Vikings: War of Clans – City-Building Games Through a Norse Lens

Vikings: War of Clans is a city-building game that follows on the tradition set by Plarium and a few other developers. It’s a game about expanding your realm and fighting for supremacy, but it’s not a groundbreaking design that and doesn’t push the genre forward. However, there are millions of fans of the genre and this is one of the best games that they can try.

I decided to give Vikings: War of Clans a go to discover what is so appealing about the genre. A few hours in and it was easy to see why so many players are hooked to the game.

Vikings War of Clans Bastion

Norse Architect

Vikings: War of Clans is meticulously designed to grab your attention from the outset, beginning with the ease that you can start a game in your browser. The appealing graphics and easy to read user interface contribute to a solid world that is immediately tempting to casual players, with its simple tutorial and initial rewarding sense of progression.

Everything you do nets you some sort of reward; it’s a feeling that keeps you wanting more, as you develop your village and see it come to life. There are plenty of little animations to make it feel lively, with your shiny purple oracle standing out in the middle of the village. The distant snowy peaks are made of a few different graphical layers, adding a nice sense of depth to the bastion. Your troops cheer and train, your little workers are always busy mining and cutting wood, the druids are concocting mysterious potions in their cauldron, and while you may nitpick that the animations are made up of short endless loops, they manage to look good.

Constructing buildings and upgrading them is one of the focus of Vikings: War of Clans and similar strategy games such as Sparta: War of Empires. It’s a satisfying but somewhat repetitive gameplay loop, one that isn’t meant to become your main occupation during the day – this is a game that works best as an alternate way to occupy your journey, as a background task that you’ll check into several times a day to see your progress and unlock further options. It’s like a Tamagotchi of city-building, where you need to take constant care for your village and inhabitants.

Vikings War of Clans Global Map

There are several systems for hero customization, with various skill trees, gear, and more to constantly spend your hard-earned skills on. During the first hours you’ll find yourself clicking away at more notifications than you can stomach, but progress will eventually iron out this kink. After all, it’s not like you are the only player earning all those rewards, you are just another Viking hero in a mad, mad world.

As your village evolves, there is a whole mass of land out there ripe for exploring and conquering. Training troops is crucial, amassing a respectable army that will set out to capture farms, fighting centurions and monsters, all in a bid to get more resources to use with your people. The process is mostly automatic, with the player allocating the troops for the battle and getting a final report about the clash. It’s a tried-and-test formula that is spruced up when it comes to player-versus-player combat, the core of Vikings: War of Clans after the initial hours of introduction to this world.

Ultimately, Vikings: War of Clans goes from casual to hardcore, as your character and village climb experience levels and engage other players. There is a ruthless competitive side to the game, one where certain building upgrades take several weeks to conclude. This is where the wheat is separated from the chaff, with some players unable to withstand the lengthy process of leveling up their hero and village, while others take pride in showing their achievements and power.

Vikings War of Clans Troops

While Vikings: War of Clans is a good choice if you plan on dipping your feet into the city-building genre, Nords: Heroes of the North is a viable alternative. Both games share the Norse mythology theme, albeit Nords does so with a cartoon aesthetic.

These games are designed with extreme care and based on a winning formula, although it’s sometimes difficult to pick the better game from such an assorted offer. While the genre could do with some sort of breakthrough, the existing titles should be more than enough to keep you busy for hours.

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Disney Selling Off FoxNext, Getting Out Of Game Making Entirely

With the recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney, many of the Fox subsidiaries and IPs have been under a pretty taxing microscope. Alongside all of their movie and animation studios, Fox also had their own game development studio called FoxNext. FoxNext is allegedly on the chopping block currently under Disney’s new supervision. That could lead to a troubling future for their main game, Marvel Strike Force.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the entire decision comes from Disney CEO, Bob Iger. Iger recently made the case that he’d rather Disney get out of the business of making and/or publishing games. The 2016 shut down of toys-to-life game Disney Infinity and the 2017 cancellation of Club Penguin, were just the beginning. He’d just prefer to license out their properties to other studios.

 

What’s Next For FoxNext?

FoxNext’s Marvel Strike Force was among those licensed games, with growing popularity over the past year as a heavy-hitting mobile game. The game plays identically to the also-Disney-licensed EA mobile game, Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes. Of course, that comes complete with Marvel characters, stories, and some changes to the formula on which it is based. With single player and multiplayer alike in the game, it relies on a free to play model and has constant updates and events. 

