With the state of the industry right now and mobile games in particular, I feel it’s important to say that this episode was not sponsored in any way. Clash of Clans absolutely falls into some of the traps of most mobile games. By the later levels, avoiding microtransactions is nearly impossible. That said, I don’t think the game gets enough credit. The strategy is actually surprisingly deep and battles are tough as you get to later levels and try attacking players who really know what they’re doing. I had some great times in Clash of Clans and while I did drop a bit of money, it was purely because I wanted to support a company that I thought made a great game.

As the game expands and more end-game content becomes available, I’m sure the microtransaction problem has only worsened so it may not be worth playing now, I honestly can’t say. What I can say is that this is one of the few Free-To-Play games that I’ve felt was worth talking about on Video Game of the Day.

5/9 – Clash of Clans

Hello and welcome. My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

I’ve covered a few casual games on this show before but I believe this is my first mobile game exclusive. Today, let’s talk about Clash of Clans, developed and published by Supercell for iOS in 2012 and Android in 2013.

Clash of Clans is a strategy game where players build up their own city to defend against attacks from other players. Each player has a set number of each building they can build based on their level. As their level grows, they can build more buildings and gain access to new buildings. Buildings are typically either production buildings which generate resources over time, defensive buildings, which work to protect production buildings from attack, or army buildings which allow players to build larger armies or spells.

Along with managing their cities, players can build armies and spells to attack other players. Much like buildings, players can only build a certain number of each unit and spell based on the level of their buildings. Armies are not controlled directly by the player. Rather, when a player attacks another player, they are shown a map of the enemy’s city and they are given 3 minutes to complete their attack. Players choose where, precisely, to drop each unit and then each unit has their own pre-programmed AI which directs them where to go. An attack ends when all the units die, the enemy’s main base is destroyed or the 3 minutes is up. Attacks are then ranked based on how well the units performed, with a top rating only coming if the player can destroy an enemy’s main base.

The game’s strategy comes in understanding unit AI well enough to drop units in the correct locations so they can effectively break through an opponent’s defenses. A player must also position their own defenses to try and prevent other players from doing the same. Clash of Clans features a small single-player campaign where players can fight Goblin villages to obtain resources. These battles work the same as battles against other players but are against cities setup by the developers and often serve to teach newer players how to think strategically. The game also features clans for both community and to fight in clan wars against other clans, a series of multiplayer battles where a clan’s total attack rankings are tallied together.

Microtransactions do exist in Clash of Clans and while they aren’t strictly necessary to progress, later levels can become exceedingly slow without purchases. Microtransactions can be used to speed up building times or gain additional resources, as well as to add certain cosmetic items to a base.

Reviews for Clash of Clans has been positive with many praising the simplicity of the gameplay and the surprising level of depth contained in battles and base building. Criticisms are often pointed towards the extremely long build times in later levels, where buildings can sometimes take multiple weeks to build without paying to shorten the build times. Still, the game has remained one of SuperCells biggest games almost 7 years later and battles amongst the top players are still watched by thousands of players every day.

Thanks so much for listening to the show. If you want a super special bonus episode, I’m going to be taking over The Gaming Observer tomorrow so enable that fantastic Flash Briefing to hear that tomorrow! Again, it’ll be The Gaming Observer and also follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday for updates and polls and random thoughts about whatever I happen to be playing or watching. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.

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