Reviewing these mega-releases always feels like a bit of formality, as if you've paid any attention to the mobile gaming scene over the last few months, you probably already followed our guide and have been playing the soft launched version of Clash Royale [Free], if for no reason other than to see what all the fuss is about. Well, the game officially launched worldwide early this morning along side the biggest Apple feature we've ever seen in App Store history, and when you combine Supercell's penchant for huge blown-out advertising campaigns, I'm guessing it won't be long until they start blasting all available airwaves with celebrity-packed Clash Royale TV commercials. The good news is the game itself is absolutely phenomenal, and much like Clash of Clans [Free], will undoubtedly summon a veritable tsunami of copycats and highly "inspired" spinoffs... Which might not necessarily be the worst thing, as the combination of genres and gameplay mechanics in Clash Royale actually works incredibly well for a mobile game.

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For the sake of being thorough here, let's assume this is somehow the first you've heard of Clash Royale. The easiest way to describe it is as a collectable card game where your cards represent real-time strategy game-like units which are dropped onto MOBA-ish multi-lane battlefields with two towers and a base you need to attack while defending your own. That's quite a mouthful, and it sounds complicated, but the magic of Clash Royale is it's all presented in a way that I really don't think you need to know anything about card games, RTS games, MOBAs, or the emergent strategies in any of those genres because everything has been simplified and streamlined to a masterful extent.

Breaking that down further, in Hearthstone [Free] players are faced with amassing collections of hundreds of cards, spread across multiple classes, then used in a thirty card deck. If you've never played a game like that before, even as great as the Hearthstone tutorial and onboarding process is, you're still talking more of a learning wall and less of a learning curve. Thirty cards is substantially easier to manage than Magic's sixty, but you've got to either really know what you're doing or be a supremely analytical player to be able to make heads or tails over whether running one of a particular card is doing much better or worse than running two of that same card. Just how difficult it is to create a competitive deck for most players leads to just looking up what other players are playing, copying those decks, and never really ever needing to learn how to build a deck of their own.

Comparatively, Clash Royale (as of this writing) features a few dozen cards of which players select eight unique cards to build a deck. Initially, this seems a little too basic- particularly if you're a veteran of other card games. Once you let it settle in, it's actually pretty awesome, as with only eight cards to work with, it becomes immediately transparent which cards are and aren't working in your deck. Additionally, with a card pool measured in the dozens combined with cleverly tiered unlocking of available cards, you quickly learn what everything in the game does without the encyclopedic knowledge required to know every single card in a typical CCG.

The RTS and MOBA elements have also been greatly simplified. In both genres, success comes from not just by how intelligently you utilize your units, but how quickly and accurately you're able to control them. In the world of popular RTS games like StarCraft, top-tier players are issuing hundreds of commands a minute to their army. Similarly, the split-second decision making you see in top-tier MOBA play is incredible. Clash Royale simplifies and slows all of that down just enough that it's easy to play, while still invoking a feeling that your decisions matter just as much as the ones you might make in an RTS or MOBA.

screen1136x1136-207This is all accomplished through dragging cards from your hand which seamlessly summon that card's unit (or units) on to the battlefield. Positioning where you summon these units is important, as instead of micro-managing an army, everything uses a very basic AI similar to attacking a base in Clash of Clans. Each unit behaves slightly differently, and some might prioritize targeting structures while others attack the closest thing to them. Cards have a casting cost associated to them, utilizing the Elixir resource which you may similarly recognize from Clash of Clans. Like most card games, the cost of cards typically escalate with power level, but behind the scenes of the game is a rock-paper-scissors-like system where seemingly powerful expensive cards can be totally countered by cheaper cards played properly and at the right time.