FoxNext also has other games based on the Fox properties, Aliens and Avatar, in the works. While the Aliens title and details are kept under wraps, Avatar: Pandora Rising’s website has only a quick description. “Experience the striking beauty of Pandora in Avatar: Pandora Rising. Lead a flourishing Na’vi village or build a prosperous RDA mining colony. Collect iconic heroes, troops and resources, build your base, and fight real-time battles. Join the epic battle for survival, save your people and determine the fate of Pandora.”

Alongside Disney getting rid of FoxNext, it’s now currently unsure territory if the mobile developer will be able to keep the licenses they have been working on. With them all Disney owned now, Iger has made it clear that partnerships with other, more established game developers is the way to go. EA still has its Force-choke hold on the Star Wars properties and Square Enix assembling Marvel’s Avengers. So, maybe FoxNext will keep their licenses in the future.

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Perfect World Mobile Launches Globally

Today Perfect World Mobile launched in 120 countries around the world. The game is the mobile re-imagining of the classic MMORPG. Before it launched more than 1 million people pre-registered their interest.

While this is being called a global launch there are actually some restrictions on who has access to this global server. The following countries are blocked from what is being called the North American version:

 

  • Mainland China
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Taiwan
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia
  • Philippines
  • Russia and CIS

This list isn’t really all that surprising at all really. When it comes to global releases of games they rarely include Japan, China, or South Korea. Each of them typically have their own release. This can often be said of Russia as well. In China, Perfect World Mobile shot up to the number 2 spot on the App Store within 5 hours of its launch. While the most recent update has received 2.6 million downloads within the first 12 hours of its release.

It will be interesting to see if the game makes Superdata’s top 10 mobile games list for the month when the one for September is released in October. Tencent’s Honour of Kings, Arena of Valor in the West has dominated the top spot in the charts for most of the year and it was the highest-grossing mobile game in 2018. Pokemon Go bounces between second and third place month to month. The 7-year-old Clash of Clans is still in the mobile top 10 list every month as well. So there’s a lot of opportunity for Perfect World Mobile to work its way into the monthly top 10.

 

Source: MMOCulture, Superdata

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Team Go Rocket And Shadow Pokemon Invade Pokemon Go!

Pokemon has been one of my favorite fandoms for well over two-thirds of my life. I was only ten when the original Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue were released and it was unlike anything I had ever played before. I was instantly hooked to the adventure, the mechanics, and the phenomenon that came from it. I vividly remember facing off against the horrible Team Rocket for the very first time at Mt. Moon. Eventually, I took them on at the Silph Co. building and their own hideout, then one last epic battle against their boss to take away the Earth Badge and head toward Victory Road. That’s why Team GO Rocket in the smash-hit mobile game, Pokemon Go, is such a fantastic entry for longtime fans of the franchise. 

 

Prepare For Trouble, Make It Double!

For the uninitiated, Team Rocket, in the mainline games, is an evil organization hellbent on stealing Pokemon and causing havoc. Led by the devious gangster Giovanni, they cause trouble all in the name of more power and money. Giovanni, himself, is (during the events of the original games) the leader of the Viridian City Gym, making him the final Gym Leader before hitting up the Elite Four. It’s even alluded to that they had something to do with the creation of the genetic powerhouse, Mewtwo, which was confirmed in the anime and other media. Team Rocket became an iconic part of the Pokemon franchise and even my mom knows who they are, partially due to ten-year-old me playing the games all those years ago.

team go rocket jessie james

Pictured: Not Twerps, clearly.
(Source: Pokemon Let’s Go! Pikachu and Eevee trailer, TPCi)

Unlike some of the evil organizations across Pokemon games, Rocket shows their ugly face more than once in the series. In the direct sequel games to the first generation, Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver featured them as the primary threat. There, they caused mass evolution of Magikarp, cut off Slowpoke tails to sell as a delicacy, and generally caused trouble on their path to find their missing leader. By the 7th Generation, Giovanni had figured out how to travel through the multiverse, where he collected alternate versions of other “Team” leaders that had defeated the protagonist in each of their respective dimensions. At that point, Team Rainbow Rocket was the post-game threat, which ended in Giovanni threatening to return yet again. 

That’s where it left off and may have hinted at what came next, with Giovanni’s final words in Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon, “Now…what new world shall I unleash my evil schemes upon…?”

 

Team Rocket Comes To Pokemon Go!

Let’s cut to the real world and the incredibly successful Pokemon Go mobile game. Catching Pokemon while traveling around the real world, battling, trading, and completing research quests is just usual fare. After three years of constant events, the very loose lore of the game sometimes throws the players a bone. This time, it all started at the “Pokemon GO Fest” in Dortmund, Germany. An ominous familiar black hot air balloon sporting a giant red “R” was seen during the event. Players and fans knew something bigger was coming.

