‘Game of Legions’ Review
Platforms Android/iOS Developer/Publisher Traptics Genre Match 3 Platform Played Android
The match 3 genre has flooded the mobile and tablet market over the last few years, with new titles in the field being released almost on a weekly basis; which means players are spoilt for choice. In order to gain market share in this crowded space, titles must find ways to refresh, innovate and continue to push forward the genre in new ways. Game of Legions is a newly released match 3 experience, which aims to bring a strong strategic mindset to the genre. Though it takes an extended amount of time to see the true vision behind Game of Legions, those who persevere are in for a challenging experience.
Developer Traptics has avoided including any sort of narrative, which means players are not bogged down with pointless text bubbles. Game of Legions focuses on providing a strong gameplay experience within its medieval themed design. Players must control their legion of units against an enemy commander, who also wields similar combatants. Though Game of Legions may seem overwhelming at first, the ‘to-the-point’ tutorial structure helps explain the basics quite well.
Players originally wield 3 forms of attack tiles – spear, axe and sword. The attack structure is similar to rock, papers, scissors, in-which axe will do more damage against sword, sword against spear, and you guessed it – spear against axe. If the same units attack their brethren they will only do half the damage. Gameplay is constantly refreshed throughout the 20 levels as new units are unlocked, adding new interesting aspects that players must learn to comprehend. Such as the mage who will freeze tiles in place making them useless for one turn, or the archer who can directly attack the commander.
The aim of each battle is to clear the field of your enemy, leaving their commander open for a direct attack. Dealing enough damage to the commander will eventually see them fall. The opposing commander is able to attack every few turns, where he will also replenish his legion; building a new wall of opponents that must be cleared. Matching more than three tiles together will not only allow your units to attack, but it will also summon a champion. These champions are upgraded units and deal extra damage to your opposing commander, which become vital during the last handful of levels.
Game of Legions match 3 gameplay is polished and smooth, movements are always recognised and there is no slowdown even during some of the more frantic combinations. Stringing together a seven hit combination to knock down your opposing commander and his force is ever satisfying, which constantly pushed me to keep playing.
Reaching the final five levels in Game of Legions opens up completely new facets of strategy. With the full inclusion of every unit type, increased enemy strength, and more frequent attacks from the opposition; each move becomes critical to surviving. Is healing my best option? Should I attack my opposition directly? Or should I freeze his units in place? These final levels constantly force you to ask these questions and bring forth a brilliant amount of strategy that the first dozen or so levels lacked. Obviously these last few levels are directed at a more hardcore gaming audience, though the problem is that reaching these levels takes a substantial amount of time. It may mean many players avoid experiencing the true technical elements Game of Legions can provide.
Alongside gameplay there is an upgrade system, which is utilised by using the coins gained by killing enemies, completing the three achievements designated to each stage, and gaining victory against an opponent. The upgrade system allows you to increase how many coins you gain in battle, the size of your army, your overall health, and your crystal capacity.
Game of Legions is a free-to-play experience and crystals are Traptics way of enforcing this mindset. Each time you fall to an enemy opponent, players must utilise a crystal in order to replay that level or take part in any previous stage. If you’re out of crystals, then you must wait for them to replenish, or use real or in-game money to replenish. Game of Legions feels like a game designed to be played in short bursts, since crystals take a considerable amount of time to replenish and every upgrade can be purchased within an hour or two. However, the crystal capacity upgrade tree is plagued by a glitch; which may frustrate some players.
Each time you put your hard earned coin into increasing the amount of crystals you are able to hold, these upgrades disappear when you exit the game. Sadly, not only do the upgrades vanish, but the coin spent to get these upgrades also disappears. The fact that having these items determines whether or not you can play Game of Legions for long periods of time, makes this glitch a substantial problem that can greatly halt your progress, and steal a large number of coins before you even realise.
Game of Legions is a fun experience that provides some satisfying challenge in the later levels. The problem is reaching these levels take a considerable amount of time, which may mean many players move onto another title before experiencing the best of what Game of Legions’ has to offer.
+ Smooth gameplay.
+ Later levels provide excellent strategy…
– …But the first dozen levels lack challenge.
– Upgrade glitch.