Jan 1, 2015
Collection RPGs are a dime a dozen on Android. Does Summonerâ€™s War stand out?
Summonerâ€™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 gameâ€™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 monsterâ€™s attack stat, so Fatal runes that increase attack also cause that monster to heal more HP when curing allies. Go figure.
As 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 Summonerâ€™s War and make it far superior to many other, simpler games of this type.
A great feature of Summonerâ€™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!
This 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.
Summonerâ€™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 Summonerâ€™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!
Summonerâ€™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.