Spirit Lords Review
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Spirit Lords Review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on April 20th, 2015
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: PUZZLE & DIABLO
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This free-to-play dungeon crawler has a fun art style, a remarkable attention-to-detail, and borrows mechanics from "gacha-style" titles.

Developer: Kabam
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Playtime Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

The easiest possible way to describeSpirit Lords would be by calling it "free-to-playDiablo" with gacha mechanics that have been popularized by Japanese titles likePuzzle & Dragons. Players create a hero, crawl through dungeons, earn loot, level-up, and collect spirits to help them in their quest to rebuild human civilization from ruins.

Spirit Lordsrevolves around players building their hero and then wielding direct control over them in dungeons and combat. Players tap the screen to direct their character, tap on enemies to attack, and can use special commands (e.g. double tap, tap and drag, etc.) or tap on-screen buttons to use elemental special attacks. When in the overworld they can chat up other players, equip loot, upgrade their elemental spirits, shop from the in-game merchant, or take on new quests. With the help of some really neat features, like a "bread crumb trail" button that automatically directs players to the next story quest and a shop button that instantly brings up the game shop - doing everything inSpirit Lords is a breeze.

Spirit Lords' main gameplay loop involves players getting new spirits to upgrade and equip to their character. Unlike loot (whichSpirit Lordsalso has plenty of), spirits determine the elemental affinity and type of special attack that characters can use. For example, players might find and equip a spirit that gives their character the ability to throw a frozen axe, or a leaping attack that has them jump and stun enemies upon landing. Although these special abilities fit into only one of six preset, equipable slots, the game boasts thousands of combinations of attacks, all of which can work to give players an edge in specific combat scenarios.

With such a wide variety of combat customization options, Spirit Lords hinges itsfree-to-play model on the acquisition of new spirits. As players move through the game, specific dungeons are designed with specific elemental focuses or gimmicks that specific spirits are particularly useful for. As easy as it might seem to grind out premium currency to buy the right spirits,Spirit Lords makes that process more difficult by having the store reward random spirits rather than specific ones - much likePuzzle & DragonsorMonster Strike. Although this can make the experience feel very luck-based, event dungeons can award special drops that allow for players to successfully outfit their character without necessarily needing to spend money.

Although these features might makeSpirit Lords sound like an uninspired mishmash of popular mobile trends, it has a remarkable amount of polish and added features that help make it stand out. With multiplayer co-op, built-in chat, easy loot comparison tools, and a great visual style,Spirit Lordsmore than makes up for its lack of orginiality by being a remarkably solid and streamlined experience.

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