For instance, the Prince is the first epic card most new players will come across. He costs five elixir to play, and after a brief period will quickly charge toward the closest unit or structure and strike with a massive attack. The first time you encounter this card, you'll inevitably feel like it's totally overpowered. However, after thinking about a bit and experimenting, you'll discover that the Tombstone card which not only is rare instead of epic, but also costs three elixir instead of five, will totally shut down the Prince. The catch is, you've got to intelligently manage your hand of cards, and have answers to threats like the Prince at the ready. This is just one example, but the entire game is filled with cards which situationally are very strong, but can be easily countered. Even though the card pool and deck size may seem small, the depth of strategy is amazing.

A typical game then involves initially choosing your eight cards which hopefully meld together well in some kind of cohesive strategy with answers to the different types of threats you might come across. From there, you search for an opponent, and are matched up with someone who has a similar trophy level as you (more on this later). From there, you dump out cards, and hopefully manage to knock down one or more of their crown towers while protecting your own, and ultimately destroy your opponent's main King tower. Games have a hard limit of taking absolutely no longer than four minutes, which is really just another clever wrinkle in the game.

The first two minutes of a Clash Royale game are normal, you slowly gain Elixir and use that Elixir to play your cards. If inside of these two minutes you manage to destroy your opponent's main King tower, you win. Otherwise, the game advances to an additionalΒ minute where Elixir generation is doubled, which is usually where things get real as you and your opponent just rapid-fire throw cards at each other. At the end of that cumulative three minutes, whoever has destroyed more towers wins the game. If things are tied, you're given another minute of sudden death where the first player to destroy any tower wins. If after sudden death no one manages to do that, the game ends in a tie. Ideally, you want to destroy all of your opponent's towers, as you collect crowns for each tower destroyed. If you collect ten in a day, you unlock a Crown Chest which usually has a hefty amount of gold and cards. But, wait, "Chests? Gold?"

screen1136x1136-208By now you're probably thinking, "Alright, all this sounds pretty rad, but what's the rub?" It is a free to play game after all, so being skeptical of pay walls and other freemium shenanigans is only natural. Here's the gist- Cards are rewarded through opening chests. Every four hours, you get one free chest and you have two slots for these free chests, so to maximize your freebies you'll want to be checking in on the game at least once every eight hours. After completing the tutorial, winning battles awards chests of different levels of rarity (rarer chests include more cards and gold) and you can hold a maximum of four of these prize chests. Silver Chests, which are the most common prize chest to come across take three hours to unlock with the Super Magical Chest, currently the best chest in the game, taking an entire day to unlock. Only one chest unlock timer can be rolling at a time, so there's a bit of strategy involved with what you unlock and when. For instance, if you've got a Golden Chest in your inventory, you'll likely want to hang on to that to unlock it overnight as that's an eight hour timer you can have counting down while you sleep. If you have four chests in your inventory, you cannot earn more through winning games until you unlock one and thereby open up that inventory slot.

Of course, you can also pay to skip any of these timers, and Clash Royale shares a similar premium currency to Clash of Clans in that they're using Gems. Like any free to play game with timers, the amount of premium currency it takes to skip a timer scales up significantly with the amount of time remaining. Additionally, like all these games, the premium currency is doled out at regular intervals although it takes a while to accumulate any substantial number. Gems are also used to buy gold and chests from the in-game store. Chests purchased this way are opened immediately and aren't impacted by you potentially having four chests in your inventory already.

Complicating things a bit further is the persistent leveling-up system that exists both for you as a player as well as individual cards which will lead you to collecting as many cards as possible. Say you get a new card from a chest, you can obviously immediately play with that card in any deck. But what if in your next chest you get duplicates of that same card? Well, you combine two cards and five gold to level that card up one level. When a card gains a level, the health a unit has and the damage it does are both increased by ten percent. The curve for cards gaining levels is significant, and while it only took you two cards and five gold to get a card to level two, it'll take four cards and twenty gold to get to level three, ten cards and fifty gold to get to level four, and so on. Upgrading a card awards experience which is rolled into your "King level," your overall experience level which also makes your in-game towers more powerful and have more hit points. Buying gold seems like the best way to spend your gems in game, as gold is used not only to upgrade cards, but also buy cards you might not have from the daily rotating in-game card shop.

