Revolve8: A 3-minute strategy game with anime-ish flair
These past few weeks I have been hooked to a new game after quitting Honkai Impact 3 which I played for roughly a year and 3 months or so. I have a tendency of playing a single game for a long time ever since my Dragon Nest days which I played for more than 5 years if my memory serves me right, there was also my first RPG in my mobile called Ayakashi Ghost Guild which I played for more than a year until the game was dropped by Zynga. After moving on to Ayakashi Ghost Guild’s sudden service stoppage I found my new addiction with Com2uS’ Summoners War which I played for more than a year or two, then got myself a better phone and decided to give Fantasy War Tactics a shot which I played for more than 6 months, Shadowverse for more than 4 months and then Fate/ Grand Order from its global (NA) release date around June of 2017 to September 2018. As I was playing Fate/GO, I found an announcement that Honkai Impact 3 was also getting a SEA release on November 2017 so I decided to pre-register because I actually grew fond of the game when I first tested it when it was only available in CN but since I am no speaker of the language I decided that I will wait for the English version to come by which was granted later on as you can see. I did not drop Fate/GO and I’ve decided to play both simultaneously but as my schedule tightened I had no choice but to drop Fate/GO because I was having more fun playing Honkai Impact 3 at the time due to its out of the ordinary gameplay and pc-like controls and mechanics. However, later on, I found the daily routine of clearing quests and repeating the same instances a chore and my inspiration to play dropped significantly and it eventually lead with me quitting after spending a year and 3 months of playing it and found myself a new game to spend my time with SEGA’s new offering in the name of Revolve8.
Platforms: Android, iOS
I am not the type to play a game right off the bat without looking at the gameplay first so I make it my priority when I make reviews for a game like this one. Before downloading the game I had to watch several videos featuring it first before deciding to try my hand at it and of course I also browse the comment section to look for other recommendations while I’m at it and see how other people reacts. One of the most frequent reaction towards this game is how much similarity it shares to the game Clash Royale and even though I haven’t tried playing the latter yet, I can see where they are coming from because a classmate of mine used to play it.
I think that the best way to describe this game is that it is an anime-ish version of Clash Royale since gameplay wise they are more or less the same but due to my lack of knowledge about Clash Royale that is the extent of what I can say. With that out of the way I will be getting into explaining how this game works since I don’t think everyone knows the gameplay of Clash Royale in the first place.
The game is played in real time for 3 minutes with an extension of 1 minute in case the players have equal numbers of remaining towers. Both players are to make their own deck of 8 cards from a pool of available units but are only able to bring 4 hero cards at most and one among those chosen heroes get to be the leader of the deck. The real game does not start when a match has been determined but from the time the player composed their deck of cards, a player with impeccable strategy won’t be triumphant if he failed in structuring a deck that can jive with his play style, a player with a well rounded set of cards won’t win either if he can’t draw out the potential of his cards, that is the mainstay of a strategy game like this and that is the reason why I am really hooked to it currently, every match feels like a new experience and the outcome not only depends on how well you can play but also on how well the other player can, considering that you also have a fairly stable connection. That is the overall idea of the game so I will be explaining the components of it in detail now.
The goal of the game is to destroy the opposing team’s tower while defending yours, plain and simple. However doing so is no easy feat as anyone can guess, because you are dealing with another human on the other end of the spectrum, meaning it will boil down to how well each player can execute their game plan and how good their deck fares against the opposing player’s deck.
There are three towers in total, two sub towers and one main tower. The towers attack enemies that got inside its range but the main tower won’t be doing so unless one of the sub towers got destroyed first or in case it was damage by an enemy attack. Also, the towers' level scales up in accordance with the player’s level.
Destroying the main tower is referred to as a “Perfect win” and automatically nets you the victory not withstanding the remaining time in the game. This is a hard trick to pull and will require you to overwhelm the opposing player by a great margin but is doable when you’ve played your cards right.
b. Deck, Cards, Heroes, Leader and Ink
Since these stuff are interrelated it would make more sense to talk about them simultaneously. A deck is composed of cards, cards can either be minions, magics, buildings or heroes and one can assign a hero card to be the lead of the deck. However cards cannot be played as is, they will require ink to be put in the playing field, it goes without saying that stronger cards require more ink and the opposite is true for weaker cards but this does not mean that you should just spam your deck with high cost ink cards because that will make you slow into taking precautionary actions when your opponent pulls a trick on you. Now let’s see the importance of those terms.
First up is the leader. There is a reason why only heroes are allowed to become a deck’s leader, that is because they are the only ones capable of using skills. There are two types of skills in the game, normal skill and SP skill. Normal skills can be used by any hero card in the deck but only the leader can dish out the SP skill that is why it is important to choose your deck’s lead wisely because when used properly it can turn the tide of the match or cement the outcome of it.
