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Bolt Thrower: Through the Ages, XCOM, Tsuro, Clash Royale

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06 Mar 2016 15:05 #223863 by Matt Thrower

Through the Ages is one of my top ten favourite games of all time. Yet I've never had the opportunity to review it. The recent New Story of Civilization edition gave me the perfect excuse, and the lovely folk at the Rollin' Dice Show asked me to do it for them. Here's the result.

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06 Mar 2016 15:08 #223864 by Michael Barnes
Clash Royale I would rank among the very best mobile games I've ever played. It's mechanically and conceptually brilliant, it's innovative, perfect for its medium/format, deep yet accessible, and FUN. I was put off at first. It I tried it. Been playing for a few months, I've spent about $15 mostly just to get some epic cards I didn't randomly get. If you are playing to dominate leaderboards it probably is pay to win but I think 99% of players will be satisfied not spending a dime.

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07 Mar 2016 09:58 #223913 by Gary Sax
I wonder if the modifications to Through the Ages military bring it a little closer to the Nations level military emphasis. Have you tried Nations, Matt?

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07 Mar 2016 10:26 #223916 by Matt Thrower

Michael Barnes wrote: If you are playing to dominate leaderboards it probably is pay to win but I think 99% of players will be satisfied not spending a dime.


I'm really enjoying it, but I think a lot of players are going to struggle in the gap between running out of initial gems and joining a clan. It's tough running without investing at least a little.

What's really sad about the money model is that there's zero reason it couldn't have just offered quests and card packs just like Hearthstone. That would remove all accusations of a paywall and it's not like Hearthstone is a profit failure. But Supercell felt they had to be just that bit more greedy.

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07 Mar 2016 10:28 #223917 by Matt Thrower

Gary Sax wrote: I wonder if the modifications to Through the Ages military bring it a little closer to the Nations level military emphasis. Have you tried Nations, Matt?


Sorry to disappoint but ... no :(

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07 Mar 2016 16:49 #223960 by Michael Barnes
Yeah, I mean, I wish that it had a more on the level monetization model...because man, you can feel that psychology kick in when you want to play but your chest slots are full...or you want to buy an Epic card on offer that you are never going to grind enough gems/gold to get. And it drip-feeds you a little gold/gems pretty much every time you turn it on so it FEELS like you are getting somewhere...even when you really aren't. It is so precisely engineered up front to be a F2P game, whereas something like Hearthstone sort of "politely" embeds its psychology in the deeper metagame.

I didn't have trouble with that gap, but I also crossed it like a month and a half ago so the game could have been "rebalanced" since then. I am sort of running up against stiffer opposition in Arena 3 than I've seen yet, I'm actually having to sweat a little in more matches than usual and I got busted down to Arena 2. Which didn't send me to the shop to buy anything, but rather to my deck for some fine-tuning. I'm in a clan "Starwars", and I've gotten/given several donations so that works pretty well it seems. I believe I am a clan elder. I have never joined an online clan in my life, BTW.

The Prince seems to be the card everyone complains about because he is in fact a royal bastard. But he's also very easy to shut down with common cards. I use him, but I find that the Goblin Barrel is more often the game-winner- it does area damage when it lands, spawns three Goblins, and you can send a Skeleton Bomber or a Balloon up there to run the tower down quicker. I like to actually use the Prince as a diversionary tactic, because people tend to blow their hand to stop him. So I'll put him in the left lane, give it a few seconds, and then drop the Goblin Barrel and some support on the right.

It's really a great game, regardless of how they sell it. It'll be interesting to see if other games take anything from it and move it forward.

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