Another totally optional (but very beneficial) level of complication comes from joining a clan. Much like Clash of Clans, the game has a surprisingly compelling social element to it where up to fifty players can band together to donate cards to each other, which really is the best way to gain both experience and any cards you might be missing. To sweeten the deal further, for every common card you donate you'll get one experience point and five gold, for rares you'll get ten experience points and fifty gold. So, typically, it's advantageous to join a clan and buy rares and commons from your own card shop with gold, as you basically just get that gold back along with experience points as you share cards with your clan members. Clans increase in rank as the members of the clan gain trophies, and trophies also serve as both a persistent progression system as well as how matches are made.

screen1136x1136-209If you've played Clash of Clans, this whole setup will be immediately familiar to you. It works great in CoC, so it's not much of a surprise that Supercell brought that same system over. Your overall rank in the game against opponents is based on how many trophies you have. Winning a game causes you to gain trophies, while, obviously, losing a game does the opposite. At certain trophy thresholds, you advance to entirely new arenas which not only look different, but also unlock additional cards which your chests can potentially contain. It's a great system that works well for matchmaking, as well as gating content based on skill level. New players only have access to a very small card pool, but as you play and get better, you gain access to more cards which further complicates the game (in a good way) as well as the choices you'll make when building decks.

There has been a ton of backlash surrounding the chest timers while the game was soft launched, and while timers in game are a generally annoying mechanic, the great part of how all the free to play elements of Clash Royale work is that there's nothing stopping you from just playing the game all day long if you want to. Looking at the game through the lens of "Well, whatever, I'm not getting cards what's even the point of playing," is totally disregarding the fact that what you really want is trophies as even if you can't hold additional chests to unlock because your inventory is full, you can still freely level up to different arenas and in the process, make those chests that you're opening contain better stuff. Additionally, Clash Royale is very much a skill-based game, and the best way to get better at skill-based stuff is to just keep playing it. A better way to look at the chests is more similar to how Hearthstone has daily quests. Even if you already have completed your Hearthstone quests for the day, you still might play a few more ranked games just to keep ranking up. Playing Clash Royale for a few more trophies is no different.

I'm at the point right now, from playing since the soft launch first went online, where I don't really even care about the cards that are coming out of my chests. Instead, I'm doing everything I can to grind up to the next arena to unlock the next tier of cards. There's nothing limiting me in the game from hitting that next unlock aside from my own skill and the time I have to play. Additionally, once you settle in to where gaining trophies gets difficult, the game gets even more exciting as you're often faced with very even matches, often ending in crazy sudden death wins and loses which are a ton of fun. (Remember, in a game like this you're not going to win all the time, and anything over a 50% win rate is considered pretty good.) Overall, you're never ever going to make everyone happy with your free to play monetization in a game, but once you actually get playing Clash Royale and understand that chests aren't the end-all-be-all of progression, you begin to appreciate just how generous it all is.

screen1136x1136-210If you want to see what top-tier play looks like, the game even has a rotating collection of replays they're calling "Clash TV". This serves as a pretty great carrot on a stick as you can see cards in use that you don't have yet, or even potentially players utilizing strategies you haven't thought of doing yet for cards that you do have. In Clash TV, you're likely just watching players who have spent a ton of money on the game, but, that's fine, and really, totally typical of most things you'd be a spectator of. The things you see can still be super useful to you as a free player.

It's hard to find many things to complain about when it comes to Clash Royale, as it's a genuinely very fun game which I've been playing for weeks now without spending a cent and I don't really see that changing. I was a little concerned about the card pool potentially stagnating, but Supercell has already released some new cards, although it'll be interesting seeing what kind of schedule they keep up with when it comes to new content. Considering these kind of games live and die by how much they're supported by their developers, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see a constant drip feed of new stuff slowly funneling into Clash Royale.