Sure enough, they did. Lasting for a day initially, some Pokestops were discolored. Upon approaching them, they’d turn black instead of the usual blue and have that classic red “R” up top. Spinning it would do something new, however. Instead of just gaining a few new items and moving on, a Rocket Grunt would attack you, starting an actual battle. After the tough battle, the first Pokemon they’d have used was available to catch using premier balls, not unlike catching a raid Pokemon. But, something was off about these Pokemon. They emit a dark aura around them because they’re Shadow Pokemon!

 

Old School Fans Would Know Shadow Pokemon

Delving back a bit into the history of old Pokemon games, you’ll find Pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness. During those games, the evil Team Cipher created a process that removes emotion from Pokemon to harness their fighting spirit. Players can catch Shadow Pokemon and “purify” them. Aside from a Shadow Mewtwo appearing in the Nintendo Wii U and Switch game, Pokken Tournament, this type of mechanic hasn’t really appeared outside the third generation era. 

dratini-pokemon-go-shadow-purify

From the shadows, Dratini!
(Source: Pokemon GO)

Of note, the Japanese version of Shadow Pokemon in prior entries is referred to as “Dark Pokemon.” Meanwhile, the Japanese version for Pokemon Go still refers to them as “Shadow” in the prefix. Anyone old enough to remember the original Team Rocket expansion of the Pokemon Trading Card Game will remember cards like “Dark Gyarados” and “Dark Raichu,” which can back up the thought process that “Dark” and “Shadow” are considered one in the same.

 

Team GO Rocket Blasts Off!

So, that event lasted all of a single day, going away in a flash. Within a few days, the dastardly Team Rocket was showing up in New York City for a big take over of Pokestops. After several hours, they were “defeated,” only to drop more hints at a more widespread take over set for two days later. They’re relentless! All of Pokemon Go’s Twitter and social media went into black out and Team Rocket took “control.” Giovanni stepped forward with a new team name: Team GO Rocket! He even alluded to his final line in Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon. They took control of all Pokestops for an hour on a set day. As quickly as they came, they were defeated yet again, with threats of a potential return. But, are they gone for good? Unlikely.

pokemon-go-team-go-rocket-pokestop-grunt

Pokestop right there!
(Source: Pokemon Go)

Where Will This Lead?

Team GO Rocket Pokestops now have the in-game “Hero” medal tied to defeating them. It’s clear that Pokemon Go players now have a force to take head on. With the ability to purchase both Team Rocket and Team Rainbow Rocket’s attire for your avatar to wear, I wonder if we’ll have the ability to join them one day. 

I recall the end of Nugget Bridge during the original Pokemon games, where the final opponent turned out to be a Rocket Grunt. He asks if you want to JOIN them! Maybe this is our chance! Probably not. But, in this world, who knows? Could we see the infamous Jessie and James hop to Pokemon Go? Will we get Slowpoke without tails as an event? Could we see Team GO Rainbow Rocket emerge eventually and have us face off against other notorious Team leaders? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what Team GO Rocket and the Pokemon Go team has up their sleeves next. 

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MMORPG Sword Cat Online Launches

Have you ever wished you were in a game populated solely with catgirls and boys? If you said yes, you’re in luck and I’m not just talking about City of Heroes’ Pocket D nightclub. No, I’m talking about the mobile MMORPG Sword Cat Online. In Sword Cat Online everyone plays as a cat hero made in a cute cartoonish art style.

One thing that makes Sword Cat Online stand out is that it is designed to be played with just your thumbs, allowing you to hold your phone in a more natural way as you play. It also boasts full social features like clans, chat, a PvP Arena, and World Boss co-op. It also has a single-player campaign with hundreds of stages.

Because of the anime style fighting scenes, the developers do stress that Sword Cat Online is really only recommended for those ages 12 and up.

The game is available exclusively on Google Play, sorry iPhone users. To celebrate the launch of the game all new players can use the code “scofun19” to receive a free cat hero and 300 gems in game. This code does have a limited quantity though so it is recommended that you redeem it right away. You can find more opportunities to win prizes and get more information about the game on their official Facebook page.

Also, be sure to check out the trailer for the game below.

Source: Press Release

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Space MMORPG Second Galaxy Launching this Week

Three thousand years in the future humanity has formed an empire in the stars called “Second Galaxy.” In this Second Galaxy, five regimes have emerged, each eager to further colonize the universe. Players in this open world MMORPG have the freedom to play any role they like from explorer to bodyguard, miner, or merchant.

