Review Armies of Dragons
An RTS game that could use more dragons
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 12 Jun 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Involves good strategy, gameplay is fun, graphics are great
Long load times, element strengths and weaknesses make no sense, includes stamina system
Armies of Dragons for Android is a pseudo-rts game where you place minions on a board against other minions and watch them all die. The good news is that this doesn’t have any half-baked city builder mechanics tacked onto it, so your only focus on mission that revolve around beating down the castle of your enemy before they get to yours.
The game picks up after a brief tutorial, which isn’t as long as it seems when you think back in hindsight. Here is what the game setup looks like. You have three lanes, units that spawn, and elemental pools. Units come in different types (warriors, mages, archers, etc.), and they also come with pre-determined elemental alignments. There are four elements, and you have two pools for each element. When a unit spawns, you have to stick them into a corresponding pool for literally no reason other than to prevent you from being able to put too many units on the board. Once they’re done brooding in a pool, you can stick them in one of the three lanes.
Each elemental type and each unit type has strengths and weaknesses, but a lot of them don’t really make a lot of sense. Ice, for instance, is strong against fire even though fire melts ice. And a lot of the strengths didn’t seem to matter in the long run anyway because there would eventually be so many units on the board that you would need to just constantly put troops wherever they needed to be. This is an issue that could easily be resolved by removing the silly pre-determined element alignment, but that probably won’t happen.
For each battle there are four objectives that you can try and complete. Most of them revolve around not losing too many units, not taking too much damage, not taking too long to finish a match, and picking up enough gold. The good news is that you can still move onto the next level if you don’t care about meeting these goals.
When you’re not out fighting you can upgrade your units or play the lottery to unlike new unit types. Fortunately, all of that stuff is already unlocked so you don’t need to sit around waiting for timers to complete before playing. Unfortunately, the game does have a stamina system that prevents players from playing the game too much, which is, and always will be, an absolutely absurd mechanic.
I enjoyed my time spent with Armies of Dragons, but it didn’t really do much to wrangle me in for the long haul. I’m instantly not a fan of games that have arbitrary stamina systems, and this game offered nothing different that made me want to stick with it over other games that respect my time.