I encourage everyone to give this game a try, even if you're a vigilant hater of free to play. Monetization methods aside, you'll still be able to see what a clever formula Supercell has stumbled upon to here with this hybrid of card games, strategy games, and MOBAs. Hard limits on session time make it a phenomenal game to play on the go, and it can be played in portrait mode in one hand which only serves to make things easier. In less than a day it's the top free app, and steadily climbing up the top grossing charts, so if you dig this style of gameplay but don't particularly like certain things about Clash Royale (like chest timers or whatever else) just wait a while. The sad reality is it won't be long before there are as many variations of Clash Royale on the App Store as there are Clash of Clans.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Sloany

    Using the word tsunami in your review the same day Indonesia has been given a tsunami warning is a little crass tho....

    • cabuckn

      Oh come on lol. That's like saying "this game causes a storm of comments" and anyone who dealt with thunderstorms saying that was "crass".

    • God's Grundle

      Also while you're at it, I had a traumatic experience as a child where I almost drowned in a pool. Can you refrain from using that word when describing the group of cards which make up the available cards in the game? It's a little crass.

      • cabuckn

        Don't make me giggle so hard. 30yr old men giggling in the Sonic Drive Thru looks questionable at best.

  • cabuckn

    Eli, between this review and your comments today in the thread, I feel like this is one of the most spot-on reviews that you've done. I'm sure people will still find ways to hate this game, but the more I play it, the more enjoyable it becomes. Great game deserving of this great review.

    • Jakeopp

      Seeing as everyone has different tastes in video games (among other things) that is to be expected

  • Modjular

    I think people some people will shy away because the mechanics are pretty different from most FTP games so far. Personally, I enjoy this system because it rewards hardcore casual players. Hoping Supercell sticks with this formula πŸ™‚

    • nini

      "Hardcore casual", so midcore you mean? I swear the names we use to pigeonhole and categorise gamer types are getting more clumsy.

      • Modjular

        I say " hardcore casual" because it describes pretty well how most people will end up playing this. It's casual because it's something you check here and there throughout the day, but the hardcore part is being dedicated enough to open chests when they're finished, right when they finish, since that's the optimal way of progressing. You can be very, very dedicated to this game, but that doesn't mean grinding for hours.

      • Themagicjesus

        There's no hardcore in clicking on a damn chest

  • Ragnar Dragonfyre

    No mention of how Clans can totally twink out low level players with cards that aren't available in the arena you're currently in, eh?

    Maybe it's not a problem that everyone has encountered but it sure as hell ruined my experience and drove me to delete the app.

    • God's Grundle

      You can purposefully lose a ton to drop trophies then stomp lower level players, but you're talking extreme fringe cases of jerks and not at all representative of the majority of the games someone will typically play?

    • cabuckn

      Twink out? You have to own the card to request the card....

      • God's Grundle

        Yep, I'm guessing he got beat once and rage deleted. Unfortunately, games like this and people who can't handle not winning all the time don't go together too well.

      • jsrco

        This isn't pay 2 win, its definitely pay 2 play at higher levels. Its not fun loosing all the time. I am at 1120 and I loose a good amount of my matches. Most of them its because my opponent just has better cards. While the game is fun, I don't want to grind away crowns - winning rarely till I get better cards. This is why I am not a fan of IAP currency. You can literally buy your way into some better situations.

        But the one fact of this game is that you will loose. Its just cutting your teeth on the game mechanics.

      • irettillib

        The problem with your point about losing due to your opponent's better cards is that you're only playing them because, with their better cards factored in, you're about equal in skill. I play people that are higher level than I am 3/4 matches (sometimes 2 levels higher). Sometimes I win to them, and sometimes I don't. There's really not much of a solution to this if you want to capture the 'progress' mechanic of leveling stats in a pvp game. Some people will put more in, but not get any higher rank; better players will always have to compete on uneven terrain.

      • jsrco

        That proves my point. It would mean they are buying their way into skill.

        There is a solution. Charge one price for the game and set everyone to an even playing field. Unfortunately that isn't an option or more profitable. It's a fun game and skill does play a huge factor, but so does money invested. Money invested can place people on uneven terrain. Since money is a sensitive subject, it can add to player frustration over losses.

