A brilliantly crafted strategic game that suffers from exsanguination due to an overly assertive time-wall.
The popular Clash of Clans is a free-to-play, real-time-strategy-esque mobile game. Construct a village and protect the essential town hall from invading armies. Build an army to attack other player or computer created villages. Mine gold, collect elixir, earn trophies and buy gems to create the largest most powerful clan in the game. Or, more realistically, play until you reach an unacceptable time-wall and forget about the game completely.
What’s nice about the game is that what it does well it does really well. The game is split between village management and battles. Each of these aspects is for the most part separated from the other allowing players to separately focus on each. While setting up the village, it is vital to create a defensively strategic layout; however, that strategy has no bearing on how you plan an upgrade their army for attacking other villages.
Base management is mostly compiled of creating defensive structures and placing them in strategic spots for the inevitable invading army. In order to collect trophies and gain higher rankings in the game, the best way to do this is to attack other player-villages. Inevitably your village will be attacked and from time-to-time completely destroyed. But in a brilliant turn, CoC doesn’t punish players for being away from the game. Even when you come back to a destroyed city, collection buildings still collect, and the whole village will rebuilds in a number of seconds.
Battles are carried out by training a large number of troops and sending them to attack other player created villages or computer created ones through the single player campaign. Warrior automatically attack the building closest to them with some having special selection variants: Giants go after defensive structures first. This creates a difficult strategic setup as you place a large number of troops in a certain area only to have them scatter and attack multiple structures rather than the desired one. It can be frustrating, but in a good way that causes the player to learn from mistakes.
The worst part of CoC is probably the fact that it really is a good game. The player interaction and strategy work flawlessly together. It is fun to play even in times of losing streaks. Players learn and adapt as they play. Unfortunately, Clash of Clans has gone with the currently developer-popular free-to-play route using increasingly obnoxious time walls only avoidable by purchasing in-game gems with real player money. The player who are not foolish enough to spend unnecessary cash are punished for ever increasing time for construction, upgrades, etc.
If you need a game for your smart-device that you only expect to play on occasion or during your morning commute, Clash of Clans does have a lot to offer and it quite an enjoyable experience. However, unless your are foolish enough to pay a lot of money to speed up the gameplay, don’t expect it to be hold any longterm value.