Clash of Clans is a top-down strategy game where players to collect resources to build their own villages, and forge an army. Attack goblin encampments or raid other player's bases, joining a clan and engaging in epic warfare.
Release Date: August 2, 2012 (iOS)/October 7, 2013 (Android)
Pros:+Polished presentation. +Strategic combat. +Multiplayer clan wars.
Cons: -Reliance on in-app purchases. -Resource grind.
For more than five years Clash of Clans has consistently drawn players to its village building and strategy gameplay. Generating millions for Finnish publisher Supercell, Clans has inspired countless imitators in the freemium market. Despite growing competition Clans continues acquiring users and fans through its high degree of polish, simplicity, and an active community of players. Those looking for a freemium village builder probably won't do much better than this, but anyone looking for a deeper gaming experience would be best served looking elsewhere.
The Beginnings of Civilization
We open on a fairly unimpressive plot of land dotted with mostly useless stones and trees as well as a few workers already milling around diligently awaiting their first orders. A brief tutorial lays out the groundwork: mine gold (in convenient coin form) and harvest a mana-like substance known as elixir, spend these resources on upgrading your Town Hall and setting down a few defensive cannons as well as constantly upgrading your resource farms for an increasingly heavy flow of supplies. Premium currency exists in the form of Gems, used for speeding up production or buying missing resources for production.
Like most freemium games, we're given a reasonable endowment at the start of the game that seems to run out almost immediately. A few Gems can be found from removing trees or rocks from your kingdom's plot, but this process takes gold or elixir as well as time and therefore offers little relief from the waiting game. The town-building elements are fairly in line with others in the genre but are superior to imitators. But unless one is compelled by the game's admittedly fun aesthetic there's not much setting it apart. It seems like the polish that comes with being a more high end title in the genre gives the developers a lot of confidence or just pressure to sells us on the in-app-purchases, and with no real deluxe content to unlock we're more or less paying for the ability to play the game in smaller increments. A similar model can be found in most freemium games but in Clash of Clans the system seems especially unforgiving.
There's definitely Clashing in the game and it's easily the best part. Combat seems to be the mechanic the developers are most jazzed about (they're almost certainly more jazzed about their millions of dollars). From the barracks we train our army, another waiting or plunking-down-a-Gem game, made up first of Barbarians. These blond flat-topped and mustachioed sword wielders may look fearsome but they offer little more than (literal) cannon-fodder as the front line fighters of your army.
Combat is deceptively challenging and we're treated first to the game's fairly robust single-player campaign. Goblins have attacked your village for whatever reason and it's your responsibility to bring the hammer down on the little green jerks. Each level operates like an inversion of your home kingdom: a goblin encampment sits in the middle of the playing field surrounded by a system of walls and defensive weapons (cannons, watchtowers, etc.) with the most important structures being the goblins' Town Hall and Resource larders. In a reverse tower defense type structure the player deploys troops strategically to minimize casualties and maximize loot acquired from attacking these structures. Beating a level requires a certain number of enemy buildings destroyed as indicated by a percentage based rating system, 1 star is all you need to continue.
It's fun figuring out the best way to approach these situations, figuring out where to release your troops to weave their way in and around enemy defenses quickly becomes difficult and satisfying. Player-versus-Player works much in the same way with the NPC goblins replaced by real kingdoms built by other players. Participating in PvP opens you up to being attacked yourself, removing your 'Shield' or temporary immunity, so building defenses quickly becomes a priority. Again it's pretty fun to strategize and the basic system of Walls and Projectiles can be worked into a decent amount of possibilities. Unfortunately, the quickly punishing resource demands quickly take the air out of the whole process. By the same token if you're willing to wait or spend the money, wait and spend away, it just isn't for me.
Full-blown multiplayer exists in the form of Clan warfare and in my limited time with the game it seems to be its most sustainable feature. At 10,000 gold one can repair their Clan Castle and seek out player guilds to combine forces with. Clans are organized on leaderboards and qualifications for membership vary, some requiring a certain degree of solo PvP experience to join and others completely open. Via their castles, players can receive and/or donate troops from one another irrespective of research requirements. For example, if you're at a lower advancement a higher level teammate can donate a dragon—a highly advanced troop—for you to use in any battle.
The advantages to this kind of teamwork are obvious and the clan I've joined has so far been very supportive and contributing in this way. Wars pit clan against clan, each member using 3 attacks to ac*censored*ulate as many stars as possible for their side. Moreover, individuals can scout specific enemy kingdoms to better decide which members should attack which targets. Everything's supported by a live guild chat, making wars feel like an active and participatory experience. Multiplayer adds a substantial amount of depth to Clash of Clans and the game offers strong incentive to take advantage; it really wants to be played like an MMO and relies heavily on the emergent gameplay therein to stay compelling.
For better or worse, Clash of Clans represents a certain pedigree of game we're by now well familiar with. Town-building, resource grinds, and micro transactions- welcome to mobile gaming. There's a lot to criticize about these titles if your personal preferences don't match up with the experience but, ultimately it's impossible to doubt their success and by extension, appeal with a wide variety of players. Clash of Clan's alliterative title reveals its differentiation, from the light but polished fantasy-cartoon aesthetic to gameplay best spent cooperating and competing with others, this is a book you'll be fine to judge by the cover.
My COC id : snakeEYES
My Base : TH11
Clan : Bangladesh Ace
You are most welcome in my clan.....