      • Modjular

        I feel like it's been said, but you can't buy skill in this game. The people who spend money get a nice boost to the arenas where people have cards like them. But they're not buying the ability to win against those people. Experience will always win.

      • heretikeen

        Except at the point when experience plays versus experience. Then money wins.
        IAP always tilts the playing field in favor to the guy that coughs up more cash. It's a sad thing so many players still support that kind of scam.

      • nini

        Then skill wins, it's still not about paying to win but the better player and you can't buy skill, not monetarily anyway.

      • heretikeen

        It's funny how you guys are pretending not to get it.
        If you and me both have equal skill, you win because you pay. End of story. And please don't give me anything about mythical players that solely rely on their magic skill and beat even paying players.
        PvP with IAP is crap for everyone except the provider.

      • spared_mercy

        And luck of the draw, players going on tilt, misreading moves, misplaying cards, slipping up and making mistakes etc doesn't ever factor into it right? Don't give me "if we're of similar skill you wouldn't mess up" - we're human, we make mistakes, we're not 100% all the time. If skill is matched, those factors come into play.

      • Modjular

        I definitely agree, better cards might win the match. But you act as if ranking isn't a thing. Someone with Lvl 1 commons will probably lose against the guy with Lvl 5 epics, yes? In that case, this game truly is evil since people with these subjectively better decks can go around stomping smaller decks. But that doesn't happen doesn't it? What's more likely is I end up playing a Lvl 8 guy at level 7. He has a common-card that's a level above mine. And according to your logic, he's a horrible cash-paying monster. Get over yourself. This game isn't evil, and putting money into it isn't evil. I'm very comfortable saying skill is more important than who has a higher-Lvl deck.

      • Jarrett Kurzhals

        All points true on what heretikeen said. Also you get beta testers that are being shit heads and not dropping out after testing the game for programmers and keep goin frustration the hell out of other players. I used to bra tester but my group also ways followed the rule of deleting or getting rid of our profiles once we were all done testing games. And redoing from scratch to make it fair for all others to play the game.

      • irettillib

        ...I feel like you only read half of my post. There's really no solution... IF you're trying to capture the progress mechanic of leveling stats. Good players will always play uphill because bad players will level up stats without climbing ranks. Yes, you can buy stats, but if you're good AND have the stats, you'll be playing in higher ranks. It all balances out - playing uphill would be a factor regardless of the monetization system because of the leveling system itself. There is no solution for this if you want leveling in a PVP game.

      • jsrco

        I feel like you only read half of my post. Take out the IAP and you are forced to level on skill and time spent playing. Everyone is on even playing fields. You even agreed again: yes you can buy stats.

        This is what I mean pay to play at a higher level. These people that do this can steam roll a lot of players moving up to the top brackets. And as someone else stated, if you are the exact same skill level, the person spending money will always win.

      • irettillib

        My point is that the leveling mechanic is the culprit of uneven playing fields, not the monetization system. I'm not one of the people claiming this game has zero P2W elements, but it ultimately doesn't affect the gameplay experience. People who have higher stats and equal skill will be higher rank than you, so if we're speaking theoretically, you'll never be matched with them. Yes, they get to skip the grind to get cool cards, but the rest of us are playing an awesome game for free without almost ever losing due to differences in $ spent. I'm not ignoring the logic that money = better cards, I'm saying it doesn't actually change the gameplay experience.

      • Themagicjesus

        Bs you have no idea if the opponent has cards that just happen to be three/four/five levels ahead

  • Just4today1125

    I'm enjoying it so far. Still just doing the training. Is it strictly p v p?

  • jinsupark

    This game is so much fun! Can't stop playing it, my wife and 3 other friends have all gotten seriously addicted to this game.

  • speedyph

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  • Touchmint

    I feel like it's pretty spot on although I'm only to arena 2 so i still worry about a pay wall. Even if I hit one it's been fun.

