‘Legend of Solgard’ Evaluate – King Takes their Matching Recreation to a Complete New Degree
Sometimes when King rolls out a brand new sport, they don’t make a giant “factor” out of it. A brand new entry in one among their many Saga video games comes alongside, will get cross-promoted amongst their many billions of installs of present video games, the fan base downloads and performs mentioned new sport, and the band marches on. They’ve virtually bought releasing new mobiles video games right down to a science. For his or her newest sport although, issues are fairly completely different. King is stepping out of their hyper informal bubble and taking the plunge into the “mid-core” scene of cell video games with Legend of Solgard (Free), and so they’re placing all of their extremely mighty advertising and marketing muscle behind it.
Legend of Solgard is developed by Sweden-based Snowprint Studios, which was co-founded by Alexander Ekvall and Niklas Malmqvist. Ekvall was beforehand a part of Fabrication Video games which you may keep in mind for placing out tons of high quality cell video games through the years, like Ionocraft Racing, Piclings, Niko, Sprinkle, and Mission Belle. Fabrication was purchased out by King again within the spring of 2012. Malmqvist is a 30 12 months trade veteran who has been in all places and labored on every kind of video games, however previous to becoming a member of Snowprint in 2015 he had been an artwork director at King for eight years. So you possibly can actually see the synergy and the way issues have come full circle again to King in creating Legend of Solgard.
As for the sport itself, it’s a matching-based fight RPG centered round a warrior named Embla who’s making an attempt to save lots of her world from an icy invading menace. The sport’s whole theme is hearth versus ice, and trades on some well-established Nordic mythological tropes. King is understood for making match-Three video games and certainly the fight in Legend of Solgard relies round matching. To start with it looks like a fairly typical match-Three format, however slowly and steadily the sport unveils new mechanics to you and by the primary hour or so you possibly can see that there’s large depth and technique within the matching gameplay right here, and I don’t imply that as hyperbole. There may be simply layer upon layer of mechanics and truthfully it’s a bit overwhelming at first.
There’s a cause the matching gameplay is so good, and I’m simply going to be blunt. It’s virtually straight copied from Capybara Video games’ Would possibly & Magic: Conflict of Heroes, which was initially launched on the Nintendo DS in 2009 after which remade in excessive definition for launch on consoles and PC in 2011 with a cell port being launched in 2013. Conflict of Heroes is a cult traditional, principally on account of its extraordinarily well-designed matching fight. I assume that is the half the place every particular person individual’s ethical compass might want to come into play. The cell variations of Conflict of Heroes have been pulled from the App Shops for years, and surprisingly no different builders (till now) have determined to construct on these novel matching mechanics in their very own sport. Little doubt some will see Legend of Solgard as only a ripoff and write it off instantly, whereas others will likely be completely satisfied that these concepts are in a position to stay on in one other kind. I’m within the latter camp, principally as a result of Legend of Solgard is only a hell of a whole lot of enjoyable to play.
So how do these great and probably controversial matching mechanics work? Nicely at its core, you’ll have your set of troops on the decrease half of the display with enemies approaching from an ice portal on the prime. Your objective is to defeat any enemies that stand in your manner with a purpose to assault and destroy the portal, thus beating a degree. You do that by making matches (duh). Match Three of the identical troops vertically to create a ahead assault, and match Three troops horizontally to make a defensive wall throughout these Three areas. Legend of Solgard is turn-based, and you can also make Three strikes earlier than the enemy will get to behave. Any of your matched or defeated troops get despatched again to a holding space the place Embla stands, and you should use one flip to recall troops being held there again into the battlefield.
These are the very fundamentals, however as I discussed there are a lot of layers to the fight right here. Early on you’ll discover ways to withdraw troops utilizing a flip. Usually you possibly can solely transfer a troop that’s on the backside of a column, however withdrawing means that you can take away a troop from wherever on the board, thus supplying you with many extra alternatives to make matches. Whenever you make a vertical match it creates a single troop that’s able to assault, however for those who match THAT troop with two extra of the identical troops, you may get what’s known as a Merge Bonus making that troop’s assault even stronger. You may as well produce completely different outcomes by making matches in several shapes. For instance, early on you’ll discover ways to make a match in a sq. of four troops which is able to produce an enormous troop able to attacking a width of two columns with a stronger than regular assault. Studying finest make the most of your board format and create these numerous kinds of matches is unbelievably enjoyable and satisfying.
However wait, there’s extra! The precise troop items all have their numerous distinctive talents which you’ll be able to study to take advantage of. For instance, the Grimchop troop has a particular capacity known as Protect Strike, which suggests whenever you make a vertical match of these troop sorts he’ll ship out a protect that can do injury to no matter is standing in entrance of him, earlier than really going out on his regular assault run. Or the Roughpaw troop who has a Battle Roar particular capacity, which grants further assault energy to any troops adjoining to him when a vertical match is made.
