The Continuum is an online strategy game that combines turn-based war gaming with role-playing game-like character development and the collectability of a tabletop miniatures game. It takes place in the Crossworld, a new reality formed from the collapse of several formerly separate worlds that became unhinged in the space/time continuum. The game is developed by Seven Lights and launched on June 25th, 2008.
One starts by purchasing units with real money, whether in starter packs of 40, booster packs of 15, or individually. The developers have indicated that everyone may play for free, receiving one free booster pack upon registration. Once you have purchased your units, you may begin spending their "ability points" to improve the units. Common units have one ability point to spend, Uncommon units have two, Rare units begin with three and Heroic units have four. As you spend these ability points, you choose what abilities your units will have in combat. Each choice becomes important, though you gain additional ability points as your units level up, depending on their rarity.
Next, you must form your units into squads within an army. This is easily accomplished by either a simple click of a button or dragging the units into the squad header. Once an army is built, players can discuss the game in the lobby until you find someone to challenge or are challenged by someone.
After challenging or being challenged by an opponent, you will choose the point value and map for your battle. Having chosen those aspects and the army that you will use to do battle, you then may explore the various sites for equipment before entering combat against your opponent. Once your squad makes contact with another squad, you enter a combat screen. Here you get to make use of those cool abilities that you purchased in the set-up stage. The battle selection screen is very customizable to prevent abuse of new players by more experience characters.
Your individual units make use of their skills, then, you have a squad tactic you choose (default is attack) based on this tactic, you may or may not gain an advantage to your actions in that round of combat. After three such rounds of combat, you return to the map screen and may move about again.
The winner (based on the criteria chosen at the beginning of the scenario) is given a larger chunk of experience points to each of their characters. While the defeated player is given less, so that even in losing, your characters still gain experience and may level up, just not as fast.
After the scenario is finished, you can return to your army screen, outfit your units with equipment you found during the battle, spend ability points gained from leveling, and change the composition of your armies and squads.
Primarily involving turn-based squad combat, the game allows players to improve the individual units in their squadron with power-ups, abilities and equipment. Players will be able to find new equipment scattered throughout the game world, and will be rewarded for accomplishing various objectives. In addition to random finds and trading, players can improve their armies through the purchase of expansion packs, similar to those in collectible card games.
The game is designed in a browser-based format using Adobe Flash. The developers have said the format will allow them to add and change content very quickly in response to the community.
The first issue discusses a war between two shape shifting races, the wolf-like Kherr and the bird-like Talon, and then presents a new cat-like enemy that the two races must come together to defend against. Issue two introduces a vampire hunter and the trials he faces in his task. The two story lines begin to merge at the end of the second issue.The Third issue follows the story of a race of elemental wielding humans known as manifests. It also introduces the first hint of player-to-story interaction, as it is popular belief that the final page in the comic shows a location from the role-playing forum.
Continuum developers have said player actions in the game world will influence the direction of the story line. In addition, they currently plan to expand the story's narrative through additional comics, novels, and digital videos.