App Reviewed on: iPhone
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Chronicles of Merlin is an interesting blend of the strategy and RPG genres. There is plenty of city building, army strategizing, and hours of play to keep pulling gamers in for just one more battle. Come for the crazy story, stay for the entertaining battles.
The story in this game is actually a unique tale that is far beyond the normal clashes between good and evil. Players take the role of a hero sent to help Merlin by doing battle with some of history's most iconic storybook figures. The first stage is all about defeating the terrible evildoer by the name of Robin Hood, and the game only gets odder from there.
When not reading about terrible fairytale foes, players will be busy building their cities, training heroes, and planning for the next major battle. Along the way new recruits, like Maid Marian, become available and added to the military ranks. All of this will need time and money. Action timers and silver limit everything from upgrading City Hall to moving from one battle to the next. Income rolls in from completing various quests and collecting taxes, while cool down timers maybe sped up for fee in gold pieces, which are purchasable with real world currency. It works well to keep players bouncing between hitting the battle field and working on their city, and it never really gets to a point where there is not something that needs doing. Thankfully an in-depth tutorial at the start of the game breaks all the nuances down of these systems.
The other time sucking aspect of this game comes from the online community. Joining alliances and laying waste to neighboring towns are a major source of entertainment, but approach this with some caution. Besieging a neighbor may net valuable resources, but it could also upset an entire alliance, thus resulting in a major war. This is not so much of a problem early in the game, but getting wasted by surrounding players becomes the norm toward the end. Also, this can happen at anytime as the game continues on even when the player turns it off to go about doing something else.
There is a fair amount to do in this game, and the online portion only compounds this further. This is not a game that players will beat over a lunch break, but rather after hours of fun and agony. Chronicles of Merlin may not be the best RPG or the greatest strategy game out there, but it contains addictive gameplay, a solid online experience, and an enjoyably quirky setting. For the hefty cost of free, this is one game worth checking out.