The Auto Chess genre of games has recently rapidly gained popularity within the gaming community. But for the unaware, one might be perplexed as to why this certain genre is gaining traction. In this article, we’ll be going through a brief introduction to Auto Chess as a whole as well as giving out some of our recommendations to the genre.
The Auto Chess genre features a set of players (typically 8) being assigned to their own chess board or play area where battles take place. The gameplay loop spans across multiple rounds and it’s usually separated into the preparation phase and the battle phase.
Typically at the start of each round, the player will receive resources for them to purchase units from a random pool that changes each round. Once purchased, the players will then need to place down the units on their chessboard. After the preparation phase is done, an enemy will appear on your board and the battles will run automatically where the players will have no direct control over the units during combat.
Defeating an enemy will take out a percentage of the player’s health points, and the winning condition of a match stems from being the last one standing.
Auto Chess follows the main principles of the genre and adds on some interesting mechanics on top of it. The most notable mechanic would be the tier and promotion system for each of the chess pieces. The units in Auto Chess are separated into tiers called stars and the final tier being at 3 stars.
How the promotion system works in Auto Chess is through having three copies of the same chess piece which will in turn trigger “Star Up”, which merges the chess piece together and increases the stats of said chess piece.
With that being said, it’s really important to have at least a few units that are at 3 stars on the board to help you gain the advantage. And while you can only have a limited amount of units on the board at a given time, you can have extra units be put in your reserve. Having just 3 stars chess pieces on your board will not be enough for you to secure the win.
Players need to take several factors into consideration, like items that can be equipped on your units that give certain buffs like extra attack speed or even lifesteal. There will be certain times after a round where you can pick between one of three items to choose from.
Although, if you feel too overwhelmed at deciding which item to put on a unit, there’s a button that lets you auto assign items to the best candidate on your chess board.
The art style of Auto Chess features a clean cartoonish 3D model for each of the chess pieces on top of several unique and visually different backgrounds that fits really well with the overall aesthetic that the game goes for. Pairing that up with super smooth performances with the dragging and dropping of units onto the playing field sets up for an enjoyable and addictive gameplay experience overall.
On a similar note, if you’re a big fan of Auto Chess, a new game called Auto Chess MOBA was recently released which brings the classic units from the Auto Chess game into the venerable Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre.
If you’re unfamiliar with this specific genre, MOBAs have 5 players go up against other 5 players where each player controls a single character of their choice and the main objective is to work together to take down the main base of the opposing side.
Battlegrounds is Hearthstone’s own take on the Auto Chess genre where you can choose up to 4 Heroes each with their own skills to go up against other players. In each of the rounds, there will be up to 5 types of units mixed with type-less units available.
You start off with 3 gold where you’re able to gain one gold to a maximum of 10, you won’t be able to retain any gold from the previous turns. The selection of units grows larger the more you upgrade your Tavern, to which the cost of it reduces by 1 every turn and can be upgraded up to Tier 6.
Battlegrounds has a similar mechanic as to Auto Chess where you can combine 3 of the same cards to make a triple, which turns gold and gains all of the stats of its copies and upgrades its effects.
The more units of a certain type gets picked up by other players, the less likely it is for you to obtain them yourself. This particular mechanic also applies to the units of certain tiers, like how there’s a tooltip where there are only 7 copies of Tier 6 minions.
Players are able to shuffle the position of the units on the board and it can only hold up to 7 maximum units, so if you were to have a new unit on the field, you’ll need to sell off a unit to replace them. You’re also able to refresh the Tavern to get a selection of new minions at the cost of 1 gold, or even freeze it to save them for the next turn.
The performances for Battlegrounds where you drag your cards, tap and interact with certain pieces of the board is really smooth. There’s no complicated movements that you need to do since most of it revolves from dragging around cards.
Meanwhile the art style offers a vibrant and colourful aesthetic that you know and love from Hearthstone, but with some extra flair in other areas like The Bartender, Heroes, Boards, Emotes and Finishers.
The last recommendation of the Auto Chess genre would be Mythic Legends. The game offers some unique mechanics that’s different from the previous two titles mentioned. One of which is that the player doesn’t need to purchase units during each turn. Instead, players can choose whichever unit you have onto the board.
The game features an interesting gameplay that basically lets you swap between units during the preparation phase, which is nice since you can change and adapt your composition on the fly to fit into different scenarios.
This mechanic fits in well because there are certain artefacts in the game that give bonuses to specific types of units. It encourages a lot of flexibility where you don’t need to stick with only a set of units and makes matches pretty refreshing.
Another thing that’s different with Mythic Legends as to Auto Chess and Battlegrounds is that your Legend (your hero token) has their own skills and abilities that will have effects during turns, like being able to heal your units or give them higher attack rates.
Mythic Legends runs well and offers a more fast-paced combat compared to the previous two titles where one game lasts around 15 minutes. The graphics are really bright and colourful which I think fits in with the overall cartoon-like unit models in the game.
Mythic legends is available to download on the GameCenter here.