    However I can't believe how hard Apple is pushing this. Top banner, push aside last weeks games early, whole new category of banners? Why not remove the featured page and just replace it with a direct download link to the game?

    Good thing I picked this week to launch adventure to fate haha.

    • cabuckn

      I thought about that earlier :/

    • nini

      Advertising blitz, probably cost some amount to have that sort of exposure but when one of your games make the 5 top grossing apps and stays there, you get a few incentives thrown your way.

  • ShinHadoukin

    I good game makes everyone accept F2P garbage. It is a good game and deserves praise but It still has all the F2P nonsense.

    • nini

      Because shock horror, F2P can be balanced!! I know, it falls against the edicts that it's always a paywall and pay to win denies all those hours you spent playing games but it can be done, has been done in fact with Hearthstone before it so put away your onoes regarding IAPs, not everything is an absolute.

    • Stormourner of the Nature

      *shoots fireball at you* HADOUKEN!!!

  • DemoEvolved

    Absolutely there are two major differences between this and the typical supercell experience: 1. Skill will take you really far in this game. 2. Once you are high in cups your win rate will be 50%, by design.

    Two major categories of haters are going to be: players that don't want to face that they are not skillful. This is no clash of clans where you can just farm resources and feel like you are making progress.
    And #2: players that can't tolerate winning only 50% of the time. (According to my research, most players feel a game is fair only if they are winning at least 66% of the time). For those players, they should look for a Player vs. AI game such as Royal Revolt, since it's possible to design a high % win rate into that kind of game.

    • Jakeopp

      Clash does a better job of accommodating for multiple play styles IMO. Pushing, farming, war, etc. This game has no farming really, and no cooperative team-wide events like TF missions or clan wars in BB & CoC. There's only seems to be one way to play. Having played this in soft launch for a while I find myself still preferring CoC and Boom Beach, clans almost seem useless in this game beyond chat & donations, but it's still early in release so maybe we'll see something else introduced eventually. Maybe I'm just comparing apples to oranges here as this game is much different than any other SC game.

    • Arma

      Skill isn't taking me anywhere. 5 matches in and I'm encountering players with units that smash through everything I throw at them and kill my forts in 3-4 hits.

      • Jakeopp

        That's kinda the way the game goes, you play long enough then you run into a wall, and you'll keep running into that wall until you find a way past it. After that you'll run into another wall...and well you get the idea :p

  • Milotorou

    Ive been playing since one week after the soft launch, im in love with this game, just reached 2000 trophies today and i only spent 10$ so far, so anyone who says this is pay to win is wrong.

    Of course theres the top players that mustve spent a ton towards the game, but with skill alone you can get fairly high.

    I do play a lot of games even when all my chest slots are full, free to play elements become less of a pain in the neck when they dont limit how much youre "allowed" to play.

    Welcome to all new players, the more the merrier πŸ™‚

  • Dema9o9ue

    Great review Eli. I love this game and I think most people who play it will also. Their f2p model is so right. Keep up the great work buddy. Your writing continues to get better and better.

  • araczynski

    phenomenal my ass, just an example of a very highly polished consumables machine. Supercell and its kind are THE mother-load of cancer that has ravaged pretty much all of mobile.

  • ejfarraro

    Came here to say that I'm a huge f2p skeptic, but the system here works. The chests are very generous and with the 'tournament cap' on card levels, even f2p players can play on an equal footing vs other players in the guild/tournaments.

    Sure, if you want to be at the top of the Clash TV/leaderboards, it will costs literally thousands of dollars. But if you're content playing competitive games and continuously unlocking new cards, then the system just works without paying a dime.

    • nini

      Yeah, you can pay but like paying for expensive MTG cards it doesn't mean you'll stay at the top without knowing how to play well.

