Order & Chaos: Duels (iOS) Review
Order & Chaos: Duels is another Gameloft's smartphone game based on Order & Chaos franchise. There is Order & Chaos Online, a mobile MMORPG that you can see as WoW on smartphone; there is Heroes of Order & Chaos, a free-to-play MOBA game. Now Gameloft is trying to expand Order & Chaos brand, and here is Order & Chaos Duels, a TCG/CCG that runs on Android and iOS smartphone. We review the iOS version today.
The game is 400MB and offers several different languages. At the very beginning you are asked to create a hero. You can choose one of the 4 races (Human, Elf, Orc, Undead) and pick up a class (Warrior, Mage, Monk, Ranger). Even the same class, if you choose different race, you get different hero ability. For instance, the hero skill of Undead Mage is "Deals 2 damage to all enemy minions' while that of Human Mage is "gains 2 mana, usable only until the end of the turn." In other words, no any of the two heroes share the same hero ability. Everything is done and you are on your adventure, and if you have played TCGs before, you will be very familiar with the gameplay systems and mechanics. If you are new to this genre, it won't be a problem to learn to play because the tutorial will tell you the basic things you need to know. As a newbie, I picked up the gam easily after 2 or 3 training battles.
(The campaign mode)
Duels is a very standard TCG
The campaign mode is a good place to practice, level up, collect cards, and accumulate gold. In the very standard TCG interface, your hero's as well as your opponent's health points and mana points are displayed. Each turn you have up to 5 cards on the screen and each card required certain number of mana to use. You can increase your mana by sacrificing your cards to the graveyard, and some heroes or minions can also increase your mana. The goal is simple — kill the opponent's hero; the rule is not complicated — only minion cards enchantment cards can be placed on the board, and spell cards are used to deal damage, provide protection, do buff or debuff. There are also equipment cards which are usable for heroes only. Like most TCGs, Order & Chaos: Duels is easy to learn but since there is no complicated machanics, I'm not sure if it's right to say the game is difficult to master. You may have 50 or even more cards but you don't know which 5 pop out at your turn, and you have to decide your move based on the situation of the board, and you have to take your mana consumption, opponent's minions, opponent's HP and MP and perhaps opponent's mind (in PvP) into consideration. How many good cards you have is one thing, and luck is another thing in this game, but whether you can see the whole picture is the most interesting factor in this game and every TCG, in fact.
(Edit the deck and manage your cards)
The game is fun and I can straightly play it for 5 hours a day — the expectation to get better and better cards hooks me in this game. I don't do PvP very often although it's the core of the game, because I have a very terrible connection to players in other countries. I got disconnection for several times and had to wait for synchronization in almost every turn. There are many players complaining about Gameloft's servers, and I did see many quit or rarely play multiplayer mode. You can add players to your friend list but you can't directly invite a specific player to duel, however, you can avenge him if he's pillaged by others. Speaking of pillage, it's a feature allowing you to play against computer AI with real-world players' cards in its hands. Some players get good cards but the AI isn't human being after all, so it could do stupid things and waste cards. Through pillage, you can earn gold as well as XP.
(Unlock new cards)
In-App Purchases aren't necessary
Like most other Gameloft's free-to-play games, Order & Chaos: Duels has in-app purchases. You can purchase gold or runes to unlock new cards. Runes guarantee an uncommon or a rare and even epic card in a single card pack. But don't worry, you don't have to pay real money for good cards because you can earn gold and runes by playing the game, and it's not hard to earn them. I took about 12 hours to earn an uncommon card, but if you want to purchase, it will cost you about $2USD. The price is $4.99 for 140 runes, $9.99 for 300 runes and you can buy 4000 runes for $99.99, and the deal is, 60 runes guarantee at least one uncommon card from 2 cards, and 200 runes guarantee at least one rare card (if lucky you get an epic card) from 4 cards.
(Everyday the game gives a common card for free)
Order & Chaos: Duels have about 250 cards, and the art on these cards is great. The game's tutorial is nicely involved into the campaign mode. If you are casual gamers but still want the depth of strategy, Duels can be your choice. The server could be unstable sometimes and it can't guarantee optimized experience when you play with someone on the other side of the planet. In-App purchase can never please everyone, and for Order & Chaos: Duels, I think the game doesn't hurt free players very hard, because the multiplayer matchmaking is based on your rank (such as your winning rate), not your character level.Slide 2P Rating:
App Store Link: Order & Chaos Duels, Free