Krosmaster Arena Review
8 Overall Score
Nice cross branding between the companies other online games and the physical board game
Combat seems like it can become extremely unbalanced very easily…
We recently took some time out to try the new strategy title from Ankama Games, Krosmaster Arena, a 1v1 duelling free to play game where players must position their characters on a battle map, move them around and try to kill off the other team with a variety of attacks that they have access to.
The game has already become quite popular due to the success of its physical board game counterpart, that people come by in shops and Krosmaster Arena Online simply being the digital version of the same game, using exactly the same mechanics, rules and characters.
One of the interesting things about this game is the cross platform/game access that players have two it, two of Ankama Games other titles; Dofus and Wakfu, allow players to access Krosmaster Arena within their game and characters that are on locked in them can be accessed in Krosmaster Arena Online. Similarly players, purchasing physical characters for the board game version can also access their characters in the online game, creating an extremely powerful brand that is quickly becoming well-known.
Stepping into the game for the first time we sat down and went through the tutorial, whilst it gave us an idea of the rules and general mechanics of a match, it was still only an interactive slideshow and saw our first real match was against a player… but we’ll get to that. The general idea of the game is that players have a number of characters in their team (how many you can have we have no idea because we had four in our team and the first person we fought had three characters and the second person had five characters..), and each character has their own character card that determines their attributes such as movement points, action points and health as well as the different actions/attacks that they can perform.
The map is broken up into a 12 x 12 gridded map, filled with obstacles, chests, coins for players to pick up this and each team starts at a separate end of the map. Players then take it in turns to use their entire team of characters, a short term time per character, meaning the player must think and act quickly and at the end, it switches to the other team for them to make their moves. The aim of the game isn’t simply to kill off all the other players’ team, instead they are to try and remove their opponents “GG”s, though that does appear to be done by killing off characters. Each character can have a mix of ranged or melee attacks that can be single target or area splash attacks, alternatively, one of the characters that we had actually have the ability to heal our characters.
As players move their characters around the map they are able to pick up coins on the map and try to manoeuvre to one of the shop squares where they can purchase buffs and upgrades to use during the battle, making strategy and tactics revolve around directly engaging your opponent, gathering up resources and trying to reach a shop to purchase useful items. There is a dice rolling mechanic, each turn to determine whether a player can improve their critical attacks, defences and a few other buffs that by the time we started playing we’d already forgotten what they did. One of the more frustrating things for us was the apparent unavailability of checking our characters attack capabilities during the battle, unless it was actually that characters turn, at which point we were then rushing to try and read what we could do and react on before the timer ran out.
Our first game was an unexpected success, resulting in a victory, but this was quickly soured by the absolute thrashing we to the second battle where somehow the player managed to kill two of our characters using the same character in one turn, leaving us completely defenceless. Only a few minutes into the game and we’d already lost, meaning either the match balancing was pretty poor and this person was way above our level, the mechanics of the game are considerably more open to creating a one-sided battle with lucky rolls… or we just really sucked at the game.
The graphics are bright and exciting and the game itself is very well presented, capturing the same chibi style that the different games are known for and with little time we’re sure the game would be extremely fun.
Very soon we'll publish a first look gameplay commentary video and a detailed profile, so stay tuned!