Format: PC, iOS, Android
Version Reviewed: PC
There are a lot of free-to-play games out there, and while most of them try to milk concepts already perfected – there are some who actually try to renew a genre now and then. Rubicon have tried to make Combat Monsters into one of those games that takes a well known concept, and tries to make something that feels fresh. Have they succeeded?
Combat Monsters is a card battling game. When first start it, you will have to select one out of three starting decks (Warrior, Magician, Archer). The deck you choose will give you 30 starter cards that all depends on the selected theme. Then you choose to either battle it out online or in single player versus the NPC. You will also go through a very thorough tutorial that teaches you the basics of the game.
Combat Monsters plays very much like Magic the Gathering. You will draw five cards from your deck at the beginning of a game. These cards can be monsters, equipment or so called supportive “mojo cards” (mana in Magic the Gathering). This is where the differences begins. You control a hero that moves around on a grid. The hero can attack, summon monsters next to himself or move one step on the grid per turn. The goal of the game is to finish off the opponents hero before he does the same to you. In this sense Combat Monsters is played very much like Magic the Gathering – if Magic was a boardgame.
New cards are obtained by either winning some of the Single Player battles – but mainly by buying card sets for rubicons. Rubicon is the in-game currency in Combat Monsters, and you get some after you win a game. There are other ways to get it as well, for example: If you connect Combat Monsters to facebook all friends who have done the same, will earn you extra Rubicons after battle. You can also buy rubicons for real money. One of the best parts about the game is easily that I have not yet felt the need to do that yet. It is entirely possible to get new cards just by playing enough, with the only downside being that it takes a bit more time. Building your decks is also plenty of fun, since you can put them together however you want to.
The graphics of Combat Monsters is the games weakest trait. While the arenas that you fight on looks all right– the monsters do not. I can understand that they are low-poly because it is an indie game, but the basic designs of them are dull, and it feels like most of them look pretty much the same. With that said, the gameplay in Combat Monsters is good enough to carry the game on its own. It would have been nice if the models just looked a tiny bit better however. The sound effects and music is very basic. It fits, but I can see that someone would like to mute it after several hours of play.
Combat Monsters supports cross-platform multiplayer between PC, Android and iOS. This is nice, since it makes for a pretty healthy community– getting into a game against another player have not been a problem for me. Also, there seems to be a tournament mode in the works that has not yet been enabled, but it is something to look forward to.
I very much enjoy playing Combat Monsters. It is a very strategic, fair card game, and when I loose a battle in it– I can only blame myself. The player can build his decks however he chooses to and several of them can be saved at a time. It does get a bit repetitive after awhile however, since all you do is battling opponent after opponent, but In small doses it can be excellent.