Posted in Game Review

Game Review – Clash Royale

Clash Royale is a real time strategy game where you can have a deck up to 8 cards each of them having cost Elixir to use which builds up over time as the battle progress.  The goal is to knock the enemy king and princesses from their towers using your deck to defeat your opponents and win trophies.

The this game has some pretty interesting concepts, the game is simple, intuitive, and fun. You drop units in, and they follow their behaviors without any other command. Where you place units can be important, but not as much as the lower-level strategy of managing your deck, elixir, and current cards in relation to your opponent’s situation. You become knowledgeable about the game at a level where you feel comfortable diving in. Before long, you’re joining a clan, experimenting with decks, and getting sucked into the metagame. This happens so fast, you won’t know what hit you. And because games only take 3 or 4 minutes, you can feel like you’re getting a lot done in a short session. Compare this to many popular multiplayer games, where they can feel overwhelming for too long. Even something like Hearthstone has a steep barrier to entry today. Clash Royale limiting certain cards to a tier of the game helps a lot to make sure that you’re not getting an information overload at any point.

The elixir system is also very interesting. It’s this subtle thing where you’re always battling to counter opponent moves and to get enough damage in on your opponent without spending too much in the way of elixir. Counter a 4 elixir card with a 3 elixir card and you have gained a small advantage with your limited resource.

This is a genuinely competitive game, no doubt about it. The way you build your deck is important, and you have to plan a strategy. The difference between this and other games is that you have such a lower barrier to entry than other games. An 8-card deck is easier to deal with than a deck with 30 cards. It also makes it easier to keep track of what your opponent has, especially as decks cycle around. The monetization in this game isn’t too different from other CCG, instead of buying cards, you get to unlock collect multiples of cards from chests and upgrade them with gold.

One problem I had playing the game was that some of the opponents you face as a new player are much stronger than you. In this case when you are being matched with someone who has higher card levels than you, there is a very slim chance for you to win. When new players are playing a game, if they are feeling like they had no control over the game, they are likely to put the game down. In Clash Royale you can be playing against bad players for months until you reach a point (about 5000 trophies) where its more skilled based.

Lastly, it takes a long time to get enough cards and gold to upgrade your cards, players are getting stuck in a certain amount of trophies because there are times when you can’t progress more with your card level, and this break the point of PvP games, you are not improving as a player, and you are not learning anything new.

While the Clash Royale team has done a good job of creating a unique and interesting game, they still have to find a way to improve the new player experience in this game. If they are able to fix those issues, I can still see myself playing this again and again for the next few months, maybe even years.

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