You Should Play: Royal Revolt 2

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These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

It’s good to be the king. Flaregames’ Royal Revolt 2 is a social strategy game, requiring you—the king and commander in chief of a medieval kingdom—to build up your castle’s defenses, your army, and finally, lead your troops into battle.

What separates Royal Revolt 2 from the average Castleville/Farmville clone is the tower defense and combat aspect of the gameplay. Sure, you’ll collect money from your taverns, bread loaves from your farmers, and level up your buildings, but it’s with a specific purpose: To make your army better.

Your armies aren’t simply going on off-screen missions. You’ll actually take command in 3D animated raids where you’ll have to hack, slash, and deploy spells and troops—in real time. These raid segments are the game’s strongest element, as you’re essentially playing a tower defense game from the opposite side: You must conquer your opponents’ defenses as you strategically deploy your waves to ultimately storm their castle gate. Because this is a social game, you’re actually competing against other Royal Revolt players.

You also control the king, an exceptionally strong singular unit who you can guide with the tap of your finger. You’ll level up his spells and abilities, making his powers the difference between victory and defeat. Curiously, you won’t ever compete against someone else’s army in real-time—you can only attack enemy castles when the player is offline. When you come back online and sign in, you’ll see who has attacked you and how much gold they have taken since you’ve been away. You can then go and seek revenge on them, which is a handy tool and exceptionally gratifying.

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Charge!

Besides the combat aspect and real-time strategy, there are a few other key reasons that make Royal Revolt 2 work checking out:

Protect your purse: In order to prevent other players’ from raiding your treasure, you can build up towers, mazes, and obstacles, much like a tower defense game. Leveling up these defenses can discourage enemy raiders (who see the stats that your defenses have) and can even thwart many lower-ranking foes.

You’d think with the ability to raid other people’s castles you’d find this great imbalance in players, with the strongest players stealing gold of the weakest players. But the game has a few checks to keep this from happening: You can only attack if you have bread loaves, and your farms can only generate enough for usually four to five raids an hour. The opposing players will constantly generate new gold (to improve their armies and defenses) thanks to taverns, so even if you sign back online and find your treasury purloined, you can build up your defenses fairly quickly.

Obviously, Royal Revolt incentivizes you to shell out real money to replenish in-game currency called gems that can be used to speed up building, buy more workers, and deploy powerful spells in combat. But if you’re willing to wait, you’ll naturally earn plenty of these by just playing the game normally.

Build up your kingdom: While raiding is a great and fun way to spend your time, there’s plenty of other things you need to master to make yourself a better commander. Deciding between building up taverns (which grant gold) or farms (which grant bread loaves which you’ll need to raid) is just one of the many decisions you’ll make. You’ll also have to design your own maze of towers and traps, invest in upgrading your troops, defensive waves, spells, wizard tower, barracks, silo, inventor shop, treasure room, and throne room.

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You'll need a good strategy to beat your opponent. 

There are many priorities, but only a couple of workers and limited resources, so you need to plan your strategy carefully. Leveling up your king and investing in archers early on may make sense if you like to do a lot of raids, but you may find that your kingdom is defenseless against other attackers and your farms and taverns are woefully unprepared to produce your war machine.

Tournaments with rewards: One of the bigger draws of the game is the timed tournaments you can participate in. These are essentially small leaderboards that keep track of who has accrued the most points and gold during a particular time against fellow players. The highest-ranking player at the end of the designated time period wins. There’s a real incentive to keep playing in these tournaments because the rewards are nice (gems, gold, and more) and the more you raid, the more likely you are to win. The more time you spend signed off, the more likely you are to be raided. It’s a rather simplistic—but effective—method for Flaregames to get players to check in with the game multiple times a day.

Since online play is such an essential part of the game, I wish they handled broken connections better. If you’ve waited for your poor farmers to finally finish producing enough bread loaves to raid and then have the connection to the raid disrupt, you’re going to be very angry. You’ll lose all of the bread loaves you just spent on the raid and all of the gold you could have won or gems you’ve used. I found myself cursing in rather creative and dramatic fashion whenever I got to my enemy’s final defense, only to find the connection lost. It’s a royal pain in the…

Developer: Flaregames
Platform: iOS (Universal), Android (Universal)
Price: Free (with in-app purchase)

This story, "You Should Play: Royal Revolt 2" was originally published by TechHive.

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