. If only that worked in practice!


I like this game. It's really linear and easy to start with, because I think they're trying to get people who have never played RTS on the map, but there are several levels where I scratched my head and had to actually think about what to do and try two or three strategies to get the level to work. Believe me, I used that "restart level" button about a thousand times trying to get gold flags on every level.
And I like Big Fish, as game sites go. As compared to the REALly "big fish" of game sites, that is. Those guys refuse to give upgrades to games (even when you can't finish the game in the version they're hawking), put all your games online on a page that never, ever finishes loading, changed their interface so you can only download one file at a time, refused to help install their new interface so you could play games you'd already paid for, "expired" a bunch of games when they switched interfaces so you could never play them again, then kamikaze uninstalled the old version of the interface that would allow you to play them before they told you anything about the new one. They refuse to even let you cancel your subscription. All from somewhere in SE Asia, though it's a US company. Sheesh.
And the O-word gamesite took 6 weeks to reply to an email about why they were charging my credit card for a game membership I never signed up for, then not even crediting me with the game tokens I should have gotten for my money if I HAD joined. And put 42 shortcuts to their site on my desktop (every time I started a game). I had to literally stop payment to both those people through my bank to get them to let me cancel my subscriptions. I've had no problem like that with Big Fish. At least you can download more than one game at a time if you like, and they've always handled any tech concerns I have within 48 hours (with the notable exception of Thanksgiving weekend, which is a 4-day holiday in the US).
The ability to write an impolite downloader depends on the behavior of Windows, in the main, which is the ultimate impolite OS that always knows better than you do and does stuff its way come heck or high water.


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