[Game Review] Age of Rivals

Ever played medieval real-time strategy games like Age of Mythology / Age of Empires? Or maybe similar games like Red Alert? Presented by Roboto Games, Age of Rivals brings you that same concept — in collectible card game format.

You know those games where you spend 10 hours building up a huge civilization with a carefully balanced economy, military, culture and defense so you can prove that you are the greatest ruler ever? Age of Rivals is like a 10 minute version of that. With cards.

Gameplay + Controls

Age of Rivals is a 4-round collectible card game with 5 phases of city building. All point and click, you have the option to choose from 14 different characters that give you guaranteed cards — these are certain cards that will surely appear in the game. The more face cards you get of a character, the more guaranteed cards you get to unlock and use. Each character has 3 guaranteed cards; the rest you can purchase in a pack for 100 coins. It’s satisfying to buy because it’s the only thing you need to purchase (if you’re playing on Steam).

It takes a while to get used to how the game works, but it helps to have the 3-part tutorial and the rulebook easily accessible even after completing it. Playing more games also helps. You have the option to play against other players, friends, or a computer. Once you’re sure of how to play, you can start in campaign mode (Challenges), which is slightly harder especially if you’re only starting out. The game itself really gets you think and strategize with the hand you are dealt. You can’t choose the cards you bring into the game, it all appears at random, and you purchase them when in a duel.

It’s a bit difficult to scroll down when looking through the collection unless you really click on the scroll bar. A little feature I don’t like is that you can’t quit in-game (unless you force quit the whole game), and cancel a choice when picking cards. I guess this lessens the frustrations of playing games with people that suddenly quit on you when they’re losing, but hopefully they end up adding these features for duels against the computer/campaigns, unless the developers meant for it to be waiting-friendly, since there’s no time pressure, which is fine, too.







Other tidbits

There’s actually a little more to this game; it has detailed backstories on their rivals/characters and you can form alliances that give you daily rewards. There are also separate missions such as beating the Hard Computer twice to receive around 200 coins. I made my own Alliance called “ForTheNoobs” (Description: What is this for even) because I wasn’t sure what it was and no one was accepting my request to join at the time. 😅

Graphics

Very simple and consistent with it’s medieval theme. The art on the cards is seemingly inspired by Egyptian / Greek hieroglyphics, and stained glass art. There’s minimal animation to make the card game feel more alive, and it works especially if you just imagine playing the card game in real life.

Sound

The background music is very appropriate with the theme, and I actually like them although starting out with the game, I couldn’t properly appreciate it because having to understand the game’s mechanics and reading through, the music made me feel sleepier so I had to play other upbeat music of my own. After getting a better feel of the game, I started to appreciate it more and it really set the mood. It’s strange to play the Age of Rivals without its music. It’s also music you can somewhat tune out, not in a bad way but it doesn’t distract the player when thinking about their move, although sometimes I still prefer to listen to other music. Perhaps if the music had another medieval song with a different vibe? (I’m thinking Mos Eisley Cantina song here, but that’s really just me.) The sound effects are also good, they complement the animation while playing and make it feel a little more real.

I had my friend Renee (reneedaqueen) play a game with me, and the game was a lot more fun than before. I highly recommend playing with friends! You will need to make an account in-game, but it’s not too much trouble if you have a Steam account or a Facebook account.

This kind of game isn’t really my type, but if you give it a chance, you’ll find that it’s pretty fun. I enjoy playing it, and it can get addicting, although I don’t think I would really pay P300 for a casual game like this, I would definitely buy the physical set, if there was one!

Rating: 6 / 10

Age of Rivals is available for free (with in-app purchases) on its web-version in Kongregate. You can also purchase it for the PC / Mac on Steam for $9.99 / P315.95. It’s coming to iOS and Android in mid 2017, so look forward to it!

Thanks again to Erik Johnson for introducing me to this game!

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