Previously, we had brought up Ubisoft’s new Might and Magic mobile game, titled Might and Magic: Chess Royale. Now that it’s been out for a day or two, I got my hands on the game for a little playtesting so that I can release this Might & Magic Chess Royale First Impressions. Also, let’s take a look at the launch trailer.
First off, let’s explain the premise of the game. It’s just like every other Autochess genre. You get gold, you use that gold to buy units and then you do battle with enemy players and their board. Units have synergies based on their faction and class type. Losers take damage and the last man standing. Pretty bog standard stuff, right?
Now here’s where things get interesting: Chess Royale is a fight between 100 concurrent players.
With that being said, how does that impact the game? Well firstly, let’s go over the elimination system. Might and Magic: Chess Royale uses a “Three Strikes You’re Out System”. Unlike other auto-chess games where you take damage based on the strength of the enemy’s surviving army, you simply take 1 strike…or lose 1 of your 3 HP, it’s basically the same thing.
Here’s a progression of one of my games, you can see players getting eliminated over the course of the game as they lose HP. Unfortunately, I only got as high as #5 out of 100 in my games. As you can see, your HP bar is green when you still have all 3, turns yellow at 2 HP and red at 1 HP. Once you hit 0 HP, you’re out!
The next thing I wanna talk about is the pacing. As you can see from the screenshots above, about ten players get knocked out each round at the later stages of the game. Clearly, they’ve managed to implement their “Win Quick, Lose Quick” mentality towards the design of the game. Kudos to Ubisoft’s team for making a smart design that actually works here!
Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, how did they accommodate the balance changes for this ultra-fast pacing? Well, economy was reworked from other games in the genre. Normally, you’d have the choice to develop your economy or build aggressively. In Might and Magic, there’s no need to save any of your gold, you don’t get additional income for holding onto it. Instead, you are rewarded more gold for reaching the later stages of the game. Namely, lasting till the Top 99, Top 50 and Top 10. Each tier will ramp up the amount of gold you receive. You also get a bonus for eliminating a player, so you could get lucky and pick off stragglers for more gold!
Overall, it’s a smart design but I have my qualms about it (more on that later).
On top of buying XP for more unit space and higher rarity units and buying actual units, you can also spend your hard earned gold on Magic spells. These spells are board wide effects that affect all your units for a set amount of turns. You can buy the same spell multiple times to strengthen the effect as well. The available spells rotate everyday too, which encourages you to focus on a different team composition daily! Utilizing the spells are important to topping the charts consistently.
Putting it all together
Now, the final verdict: is it fun to play? Yes! Definitely. My first impressions for Might and Magic: Chess Royale is pretty solid. The game delivers on it’s promise to have a fast Autochess game, with revamped mechanics that make it possible. The UI is smooth and the interface shows you all the information you need on the fly.
However, I do have one issue with M&M: Chess Royale…the revamped economy system means that players are encouraged to spend it all up to increase their chances of staying in the game. It effectively removes the strategy involved in building up an economy, and takes away that choice from players. While I understand that it’s a necessary evil, I find economy management to be one of the genre defining aspects for Autochess, so I’m a little disappointed regarding this.
I’ll sign off with the conclusion that Might and Magic: Chess Royale is a solid autochess game, but at it’s core, it’s still too early to tell if the Magic and revamped economy system is enough to innovate the genre.
If you enjoyed reading this first impression, maybe you can check out our first impressions on other games as well!