These completely different troop sorts and their particular talents are actually the meat and potatoes of Legend of Solgard. Unlocking new troops and their talents after which using them strategically is the way you’ll achieve success in fight, and once more, it’s extremely enjoyable to experiment with completely different methods as you play. To that finish, one among my favourite options on this sport is the flexibility to check out any unlocked capacity in a bit follow state of affairs everytime you want. That is invaluable for understanding precisely how every capacity works and is only one instance of how polished Legend of Solgard is from prime to backside. That basically shouldn’t be a shock coming from King, as they’re identified for taking as a lot time as is required to get each little element of a sport proper earlier than releasing it, and that is no completely different.
After all additionally being from King it needs to be no shock that Legend of Solgard is a free to play sport, and boy howdy does it use each trick within the e-book. Nearly all the pieces revolves round incomes numerous currencies to unlock and improve your completely different troops, and it’s that kind of improve grind loop that I’m completely fantastic with. Extra regarding is the power system that makes use of growing quantities of power to play or replay a degree. As these items go it’s not a lot of an issue within the early goings, however turns into extra substantial the extra you progress. Additionally there’s a heavy factor of randomness to the battles in Legend of Solgard, and this was achieved on function in response to Snowprint as a result of they wished there to be moments the place it appeared such as you had been destined to lose solely to return again in miraculous vogue because of the RNG gods.
Once I requested in the event that they had been involved of the alternative impact, that the RNG may work towards a participant and snatch sure victory out from below them in a very low-cost vogue, they mentioned that was a threat they had been prepared to take with a purpose to have these grander comeback moments. Personally I don’t thoughts a hearty dose of RNG in my video games for precisely these causes they state, however whenever you take the power system into consideration it may well really feel greater than a bit irritating to have wasted some power on a battle it is best to have gained however ended up dropping on account of some random components out of your management. Usually you possibly can simply decide up the items and take a look at once more, however for those who’re out of power then your solely choice is to attend or spend a few of your valuable premium foreign money to refill. This may little question be the free to play side of Legend of Solgard that can piss the most individuals off.
All that mentioned, for those who’re fairly comfy with free to play video games there’s nothing you’ll ever HAVE to spend precise cash on in Legend of Solgard. Wait and grind, certain, however not spend except you select to. And there’s A LOT of content material on supply right here. There’s a full story-driven marketing campaign unfold throughout four worlds every with 40 ranges, for a complete of 160 ranges. There’s even a fifth world coming quickly with an extra 40 ranges, so heaps to do right here on the one participant marketing campaign facet of issues. Then there’s an absurd quantity of further sport modes. Treasure Caves have you ever battling to earn Solar Gems to degree your characters up with; Bounties have you ever taking up a contract to take out particular enemies in Solgard to earn gold; the Hero Area is the PvP portion that has you taking up different gamers’ groups; The Dungeons have you ever teaming up along with your Guild to tackle enemies and managers; and the Boss Area is rather like it sounds and has you taking up the assorted world bosses in several conditions. This can be a sport you possibly can simply play for months and even years into the long run, and Snowprint already has loads of concepts to proceed supporting it for a very long time to return.
Right here comes the difficult half: How do you charge a sport like this? Free to play video games on the whole are powerful to charge as they’re a dwelling, ongoing service that may change over time, and so they’re by no means actually meant to be “crushed” in a conventional sense. Legend of Solgard does have a beatable marketing campaign however its many additional modes give it legs nicely into the long run. Mechanically all the pieces right here is tremendous on level, offered you’re fantastic with the random components that may hinder or show you how to within the blink of a watch. Additionally there’s the truth that the mechanics are uncomfortably near Would possibly & Magic: Conflict of Heroes, which can or could not matter to you.
Taking all of that into consideration, I’ve to say that greater than a decade of masking cell gaming has turned me right into a cynical bastard, however that hasn’t stopped me from loving my time with Legend of Solgard. Sure it does some free to play stuff conventional players hate, however I discover myself coming again to it again and again as a result of the gameplay is simply so compelling it’s value placing up with the freemium stuff. I do fear that that is maybe too advanced of a sport for the Sweet Crush crowd, and to free to play for the hardcore crowd, which dangers it not discovering an viewers in any respect. That’s what I hate a lot about these “mid-core” video games; both soar ft first into both finish of free to play or paid however straddling the road is usually a mistake that serves no person.
All that mentioned, it is a 5 star effort if I’ve ever seen one, and for me personally the most important disadvantage is its considerably limiting power system that retains it from attaining our highest score. I’m very curious to see if this kind of sport can break into the informal crowd that King has been serving so nicely for years, or if even perhaps the “actual gamer” crowd may discover loads to like right here once they wish to diddle round with a cell sport. The underside line is that Legend of Solgard is free and the mechanics and polish are all top-notch, and the sport loop fairly compelling, so there’s no cause to not give it a shot your self and see which facet of the fence you find yourself on.