Next is the term cards. Cards can be easily explained as the unit of playable characters that a player can use in a match. As mentioned earlier there are various types of cards:
Hero cards are powerful pieces that are named after famous work of fiction characters like Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Cinderella and Aladdin to name a few. Each hero character can be classified to the following types: Attacker - those that deal strong single target damage but suffers from low hp, Tank - those that can withstand a lot beating but deal little damage, Charger - those that prioritizes dealing damage to towers, Defender - those that specializes in clearing your area of enemies, Marksman - those that deals damage from the safety of your own playing field, Guard - those that are good at defending other units, Support- those that usually deal area damage and generate other negative status like slow and stun, All Rounder - those that can handle both attacking and defending, a jack of all trades if you will. It is also important to take note of the character’s range since most melee characters cannot hit flying targets.
Low cost monsters that usually comes in a horde and can be used in varying situations. As one cannot make a dream team deck comprised of 8 heroes it is a necessity to be well versed on what kind of minions one should put into his/ her deck. Minions, ordinarily costs fewer ink to put in the playing field but makes them easy to kill if used inadvertently but on the other hand could be a cheap counter to most hero cards netting you more ink to spare on the next exchange of blows.
These cards are mostly focused on killing other cards. There are those that hits hard on a small area that are perfect for killing heroes, those that covers wider area and are good for dealing with a group of minions and those that stays on the field for a long duration that can be used to keep the enemy from putting out monsters on a designated area.
There are two types of buildings, those that attacks enemies and those that summons minions. The former is effective against characters that targets buildings, that is to say as a defensive mechanism while the latter is better used for offense.
Finally, after knowing the importance of all the smaller components it is high time we go to the culmination of all those parts, the deck. With the number of cards available currently, one can create and experiment countless strategies and deck composition, however as numerous as they are, decks generally fall into one of the three types of decks - Assault, Counter and Siege.
b.3.1 Assault Decks
As the name implies the deck is focused on penetrating the enemies’ defenses and overpowering the enemy with brute strength. The deck is usually composed of Tanks and Attacker and accompanied most of the time by Support characters that deals wide area damage to protect the tank from flocks of minions. This is the most popular type of deck currently because of its simplicity but it goes on an uphill battle when faced against Counter Decks.
b.3.2 Counter Decks
The gameplay of this deck relies on letting the enemy come to your turf then clearing them swiftly with Defender cards, then putting out characters that has a high chance of hitting towers aka Charger while their ink cost and ability to put out a resistance is depleted. This works quite well against aggressive Assault Decks that relies on forcing their way to the enemy camp but is at a disadvantage against Siege Decks that rarely infiltrates the opposing camp.
b.3.3 Siege Decks
Offensive decks that are not aggressive and attacks from a distance hence a real headache for Counter Deck users. The deck is normally composed of a Marksman that chips at the tower’s hp bit by bit while a Guard protects it from attackers. Since it relies on a high cost marksman to take down the enemy’s tower the opposing player would have more ink to dispose into attacking and may easily take down the marksman if not defended well.
b.3.4 Brown Decks
It is not like it is a rule set in stone that your deck must fall in one of those category, recently it has been quite normal to see people using components from different meta decks and experiment on how they can be used together. The only thing that you should be concerned about when constructing your deck is if it can perform the strategy you’ve got in your mind, don’t mind the classification just go ahead and try as many combinations as you can, it is more fun that way anyway.
Another thing worth noting of when constructing a deck is that you are not dealt 8 cards at your disposal at any given time, you are only given half the number, meaning four cards to play and the rest are on queue and will revolve randomly hence the title Revolve8. That is why it is also important to check your cards ink cost to avoid getting stuck with high ink cost cards that may not be able to respond to your immediate need, the key is to have the right cards at the right time and by using low ink cost cards, one can be easily use them to distract the enemy and at the same time get the card you want in your hand as soon as possible.
That’s a wrap for this part so let’s move on to the next topic, everyone’s favorite, the game’s downsides aka Cons.
Is it P2W?
Of course this is and always will be the primary concern of most, if not all F2P players out there including me of course. I have been saying all this time that how the player builds and utilizes his card is the key to winning, yes that is no lie but there is more to it, the cards have levels and rarity which means that the more $ you spend on it is the higher your cards level will be which of course equates to stronger deck and a stronger deck means easier victories.
The rarity is of less concern for me since most of the players at the top doesn’t even use Legendary rarity cards what really brings forth the difference is the level. When a card has a significant gap level against counter cards for them, those counters would not work just as well when they have the same level hence making a card on your disposal almost a waste of space and ink. There is a level cap though but getting there would require a lot of time, take my case for instance, I have been playing for around two months now and was able to get my cards to level 9, the cap is 13 by the way. But it goes without saying that when you are nearing the level cap, it gets harder to level up. Just like here in steemit, leveling a card from 1 to 9 is easier than leveling it up from 9 to 10 and that will hold true until the card reaches the level cap.
This is a really big turn off for players that want to claim the top spot for themselves as fast as possible, but for players that want to experience the thrill of a battle of wits this is a game that is hard to pass up. Do not worry you won’t be running against those high leveled players that much anyway because the matching system matches you against players within the same league score as you and that will comprise mostly of players at the same level and some players a level above or below you.
