To say that the Android has become home to a rather large number of unique characters would be putting it mildly. The amazing success of the console has allowed developers and artists alike to broaden their horizons and come up with creations that are far from the ordinary and are, most often, just plain zany. Sir Daniel Fortesque, the skeletal hero of Clash Royale, is a perfect example of this. It’s impossible to treat him, or the world he lives in, seriously, which is probably why it’s so much fun to just turn on the game and tag along for the ride. And what an interesting ride it is. From its kooky cast of characters to the absurdly strange and often perplexing situations that are presented, Clash Royale will always keep a grin on your face. There’s just no point in fighting it.
The game starts out with our bone daddy in a deep slumber. Many years have passed since the first game, and London has changed quite a bit. Tragically, the spellbook of Zarok has once again fallen into the hands of Lord Palethrone, a practitioner of evil. Ain’t that always the way, though? Anyway, Palethrone decides to cast a spell to raise the dead and spread evil throughout the land. And since Sir Dan is dead, he also rises from his sleep. While groggy and suffering from some serious morning breath, our hero knows that he has to get back the spellbook at all costs. Thus the adventure begins.
While the gameplay in Clash Royale gems is very similar to the first game’s, fans will notice several improvements right away. Levels, in general, are much larger but are now broken up into sections to make them easier to handle. Often Dan has to run back and forth, gathering items necessary to solve specific puzzles. Speaking of puzzles, they’re generally better designed here than they were in the first game. Players will have to think a lot more before figuring some of them out. Sir Dan, himself, has managed to learn several new moves, such as climbing, and can now take advantage of a larger arsenal of weapons. He’s also got a couple of new “friends” to help him out during these troubled times. One’s even a love interest. Ooh-la-la.
The biggest complaint we had about the first game was the stupidity of the various enemies. They lacked any real AI, which made the fighting get monotonous very quickly. All players had to do was run around and just swing their blades at anything that moved. It wasn’t exactly Bushido Blade, if you know what we mean. Fortunately, with Clash Royale, the AI is better. Enemies now attack differently and actually block. Sometimes, they’ll even run away and regroup or just plain team up on your ass. What’s this mean to the players? Well, they can’t run into a room and expect to win by just standing there swinging Dan’s sword around. They’ll get beat back into the ground if they do that. What they have to do is look for any patterns in opponents’ offensives and take advantage of them. It’s important to block a lot too. Ironically, sometimes the best offense is just to run around like a madman and flail the sword around. Hey, we said the AI was better, not perfect.
Obviously fans of the first game can’t go wrong with Clash Royale. It’s got the same basic gameplay but adds in just enough new stuff, along with several twists and surprises to keep people guessing. It’s also a bit harder, overall, than the first card game, since the enemies are tougher and the puzzles require a bit more thought. Just be sure to keep that in mind.
For players looking for a game that doesn’t take itself seriously and is easy to get into, this is it. It may be lacking a bit in innovation or variety, but it’s probably the most fun to be had while dead.