Another collectable card game and RPG hybrid hitting the mobile market isn’t normally something to get excited about. At this point the Android and iStores are flooded with titles attempting to successfully do just that and few of them manage to bring anything new or original to the table. Spellstone, the product of a group known as Synapse from Kongregate, manages to exceed all expectations.
The sole product of development studio 4Hands Games, Swords of Anima entered the crowded arena of mobile Tactical RPGs with a unique look and gameplay inspired by a mixture of different titles including ‘Fire Emblem’. Darker and more mature in tone than ‘Shining Force’ but less adult in nature than ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’, it is very much its own beast.
There’s something about faux 8-bit graphics that (if done well) is enchanting to look at. Of late this style has been undergoing something of a revival and Cardinal Pixel is the latest game to combine simple character schemes with real-time lighting and effects to create something that stands out.
I’m deeply thankful to Elements for finally testing out an adventure mode because it allows me to legitimately write about one of my favourite games without having to bend the ‘RPGs only’ rule here at My Boxed Universe. Not that I intend to allow my personal experiences with this title sway me, this will be a fair and balanced review.
Card games fused with roleplaying mechanics work extremely well. There are a multitude of titles already out there such as ‘SoulSpark: Battlecards’ and ‘Spellstone’ to attest to that fact. Few of them however attempt to craft a monster catching and dungeon building mechanic into their structure and this is where Dungeon Marauders finds its niche.
The creation of Three Brothers Games, Tower in the Sky would at first appear to be a relatively simply take on the lane-defence genre wrapped up in a few RPG trappings. Scratch the surface however and you quickly discover that it’s really an immeasurably deep game built around a softer, more approachable style than most WRPGs offer.
It’s hard to believe that Tactical RPGs were in a bit of a slump in the west prior to the release of Disgaea. The likes of ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’ had ‘Tactics Ogre’ had set a standard for the genre that was overly-serious and could at times produce lengthy, dry campaigns that required a significant investment in time to beat, even if those games produced great gameplay and narratives. Tactical RPGs were becoming dull and grey in tone. Then Nippon Ichi released Disgaea onto the world and everything changed.