I am not really that much keen on this one but for the sake of discussion I will include it.
The cards have a rarity ranging from Normal to Legendary, though even as a F2P it is not like there are cards you cannot get but then again getting a card without leveling it up is as good as not having that card at all. However among those cards some players claim that some cards are OP but I still have yet to see a card without a counter in this game, sure some cards are stronger on a one on one fight but the game is not about pitting a single card against a single card, it is about how to fend off the opposing player’s advances while mounting your own strikes. The issue of OP cards is more pronounced at lower levels because that is where newbies can be found, meaning they usually label cards that they can’t deal with as OP and I won’t deny that I felt that way when I was just starting too. I had a stroke of luck early on the game and got Snow White in one of my summons which is a Legendary rarity card. That card allowed me to jump leaps and bounds and reach a higher league score compared to players at the same or even higher level than me and that honestly felt great, but as of late that card is no longer a big deal and players at my current league can deal with it easily if I am not careful on how to use it. It costs 8 ink (maximum ink charge is 10) to play but it can be one shot by Urashima Taro (costs 7 ink) and just like that I will be down by 8 ink while my opponent has 1 ink up on me and still manages to have a card on the field that can mount a counter attack. What I listed here is just one way of dealing with her, there are a lot of other ways like using a 5 ink cost spell called Flying Trunk to reduce the character’s summons HP to a considerable low level, use Red Riding Hood (costs 4 ink) or Sinbad (costs 5 ink) that specializes in crowd control and many more.
One of the aspects I look out for in games after playing Fate/ Grand Order and Honkai Impact 3 is the lore because those two games I just mentioned offered stories that are capable of being turned to anime already and speaking of which, Fate/ Grand Order is actually getting one on October 2019 and a movie too.
Compared to those two I can only say that this one is a lackluster on that department, it has a so-so story but it never followed up on the main plot line though each hero was given a chapter of their own and I tell you, those stand alone stories are way more interesting than the main story line. On top of being interesting, those hero focused stories are also rich in humor. The hero from this game are characters from literary works as I have previously said but they don’t tell the same old story as what we have been taught when we were kids, take the Emperor from the Emperor’s New Clothes for instance, here he was not a fool who believed in the so called “invisible clothes” but instead he played along to the tailors ploy to display his sculpted muscular body in the guise of wearing a cloth that fools cannot see. Another story I found funny is about Cinderella, here she is an up and rising “idol” that rides a motorcycle and rushes to get to the Fairy God Mother before midnight to renew her contract as an “idol”. And as for my favorite character, that would be Red Riding Hood who is a social figure and made up the story of her grandmother being eaten by the wolf accidentally when she tried to dress up the wolf into her grandmother’s clothing because she thought that it would get her a lot of response, anyway she is cute and her voice also adds up to her charm so she would be forgiven for her blunders. Almost forgot that Rapunzel is a NEET in this game and the witch together with the prince are trying to get her out of the house for a change but ended up turning the prince into a NEET himself.
Soundtrack and Voice Acting
I don’t usually listen to a game’s soundtrack because I prefer listening to my selection of songs when playing but this one has pretty sick beats, though not exactly the sound I had in mind for a game like this but I guess it works anyway. As for the voice acting I am actually quite fond of it especially Red Riding Hood’s spunky and gal like way of talking and Snow White’s voice which properly reflects her ditzy appearance.
If there is an area that I can say for sure that this game tops Clash Royale this is that area. The game has a solid 3D models for all the heroes and they look even more dazzling when their SP Skill cut-scene plays not to mention their victory pose at the end, Red Riding Hood’s spin and bite pose by far is the best one for me. Yes, Red Riding Hood is my favorite character from the game that much is obvious by now I guess.
IV. Final Thoughts
I have already covered about everything that I can think of so I will only make a point from here on. The game is for those who enjoy a game where they don’t have to do the same stuff again and again because every match is a unique experience. This is a game that won’t drain you by having you clear quests all day long just to keep you up to date, you can play this one for an hour and be able to get everything done for the day but in my case my enjoyment always get the better of me and I more often than not, play more than I should. This is a strategy game where the result is more reliant on your strength as an individual player and if you have a shitty connection then that is a factor too, but unlike team games you only have yourself to blame so if you lose it definitely is your defeat, no more excuses and pointing fingers. This is a game for those who seek enjoyment but at the same time are driven to win because it is frustrating as hell when you go into a losing streak, but the fact that you can get frustrated means that you are indeed invested in the game. The only major problem the game suffers is the most basic and common one among almost every game, the power of money will trump over a great strategy anytime of the day but as players are matched against players with the same league score, you will not be able to face those guys anytime soon unless you are a prodigy that can get to the of the league using low level cards.
This is now officially the longest article I have written here but it was worth it. I am almost at the 4,000 words mark so I will be wrapping this one up for now since I have no update on my end whatsoever. Let’s see each other again next time!