Summoner’s War Review

Summoner’s War Review

Jan 1, 2015

Collection RPGs are a dime a dozen on Android. Does Summoner’s War stand out?

Summoner’s War is a collection RPG. Players summon a group of monsters and use them to fight their way through an increasingly more difficult series of battles. After most levels the player earns Runes which most of the game’s depth comes from. Engraving a rune on a monster adds a buff particular to that rune. Some runes might increase defence, while another may enhance attack or accuracy. Each rune can also be powered up to make it stronger. This rune system is essential to doing well in battle as it can be used to cover up weaknesses in monsters. Amusingly, both attack and healing power is governed by a monster’s attack stat, so Fatal runes that increase attack also cause that monster to heal more HP when curing allies. Go figure.

Screenshot_2014-12-31-21-22-31As well as runes, each monster also has two different attacks, often a normal one and one that hits multiple times or has other effects, such as healing. These often have cooldown timers, so a bit of strategy is needed to make the best use of them. Each monster also has an elemental attribute, making it more or less effective against certain enemy types.

All these extra gameplay facets add some much needed depth to Summoner’s War and make it far superior to many other, simpler games of this type.

A great feature of Summoner’s War is that players can leave reviews of monsters. These can be accessed from the monsters stats screen and often contain hints and other help from fellow players. This is very useful to work out if a certain monster is worth keeping or using runes on. More games need this feature!

Screenshot_2015-01-01-06-57-33This is tempered however by the ridiculous decision to limit chatting to players who are level 8 or higher only. As in, once the player has already been playing for at least a few hours. Asking noob questions or even viewing the ongoing chat is impossible, even though the latest message is displayed at the top of the screen in a truncated form, the chat window itself cannot be opened. Brilliant.

The game is festooned with free to play. Multiple icons on the screen beg the player to buy various things. Indeed, despite the player being a summoner, precious little summoning happens in the game without large purchases of crystals as they are tough to get during gameplay without spending actual cash. This is not helped by the fact that some monsters that are summoned are entirely useless except for using as fodder to strengthen other monsters. Getting a useless monster instead of something that can be at least used in combat is a letdown.

Summoner’s War looks very nice. The graphics are vibrant and the well detailed animation is smooth and looks good. Attacks are flashy and animate well. In a sea of poorly animated RPGS on mobile the highly polished graphics of Summoner’s War are a welcome sight. Also, for once, there are female monsters and warriors that aren’t scantily clad and actually look badass. What a concept!

Summoner’s War is a well-made and polished RPG with a lot of gameplay on offer and a lot of good design decisions. Freemium shenanigans aside, it is worth playing.

Rage of the Immortals Review

Rage of the Immortals Review

Mar 26, 2014

Rage of the Immortals is a collection RPG with a interesting modern era setting. Is it a knockout?

Rage of the Immortals has a fairly incoherent plot. There is a vague vibe of rebellion against some sort of oppressive corporation, but this doesn’t really manifest itself in game. A modicum of story is provided by in game missions which helps the feeling of progression somewhat.
Rage of the Immortals is a typical collection RPG, despite its unique premise. Players start with a small group of fighters and recruit more by defeating enemies and clearing stages. Fighters can be levelled up by training them, which expends other fighters and fused together to create one stronger fighter. This kind of gameplay has been seen in countless other Android games.

Screenshot_2014-03-25-11-27-22The actual fights are almost entirely automatic. The player cannot switch out fighters or even choose a target which is irritating when your fighters refuse to finish off a nearly dead enemy and attack fresh ones instead. The only interaction the player has during fights is tapping to use a critical hit when a meter maxes out.

There is also a small amount of base building. This boils down to placing a bunch of buildings on pre-defined spots to generate more coins.

Frustratingly, the cheaper buildings generate a lot of money, but have a very small storage capacity; this means that unless the player logs in once every ten minutes or so they will not make any money. For example, the Park, the cheapest building generates 800 coins an hour, but only holds 50 and will not accrue more unless it is tapped to collect the money every few minutes. There is little depth in the base building since every building seems to exist just to generate coins and there are no interesting item producing buildings or the like.
Rage of the Immortals has pretty average graphics. Fighters are fun to look at and collect, but the actual animation is very plain and the game constantly recycles animations.

Screenshot_2014-03-25-11-10-29Rage of the Immortals is packed in in app purchases. New fighters that are actually worth using are gained from trucks that must be hijacked. Keys to hijack these trucks are handed out at a very slow rate and if the player has no keys trucks can be purchased with cash. This equates to about 50 cents a truck. Generating coins is extremely time consuming as well because of the amount of clicking required on base buildings. Unless the player spends 24 hours a day playing Rage of the Immortals they will never make much money. The in app purchases are very expensive and coins are used very quickly.

Rage of the Immortals has an interesting presentation, but the gameplay has been seen many times before on Android and its copious in app purchases make it not worth playing. Check out Brave Frontier instead for similar gameplay with fewer annoyances.