Today I want to give my first impressions of a game called Ærena: Clash Of Champions. Ærena is a turn-based strategy game from Cliffhanger Productions. The game has a very steampunk feel to it, and includes battles between airships.
The game started out with a great tutorial. I went into the actual game feeling like I knew exactly what I needed to do. The user interface is really innovative and easy to use, and the battle controls are very easy to understand. You know exactly where you can move, and hovering over the characters different attacks will tell you the range and what exactly they do. It takes a little bit of practice to figure out how close certain characters need to be to attack other Champions or their airship. Even the airship gets to have a part in the battle. Once you collect enough Æther from attacking other champions, their airships, or from stepping on special platforms, your airship captain can launch a strong attack onto the battlefield that either damages an opponents champion or airship.
You start out by choosing your ship, champions, and Æther shells. This will affect your strategy throughout the round. Each champion has their own unique skills, and each shell affects the battlefield differently.
Afterwards, you begin your battle in the sky. You choose where you want to spawn your champions, and start coming up with a strategy. It’s a typical turn-based strategy game, with great graphics, fun skills, and a great battlefield. Some characters can attack around obstacles, some are long-ranged, and other pack a close range punch. There are different platforms on the battlefield that can affect the pace and flow of the round, such as gaining some extra aether for your ship or champion.
Once the battle starts progressing, you earn enough Æther to allow your champions to do special moves. That’s not all, though! Even your airship captain can join in the fun! He can do damage to your opponents champions or take a chunk out of the opposing airships health. Be wary though, you can only use the airship captains special moves three times, so you have to plan them strategically.
The game is also full of steampunk art, and a bit of burlesque. Every time you level up, you get a nice picture of a (burlesque? Steampunk…steamy?) poster girl, and some cool screen transactions. There is also a strong voiced announcer that yells at you the details of what is going on throughout the battle. The feeling of destroying an opponent and being able to rub it in feels really..well.. awesome. The game is satisfying. For the most part, the community seems to be pretty cool. Most people don’t rub it in, they just thank you for a good game, and sometimes even compliment you for a good move. I found myself in a bad situation at one point, where the opponent had my ship down to one health, but they had forgot that I cleverly snuck one of my champions close to their ship. One punch took his ship down, and turned the whole game around. Playing against other players can be completely unpredictable in this game. It’s like a game of chess, with more awesome.
I haven’t had a chance to play any of the higher level battles yet, but I can say that this game is already pretty addicting. It’s a cross-platform game, so it’s available on a few of your devices as well. I would say that this is a game you should at least give a try. You can unlock new champions, airships, and abilities as you go. It seems like everything can be unlocked with in-game cash, which is a good thing for those wanting to save some lunch money. The graphics and setting are one reason alone to check it out. You can zoom in on the fights and battles and see the cool animations (picture example located above… can I get an applaud? … …no? Fine, be that way…)