Version Reviewed: 4.0.3
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Dengen Chronicles is a free-to-play, multiplayer card game that borrows from several different anime aesthetics. In it, players take turns placing their warriors around a board in an effort to defeat their enemies. Because of its simple mechanics and structure, Dengen Chronicles can feel kind of like SolForge at times. That being said, it almost leans too heavily on simplicity, which makes it feel a little directionless.
To play Dengen Chronicles, players must place cards on a board that has six spaces. Once cards are placed on the board, they take turns attacking. In the first round the player that places their card at the top center spot goes first, and turn order moves in a clockwise motion around the board while cards attack in a counterclockwise direction. At the beginning of every new round players can pick a new place to put down cards, and the spot designated for "who goes first" moves one space clockwise. At the end of five rounds, the player that has built up the most stamina (i.e. whoever has the most characters left standing on the board) wins.
If this sounds confusing, that's just because it's hard to explain. Even the written in-game tutorials do a poor job of describing what the action is like, though it is pretty simple and straightforward after playing a few rounds. Essentially, players want to make sure they place characters on spots that allow them to attack and defeat their opponent's characters and minimize the amount of damage their own will take. To add a little more strategy to the mix each space on the board corresponds to an elemental affinity, and these affinities can grant bonuses or penalties depending on the cards placed in those spots.
Outside of the core game, there is also a collecting and upgrading system for all Dengen Chronicles cards. Players can build gear for existing character cards or get booster packs to get rarer or more powerful cards for their army. Because Dengen Chronicles is free-to-play, many of the mechanics that push players to pay money are implemented in these upgrade mechanics through the use of timers and currency that can be purchased using real money.
Even with these added mechanics that allow for quite a bit of card diversity, Dengen Chronicles still doesn't feel particularly complicated. I found that most wins could be insured by making the right opening move or two. From there, it was just a matter of seeing the rest of the game out. It is possible that the game hides more complicated aspects further down the road, but for players sticking to playing for free, it will be a slow and boring grind for a long time - which probably would not feel worth it to most.
As a card game, Dengen Chronicles just isn't very exciting. Even though it jazzes itself up with lots of stylish character designs, a complicated-looking game board, upgrade systems, and more, the base game is mostly a matter of who can take the right spot first. Though it's definitely meant to be a quick-hit game (most only take a couple minutes), Dengen Chronicles feels a little too simple to be satisfying.