App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Clash Royale is a multiplayer, card-based, tower defence, MOBA-lite game from Supercell, the giant developer and publisher behind Clash of Clans.
Because of its free to play structure and branding, it might be tempting to write Clash Royale off as a cash-in or a pay to win game, when in reality it is one of the most innovative and well-designed mobile multiplayer experiences on the App Store today.
Tower of cards
Clash Royale is a hybrid of tower defence and collectible card games in which two players face off on a tower-laden battlefield with a custom decks of eight cards. They use these to try and destroy their opponent's towers while protecting their own within a three minute time period.
When towers get destroyed, players earn crowns, and the player with the most crowns at the end of a match is declared the winner.
While players can purchase cards, they can't just spam the most powerful cards to steamroll opponents.
The game's elixr meter (not too unlike Hearthstone's mana system) limits the amount of cards that can be used at one time, making positioning and timing key ingredients to success in Clash Royale.
Outside of matches, players earn chests which reward them with new cards and currency. If players gather enough cards of the same type, they can pay some gold to level up their units, while earning new cards gives them options to vary up their deck.
Clash Royale also features a card store, clan system, and a place to watch replays, which provides plenty of content between matches.
For a game that's fun enough on its own, these added features make it a more satisfying and lasting experience.
The Supercell touch
However, the elements that really makeClash Royale stand out are its fine-tuned sense of balance and speedy-yet-satisfying game design.
At the time of writing, the wait time for a match is about a second and almost every match is good challenge with no apparent lag.
Also, even if you're playing with decks of basic cards, there are viable strategies to help you take down decks full of epic and rare cards, and all of this is achieveable in a short, sweet, and very satisfying three minute burst.
The bottom line
Clash Royale is a heck of a package. Top to bottom, it's an extremely fun experience that is so well put together it's hard to put down.
Want more Clash Royale-related stuff? Then check out thepodcastand the following guides:
- The March update explained
- How to destroy towers
- What's inside each chest
- How to spend your gems
- How to defend
- How to make a good clan
- How to counter the Prince
- How to counter the Baby Dragon
- How to counter the Balloon
- How to start a battle
- How to counter the Goblin Barrel
- How to counter the Fireball
- How to counter the Goblin Hut
- How to counter the Giant
- How to counter the Musketeer
- How to counter the Witch
- How to counter Mini P.E.K.K.A.
- How to counter the Valkyrie
- How to counter the Hog Rider
- How to counter the Barbarian Hut
- How to counter the Skeleton Army
- How to counter the Bomb Tower
- How to counter the Tombstone
- How to counter the Lightning
- How to counter the Inferno Tower
- How to counter the Rocket
- How to pay to win
- How to prepare yourself for victory
- How to stop being a loser
- How to win
- How to play for free
- How to build a good deck with core cards
- How to use elixir effectively
- How to get chests faster
- How to survive The Bone Pit
- The best common cards
- The best rare cards
- The best epic cards