“Aerena: Clash of Champions” is a new mobile strategy game from Cliffhanger Productions. The steampunk themed turn-based strategy game has already had 50,000+ downloads last month on Steam and has done well during it’s beta on Android. The game is set to release on the 25th of June and will be available for Android and iOS.
Featuring 3D graphics and animated cutscenes the game looks pretty good. Gameplay revolves around a chess-like mechanic were different characters can move in different ways around a board. Players want to prevent their opponent from making their way across the board while trying to get to their side, all in a steampunk airship battle arena.
To win player’s need to get the teams total points down to zero which can be accomplished by a combination of attacking opponents on the board or the opposing teams airship itself. There’s also special attacks players can access by accumulating “AEther” as they attack and spending it for the more powerful attacks. There are over 50 characters, AEther shells (special ammo) and airships available to deploy once unlocked.
The tutorial does a good job of teaching you how to play the game but you’ll need to play a few matches on your own before you really get the strategy down. There really isn’t a way to ‘pay-to-win” in this game making it truly strategic. The chess board mechanic is unique and the most appealing part of “Aerena: Clash of Champions”.
Strategy in this game is solid but the story and theme seem to clash with the gameplay. While it makes sense to have a total point system that can be whittled down through a combination of attack types, literally punching an airship seems a little silly. In fact the idea of having airships dock themselves only to have their crews disembark onto a game board and battle their opponents is a funny premise and a bit confusing when you are learning how to play the game.
Playing chess with steampunk champions who can shoot cannons and electrify opponents as they move around the board however is a solid premise with interesting gameplay and that’s where “Aerena: Clash of Champions” shines as a strategy game. As you continue playing the premise will seem less ridiculous and you’ll get better at planning your strategies. Players will unlock badges, tech upgrades and be able to fill out their champion roster and improve their ships.
“Aerena: Clash of Champions” offers both single and multiplayer modes yet playing the bots in single player can get a little tedious. The real fun comes in playing “The Games” either in a friendly or ranked league match against other players. Hopefully after the game launches there will be a decent pool of players so waiting for a match won’t take too long.