Developer: YMC
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime [60/100]
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Something that takes days to build up can be torn down in the blink of an eye. A perfect example is carried out in the introduction for Sky Tribes. God creates the earth in seven days, and it all goes kablooey in a mere second.

Who’s responsible for this monstrous destruction? The player, who is literally forced to press the “Big Red Button.” No doubt philosophers and religious scholars could use Sky Tribes‘ first moments as a jumping-off point for the illusion of free will, but what’s really important is that God is miffed, and the player needs to rebuild His work.

skytribes_01Sky Tribes is a PvP game that takes some inspiration from Clash of Clans. Players must build gold mines to generate income, build sawmills to produce wood, and use that wood and gold to assemble structures that go back into strengthening the player’s warriors and town defenses. However, the differences between Sky Tribes and Clash of Clans becomes apparent when it’s time to defend the village (or bring the hurt to another village). Battles are done through turn-based combat, complete with different warrior classes and special moves. It’s definitely a nice change for anyone that’s not fond of Clash of Clans-style troop deployment, though it’s also far less strategic. Might, not tactics, almost always wins the day.

There’s another problem, and it’s one that’s to be expected with free-to-play games: Wait times and other little annoyances to goad the player into draining their meager store of premium currency (gems, in this case). Except in the case of Sky Tribes, events feel like they march on even more slowly than in most PvP games. The game begins with one worker to handle all the building tasks, and additional peons can only be bought with gems. Likewise, strengthening warriors is a tedious task that requires huge amounts of gold – which isn’t available in generous quantities unless it’s bought. Gold can be won by fighting other players, though the battles are often mismatched because the enemies’ “battle score” appears to be a poor means of gauging their strength. Players can run away from a battle if they’re outmatched, but it counts as a loss.

skytribes_03But for all its tedium, Sky Tribes still offers up some interesting ideas. There’s a match-three game players can poke at for a chance at extra items and experience, and there’s a miniature treasure-hunting game that likewise yields rewards. Also, Sky Tribes boasts some of the cutest graphics to grace a genre dominated by burly berserkers and warriors.

Sky Tribes drags as a free-to-play experience, but anyone willing to spend a bit of cash may find themselves growing attached to this wee tribe.


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