Today Clash of Clans developer Supercell soft-launched Clash Royale, a competitive multiplayer defence game in which the goal is to spend as much money as possible on virtual cards. At least that's the vibe I'm getting. Card games are invading more and more of our favourite video games lately, but in the free-to-play mobile marketplace they prefer cards of the collectible variety. Since Rage of Bahamut made a bajillion dollars doling out chances — mere chances — to score powerful spells and creatures, just about every other mobile developer looking to score a quick buck has done the same. It's a gambling thing, only the house never loses.
Supercell's Clash Royale, soft-launched in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and several other countries, harnesses this power in the form of collectible card-based troops to deploy in one-on-one battles against other players.
Players build a deck of cards from their collection, and then deploy them on the battlefield as a power meter slowly charges. The more powerful the troop, the more power it takes to put them on the field. Once there, the units march across bridges into enemy territory, attempting to take down the opponent's towers before losing their own. Destroying the opponent's main tower is a win. Should the three-minute timer run down, the player with the most towers standing wins.
The concept is pretty simple. Once you've got that down, it's just a matter of collecting and levelling up the right troops to get the job done.
Win matches and reap rewards like chests, which have a timer for opening that can be bypassed via in-game currency because of course they do. Chests contain coin and new cards, which can be used to add to your arsenal or level up existing units.
Or just buy them. Spend all of your money on virtual cards to make your other virtual cards stronger so you can destroy your enemy and make them never want to play again.
Eventually this game will be packed with paying customers and peppered with tenacious new players who know they can win a match if they just apply themselves. Supercell will make several million more dollars and there'll be commercials for this game all over television. And since that's going to happen, I don't really need to tell you anything else about it.
Clash Royale is currently available for free on iOS in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and New Zealand.