|Android 4.2+; iOS
You think that the conquest is all about strength and violence? Well, the creators of this one beg to differ. After all, why would they name it Art of Conquest: Dragon Dawn then?
Art of Conquest: Dragon Dawn is a distant relative to Might & Magic titles, especially the old ones. You start off with a single hero, and the first thing you encounter is a group of skeletons. You deploy your troops and your hero in a tactical screen mode, and when you tap fight, things get real time serious. After fighting a few groups of monsters, and running into a few new heroes and reinforcements, you’ll clear the path to your castle. A whole new set of strategic options will open up to you. From there, you’ll build your fortress, explore the vast wilderness around it, and complete various missions. Unlock new heroes, learn new skills, gather some cool gear for them and progress your settlement so that you can train new units. There are main and side quests to guide you through this game, so it’s hard to get lost.
Gameplay – RPG
RPG aspects of the game include everything you do with your hero. He represents all of the troops (including other, minor heroes) out there. So you’ll want to explore and to fight more or less powerful creatures. More difficult fights will often reward you with more valuable treasures and resources. When you engage in a fight, you’ll be given a chance to deploy your troops in the desired formation. I would recommend placing melee units with strong armor or spears in your first ranks, but after some time, I must admit I haven’t noticed any difference. No matter how awful you format your forces, if you have more battle power (shown at the top of your screen) than your enemy, you’ll almost certainly always win!
That’s because of the heroes. Each of them, provide you with two more slots for your troops. And although there are no options to control your units during the fight itself, you have hero skills. Those are usually some kind of damaging or healing abilities or spells. They all share the same cooldown, and can be used only once per fight! That’s all of your input during a fight. Too bad. You can unlock new skills by leveling up your hero, and you can increase their power, as well some of the stats, with epic gear you find while exploring. New heroes can be unlocked by achieving new ranks, or simply, progressing the game. Each of them play a different role on the battlefield. Some are good at melee combat and initiation, some at commanding and summoning reinforcements, and some at healing and aiding their men.
Gameplay – Strategy
When it comes to raising your empire, I personally had a bit more fun than out in the wild and cold regions. You need to take care of three main resources, gold, lumber and magical elixirs. Those are used to build and upgrade structures, units and to unlock new ones, as well as some traits. You can train spearmen, footmen, archers and cavalry. The main resource to progress in this segment of the game is prosperity, which is used to upgrade your main building: the castle. You earn prosperity by simply building all the available structures. The best thing about this segment is that this is an online game. So anyone can try and siege your fortress. That’s why you have to build and maintain a good defense system, including the city gates, walls and of course, a warehouse to hide your goods from being plundered.
The game is a mix of styles, but nothing seems original enough. You could recognize some visual patterns from newer installments of Might & Magic series, and even The Settlers, and definitely some Lords influence. Don’t get me wrong, it looks good, sometimes great, and the colors are amazing, and even units. When they stand still. Animations are horrid. They seem laggy and unfinished due to insufficient key frames. Like an old stop motion, or an indie RPG fantasy game from the 90s. And the inability to zoom and take a closer look on the action or your keep makes you feel alienated from your own characters and settlement! The music is quite absent and when it’s there, it’s not merely catchy or recognizable. Sound effects are good, but the dialogue and the voice emotes of the characters are a cringe fest, both in writing, and actors’ performances.
This game seems decent enough at the start. But when you dive deeper, you’ll find yourself bored pretty fast. At least with the RPG elements. Being a spectator in fights that don’t matter how well you prepare them isn’t fun! “Choosing” a new skill or equipping a new piece of gear from time to time is neither. So, just when you think you’ll visit your fortress and hope to have fun in it, you find out the opposite. Soon, everything takes ages to complete, and you run out of options. When you use up all of the building spots and build every kind of structure there is, that’s when it gets repetitive. But wait, there are dragons in the game! Why so surprised!? They’re like… in the title! But you have to grind to level 10 to hatch them from your own personal Dragon lair!
The game is free to play, but has a lot of premium currencies in it. You can even buy the regular resources with it, and buy some queue spots for your buildings or even the time to fasten those processes. The main premium currency is special coins called Linari. You can buy various powerful chests and gifts with them. Sixty pieces cost 0.99$, and that’s the least you can buy. If you want really to speed things up and find yourself among the dragons from the title, you can buy 14400 pieces of Linari for 99.99$. The good thing about the game is that there are no ads in it! At least I haven’t encountered any for the time I’ve played it, and there aren’t any bonuses you can get by watching an ad. And that feels quite refreshing.
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