The universe of Second Galaxy has 4,961 galaxies to explore that are filled with dark matter, wormholes, space stations, and more. In those, nearly 5,000 galaxies are more than 50,000 stars across 1,000 light years. There are five types of spacecraft with over 150 classes to pick from. Customization of your ships is impressive as well with more than 1,000 types of tactical equipment, 3,000 spacecraft components, and 5,000 technological upgrades.

You’ll be able to see thousands of players on the screen engaging in real-time combat. Thanks to their advances in technology the game can support half a million concurrent players. Quite impressive for a mobile game. Yes, all of this is in a mobile game.

Second Galaxy will be launching globally on iOS and Android on July 5th. Though it’s being called a soft launch, so maybe it’s just a beta? Honestly, does anything mean anything these days? From the sound of it though, they mean for it to be a launch.

This gorgeous looking mobile game looks like it could give EVE a run for its money. If you’re looking for more information about the game you can find them on Facebook or on their official site. Pre-registration is now available as well.

 

Source: Press Release

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E3 2019: Ubisoft Press Conference

The E3 2019 Ubisoft Press Conference is now done with and…well, we hope you like Tom Clancy. Several new Tom Clancy games were announced along with updates for The Division 2 and much more. We’ve picked out just the multiplayer games to focus on. You’ll find all of them plus trailers below.

 

Mythic Quest Raven’s Banquet

Actor Rob McElhenney took to the stage to announce Mythic Quest, a new sitcom about a game studio making the most popular MMORPG in the world, Mythic Quest. McElhenney plays the creative director of the game with a massive ego. Mythic Quest will be on Apple TV Plus and is expected to debut in the Fall.

 

Adventure Time Coming to Brawlhalla

You can now find Adventure Time characters Finn, Jake, and Princess Bubblegum in Brawlhalla, the free to play platform fighter game with more than 25 million players. To celebrate this momentous occasion a limited time event will also be running until June 25th. Wondering what the characters will be like? Here you go.

Finn – the young human kid, this Epic Crossover mirrors the powers and abilities of the Brawlhalla Legend Jhala, but with six signature attacks and two Adventure Time themed weapons skins for axe and sword.

Jake – the magic companion, with six signature attacks and two Adventure Time themed weapons hammer and gauntlets. Jake mirrors the Legend Kor. Let’s kick their digital bootays!

Princess Bubblegum – Ruler of the Candy Kingdom, with six signature attacks and two Adventure Time themed weapons for blasters and rocket lance. Bubblegum mirrors Lord Vraxx. We’ve got science!

There’s also a new Adventure Time themed game mode called Buddy Mode. In Buddy Mode, you are your own team as you control two legends simultaneously. It’s 2v2 but with 1v1 number of players. There’s also an Adventure Time themed map called The Treehouse Stage. Finally, the crossover wouldn’t be complete without some themed KO effects.

 

Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad

It would seem that Tom Clancy games are joining the ranks of those like Heroes of the Storm and Master X Master, games that take a few iconic characters from a particular catalog and stick them all in one place. In Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad you control an elite squad of legendary characters from past Tom Clancy games in real time shooting battles. The part that is of most interest to us, of course, is the PvP aspect, an Arena where squads can compete. The game also has a campaign mode with a unique Tom Clancy storyline. Elite Squad will be available on mobile and if you pre-register you’ll unlock an exclusive character, Colonel Cole D. Walker from Ghost Recon Breakpoint. No word yet on when this game will be launching.

 

The Division 2

There was a lot of information given during the press conference for The Division 2 and its first year of post-launch content, so if you’re a fan grab a drink and get comfortable.

The first year of content will include three free episodes with story-driven missions, new areas, and much more.

Episode 1 D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions is all about exploring the outskirts of DC, who would have guessed with a name like that?. Head into the woodlands of Washington DC. (admittedly this California girl had no idea there were any.) You’ll also get to explore the 11 biomes of the Washington National Zoo. Episode 1 also includes Expeditions which players will have to participate in every week to progress through the different wings of Trinity College. Episode 1 is expected to launch in July.

Episode 2 Pentagon: The Last Castle …you’ll never guess where it takes place….The Pentagon! Agents will have to defend the Pentagon from the Black Tusks while in the main missions trying to solve the ongoing outbreak crisis. Episode 2 will introduce the game’s second 8-player raid. Episode 2 is expected to launch sometime in the Fall.