  • mallouk

    Agreed, but this games is a bit more fermium than other supercell's games

  • fabell

    This game is a great feather in the cap for Supercell. It's fun, addicting, and both demands nothing and everything from the playerbase. My only concern is it's a two-dimensional game on a very quickly evolving three-dimensional platform. I predict it will burn bright and then settle at a certain level. Supercell is definitely making a name for itself as the "Clash Franchise". Supercell is, currently, the Darling of the Mobile Ball, it seems. My question is, if they keep developing games using the "simple gameplay with robust strategy" model, how long until that's all they are known for? Would that necessarily be a bad thing?

    • nini

      Until it becomes unprofitable, many a "core" gaming indie darling have done that and if people keep coming then that's fine too.

  • EZ Ice

    Ok so I get a chest as a reward, then have to wait for a timer before I can open it, or use a gem to open faster. Are they serious...thats a new low. Stupid idea...what's next charge a gem to click the app icon to play the game? Charge a gem to use a gem?

    1 star for the nice art...

  • heretikeen

    They are really pushing on all fronts to make this the new cash cow for "hardcore mobile players", including this obnoxious ad campaign that has been going on at toucharcade those past weeks.
    Funny how it's "not necessary" to pay, yet everyone pays just because.

    • nini

      So premium games should just be free because there's no reason to pay into them? People are choosing to not for an advantage (not like it'd take you far anyway) but because they feel it's worth it like any premium game you pay upfront for, shows they made a game worth parting with cash for which is good... right? No, pay at the door only, no paying once inside because it's a scam, gotcha.

      • heretikeen

        Pay at the door and give everyone equal chances inside.
        Let the customer show their respect for devs by letting him buy cosmetic upgrades, not ingame advantages.

  • profhuggybear

    Spot on review. This game has well earned its hype. It's my new crack game.

  • Fairstbiscut#1778

    Has anyone else reached a point where u have too many trophies? I'm a lvl 3 consistently playing lvl 5s and getting destroyed in the process. Are my only 2 options to 1) consistently lose trophies to get back to a reasonable playing field or 2) hope and pray I get enough upgrades (which will take forever playing for free) to eventually match the higher lvl players? Option 1 is a waste of time and with option 2, the higher lvl players will still have higher lvl buildings. I cannot generate enough XP by hoping someone wants a donation and even worse there's a cap on donating. Seems I've hit "the wall" already after playing for one day. Any advice???

  • Brendan Keough

    "If I'm losing 50% of the time the match making must be broke, please fix lazy DEV's! my wife is lawyer, I will get refund!!"

    "If I'm losing 50% of the time it's because of cheating P2WIN players!"

    "DEV's please listen to my suggestion! honestly, I'm brilliant, if you don't believe me check my gamertag score: $wagPIMP420yoloMcDouche"

    sorry, I'm commiserating with what the poor community managers and customer support folks at Supercell must be dealing with today.

    I'm really enjoying the game and looking forward to future games that mimic this level of succinct, addictive mobile game. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      It's kind of fascinating that the biggest pushback this game sees is from people who can't cope with losing at something. I wonder how much of this is a product of participation awards and all the other crazy stuff kids get now days.

      • heretikeen

        Totally agree. The moral here should be "if you lose, just throw money at it until you win."

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Or "If you don't understand how a game works, never leave the comments."

      • Mike Walko

        Okay, I might have missed it int he review, but are you only bracketed against people who have the same card pool, and their cards are the same level?

      • Brendan Keough

        Could be larger cultural issues, but I think it's primarily the difference between playing against a real person vs playing against game AI that has a difficulty curve chosen by the game designer.

        Also cognitive dissonance when drawing random loot from a treasure chest

        Also RNG is always "unfair" when both PvP are humans with the same odds

        Folks also need to remember that in games like this, it's money OR time. It isn't truly P2W unless the items with the greatest mechanical advantage is only available with cash money.

  • Mike Walko

    "The sad reality is it won't be long before there are as many variations of Clash Royale on the App Store as there are Clash of Clans."

    Ironically, I feel there were at least two games prior to this that did very similar mechanics on the app store, but I can't remember their names. Supercell has the moolah to throw at this to make people notice this one.

