Age Of Rivals Review: This 15-Minute Mobile Card Game Has Everything I Need

9.5
  • iOS
  • OS X
  • Windows
  • Card
  • Real Time Strategy
  • Strategy
2017-06-21
age of rivals review walkthrough game iOS strategy card game board game
Age of Rivals is a new strategy heavy card game on iOS and Steam. Find out why you should be playing this instant classic, here. Apple App Store

Age of Rivals released early last week on the Apple app store and Steam, and while it seems a new card collecting game shows up nearly weekly on the App store, this one is worth take note. While most card collecting games have a strategic element, winning in multiplayer settings often comes down to how much money you’ve spent to upgrade your cards or add new ones to your collection. Wiht Age of Rivals, this is not the case. For me, Age of Rivals is really perfect. Priced at a modest $0.99 on the App store, the game has everything I need to be happy: great music, colorful graphics, strategic depth and relatively short playing session (each game takes about 15 minutes to play but you’ll have a hard time just playing one).

Age Of Rivals Gameplay

One thing I can say about Age of Rivals is that it does a really good job of explaining somewhat complex gameplay in its tutorial, but I will do my best to summarize how it works here.

Age of Rivals can be played solo against a computer or in a multiplayer mode where you are matched with a player of similar experience. The object of the game is to build the best city, but it’s not nearly as simple as it sounds. The game is broken up into four rounds of gameplay, each with four stages inside of them. In the first round, players choose eight cards to make up their base city. These cards include things like resources or manna, defense, offence and culture. At the very end of the game, the player who has gathered the most culture points wins.

age of rivals review walkthrough game iOS strategy card game board game
Age of Rivals involves constant balancing of offense, defense culture and manna, giving it a strategic depth not seen in most card collecting games. Photo: Apple App Store

There is constant strategy involved in balancing, determining which cards belong in your set. Too much focus on offense and you’ll gain no culture points, but without enough offensive and defensive cards you’re bound to lose everything as well. The decisions you make in the very first round will often make a large impact on each following round. The unique thing about this game is that cards are chosen one at a time, and you get to see what your opponent has chosen so there is less luck involved and a lot more strategic planning. Some cards act as direct counters of others so continuous thought must go into the card choices you make.

After cards are chosen, players move into the final three quick stages that include Conquer, War and Score. In Conquer mode, players vie for control of three cities. A city is taken by whichever player has an attacker worth the highest damage. Players gain coins (manna) and culture points for each city taken. Going into the War phase, players must then assign damage dealt by opponents to the cards of their choice. If a card loses all its HP or shield it is considered “ruined” and culture points the card may have held will not be counted. After the damage is complete, all points from surviving culture cards are added to culture scores. Players will see one ruined card remain that way permanently while other ruined cards will return to their former state but with one less armor or HP.

In the next two rounds of gameplay, players will add four more cards each round to their deck and progress through the same stages as the first round. In the final round players choose eight of the 16 cards they own to make up their final city. At the end of all the stages, the player with the highest culture count comes out the winner.

Whether you win or lose, as long as you finish a round you will receive gold as a reward, though the reward is higher for winners. Gold is then used to purchase new packs of cards to add to your collection. I've played more rounds of this game than I'd even like to admit, but each battle is completely unique. You never get the sense that a player has a distinct advantage over you as strategy really is the key to winning.

Age of Rivals has enjoyed rave reviews on both Steam and the App Store and personally, for the strategic depth, lack of ads and microtransactions, Age of Rivals seems grossly underpriced at just $0.99. I'd happily plunk down $5.00 for such a gem. If there were ever an indie game worth supporting, this one is the one to spend your buck on. Check it out on Steam or the Apple App Store, here.

REVIEW SUMMARY
Age of Rivals
9.5
Age Of Rival Is A Perfect Example Of What Every Strategic Card Game Should Be
Card collecting games are a dime a dozen but Age of Rivals brings a depth of strategy that makes every match played unique.
  • - Deep Strategy
  • - Beautiful Graphics
  • - Soothing Music
  • - Diverse Character Set
  • - No Ads
  • - No Micro Transactions
  • - Takes a long time to build your card collection and unlock new characters
  • - Must be prepared to spend 15 minutes in a match
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