Episode 3 Coney Island: Homecoming leads players to Coney Island where players will face an old familiar nemesis while facing the biggest threat of them all. Episode 3 is expected to launch in early 2020.

If you haven’t had the chance to play The Division 2 and you have a PC or a console you can play the game for free this weekend.

The Division 2 will also be on Stadia as a part of Uplay+.

Finally, it was announced that there is going to be a movie on Netflix about The Division. Sadly those are all the details we have about that right now.

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The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is Returning This Summer

The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot holds a special place in our hearts here at MMOGames, it was a fun underrated title with the best name ever. Sadly, it was only live for a couple of years and in fact, has now been shut down longer than it was ever live. But, this summer that is about to change! The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is coming back, this time as a mobile title. It’s set to launch on July 9th on Google Play and the App store. You can already preregister your interest, and, if they get one million people to preregister they’ll receive a pet called Bradley, the Doomsday Messenger. Seriously, whoever makes the names for this game deserves an award. The game will feature heroes who can be customized with over 1,000 pieces of gear. There will also be a PvP arena, but, perhaps the biggest thing promised is a huge PvE campaign. We don’t have any other details about the game yet, but we can’t wait to get our hands on it!

Mighty Quest for Epic Loot

If you’re interested in reading more about The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot check out our review of the original version of the game on PC back in 2015. Or you might be interested in our article saying goodbye to the game that took a deep dive into the reasons the game was shut down, what it did well, and what it didn’t do so well. You can, of course, expect an updated review of the game once it is released. For now, though, check out the announcement trailer for The Mighty Quest for Epic loot below.

Source: Destructoid

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New Smite Game, Smite Blitz Announced by Hi-Rez

The height of the MOBA craze seems like it was forever ago. How often do you hear people talking about LoL, DOTA, or Smite anymore? Well, Hi-Rez, the makers of Smite haven’t forgotten and now they’ve announced new game set in an alternate Smite universe called Smite Blitz.

Smite Blitz is a mythology-themed action RPG with story, challenge, and PvP modes. It will launch with 60 Gods available and many more to come at launch. The game will be playable on iOS and Android, in fact, it is available in Technical Alpha for both right now. If you want the opportunity to take part in the Technical Alpha you’ll need to sign up for Hi-Rez Labs, the volunteer playtesting program for things in development by Hi-Rez.

Here’s what the press release announcing the game had to say about the gameplay.

SMITE Blitz allows players to form squads from their collection of gods from multiple pantheons and create the ultimate team to tackle the variety of challenges SMITE Blitz has to offer. Through simple core gameplay, a depth of content to explore and with a brand new visual style, people both familiar and new to the SMITE universe can experience SMITE Blitz to its full extent.

“No other mobile RPG offers players the chance to control legendary gods in the palm of their hands from so many different pantheons!” said SMITE Blitz Associate Producer, Logan Cooper. “Bringing the world of SMITE to mobile devices has opened up opportunities for new gameplay experiences beyond competitive gaming that fans of the game have been keen for us to continue to explore, while opening it up to players that may not have had the chance to experience the epic stories from across mythology that only SMITE can provide. We’re excited to welcome players to SMITE Blitz and can’t wait to see how their adventures unfold.”

 

Source: Press Release

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Pokemon Go Creators Release Harry Potter Wizards Unite in New Zealand

Niantic, the creators of the massively popular Pokemon Go have started the slow release of their next location-based game, Harry Potter Wizards Unite in New Zealand. It is being called both a soft-launch and a beta, so it isn’t quite clear when the next rollout of the game will be, or where. Niantic has also warned that features, design, and the overall appearance of the game are all subject to change. The game may also be buggy and unstable at times.

You may be asking yourself what the difference is between Harry Potter Wizards Unite and Pokemon Go or even Ingress, the game Niantic made before they made Pokemon Go. Well, from the sounds of it there is going to be a bit more story, which is to say any really. The game has the same basic premise as Pokemon Go, go out into the world to find important items and people. But, according to Gamespot, it has a lot of similarities to a traditional RPG thanks to things like skill trees and potion brewing.

Android users around the world can currently pre-register for the game on Google Play. Also, if you’re an active Pokemon Go player you should have received an email from Niantic offering you the opportunity to reserve your username in Harry Potter Wizards Unite ahead of the launch so you’re guaranteed to have the same name in Pokemon Go and Harry Potter.

Hopefully, the release of Harry Potter Wizards Unite in New Zealand means that the game is very nearly ready for a global release. We’re in that sweet spot just before summer where the weather (for most of us at least) is getting warmer and being outside is preferable to being indoors.

 

Source: Gamespot

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