Battle Champs is a build and battler out right now on iOS and Android that takes a lot of inspiration from the undisputed champion of the genre, Clash of Clans.
But to call it a clone is way off the mark. The developer of Battle Champs has made a serious effort to innovate on and, dare we say it, improve certain features of Clash of Clans.
As we're a kind bunch, we thought we'd write up a list of six ways that Battle Champs improves on the Clash of Clans formula so you can better decide whether or not it's worth your time.
You don't have to play PvP
If you're the type of player that's put off by the idea of PvP (which, to be fair, can be pretty daunting), then you'll be pleased to learn that you can progress through the entirety of Battle Champs by playing single player alone.
That includes all airship upgrades, troops, avatar upgrades - you name it, you can get it without playing any PvP. Which brings us nicely onto our next point.
There's a greater focus on cooperative play
Clash of Clans is, predominantly, a competitive experience. Aside from joining a clan and fighting against enemy players, there's not really much in the way of cooperative play.
Not so in Battle Champs.
There's an innovative feature in the form of Giant Battles, which pits you and up to 200 players against an enormous enemy. Granted, you don't actually see your fellow players, but you'll all share activated buffs and they stack.
You can also join a chat room and share strategies. That way you can help each other defeat the giant effectively, and perhaps make a friend or two along the way.
You have greater control over your units
Unlike Clash of Clans, you have a certain level of control over your troops in Battle Champs, as you can use the 'guide' button to make them attack enemies in a specific area.
This comes in incredibly handy during giant battles. Giants always have a weak spot activated, and if you attack it you do bonus damage.
The problem is, this weak spot changes several times during the battle, so you need to guide your troops to the new one each time it switches.
Nia is your avatar in Battle Champs, and she's a pretty damn cool feature herself.
Long story short, she's an alchemist, and uses her abilities to summon the troops at your disposal. She's also the captain of your airship, and harvests the necessary resources to upgrade, and build, buildings.
But Nia's the best because she fights alongside your troops like a true commander, and even has a bunch of skills she can use to make short work of your enemies.
Your troops are more than just soulless fodder
Speaking of those troops, they're no longer just brainless barbarians you throw into battle to outnumber your enemies. They're characters themselves, with strengths and weaknesses, and really awesome designs.
You can also evolve them into more powerful forms. This gives them an even more awesome design, and gives you a closer relationship to each unit - you've grown them up from a baby after all!
It's got Final Fantasy talent onboard
Last, but certainly not least, Battle Champs has development talent from Final Fantasy onboard in the form ofArt Director Akihiko Yoshida and Sound Composer Hitoshi Sakimoto.
These guys know what they're doing, which has helped the game feel a lot better to play. It also sounds great, as you'd expect from a composer of Sakimoto's talent.
Blaze Games flew us out to Tokyo to check out Battle Champsbefore the launch.