  • John

    I'll just make one comment about this game and it's F2P system. I REALLY like the game and would love to play it. The review is spot on, the game is a lot of fun and is a great mobile concept. But I can't hang with the F2P silliness (it took several paragraphs just to describe the shenanigans) and sadly that will end my potential enjoyment.

    So yeah, killer game, love it. Too bad the greed sucked out the fun.

  • MarsMachine

    "...I feel like you only read half of my post." thank you for some entertaining, if very repetitive comments! I like this one too. loved hearthstone in the beginning but couldn't keep up with the "hardcore casual gamers" and lost interest pretty fast. Hope I can keep up with this one!

  • James Christopher

    I am at 2500 trophies totally f2p. This isn't pay to win. If you pay sure you might win a few games where you are over powered for your trophy level but you will still end up at 50% when you face your proper power level. It's certainly pay to get up the leaderboard. But frankly if you use the same units as the guy number one just yours are level 8 and his are lvl 12 it's the same game experience right so I frankly don't feel the need to pay just for some numbers. Even if you pay your way all the way to number 1 if you suck well you will end up still at 50% even when in the top ten cause you will loose half your games against people better than you. I guess only the #1 player should truly have better than 50% win % and that isn't cause of units cause everyone in the top 10 has access to the same units. One more thing look at the units of the guys in the top 3 they aren't even top 3 with epics and legen they are all running common spam decks of goblins skeletons. You can make the same deck the #1 player has pretty much in day one just yeah with level 2 units instead of level 12.

    • Artifex 28

      It's pay to win. Big time. I hit the wall around 2750-2800. At that point it turns a dice roll to see if you are playing against +1/2/3/4 or even 5 level higher cards. That's ridiculous. Matchmaking should be also based on deck level, not solely trophies.

  • PerfChick

    I just reached Lv3 and joined a clan. I can play for fun against clan members, but if I want to play an arena game now, the game does not find any opponents. What can I do?

  • Lindsay Palmer

    How much did Supercell pay you for this review? Supercell is one of the most capitalist greedy company out there. They take take take but never give. I dont recommend this game or any Supercell game to sensible mobile gamers out there

  • Dino Ferlando

    For those who thinks badly about p2w, (even though clash royale and clash of clans are not p2w games i think, just time-based games, you know unlock chest or upgrading units in coc) they think they are the center of the universe. Be rational for a bit, Developers need money to further upgrade their games, and just think about it this way, those p2w people pay your share of the contributing the developers.

    Me personally, i'm not a p2w player (Sorry to Supercell), but already have a TH 9 with some buildings at max lvl in coc, and Arena 6 regular in royale.

  • Zaroff

    Another grotesque freemium scam as only Supercell knows how to push them. This game is everything that's wrong with mobile gaming.

  • Ram Manohar Reddy

    Actually I am a big fan of clash of clans and installed clash of rayale also. This game is pretty good. The only thing is that, network fails during battle

  • Benjamin Jessop

    Hello. Can i get support only this. I think the rage spell should raise in cost and here is why:
    1. Really cheap in a tower game like this one.
    2. I cant defend at all when it is on. If it is a skeleton army i cant place a bomber to about losing my tower and i cant defend with other troops when there is a knight being protected by minions or dragon or and type of air troop.
    3. It is super easy for me to defeat someone with a rage.
    4. Almost impossible to counter rage unless you have a spell as well which odds are low that you do since they are all epics.
    Granted it is a spell to use on other troops, but it is impossible to face almost. And im sure others out there have had a singular experience.

  • Player

    This game is fake! They programmed alot of things to make you lose, so you will spend money. For example: 1. When you need a few more towers for crown chest, they will put you vs very strong opponents. 2. They make you lose connection, wifi and 4g (while others apps still work). The gameplay is nice, but making you lose on purpose destroys the fun. And no I am not a bad player, caus they always match me with players that are 1-2 levels higher than me. I complained about it and they told me that I am playing too good for my own level.

Clash Royale Reviewed by Eli Hodapp on . Rating: 5