RIVAL: Crimson x Chaos
The PvP arena strategy genre is exploding on mobile gaming, and RIVAL: Crimson x Chaos is the latest entry that aims to bring premium graphics to the table. If you were a fan of Clash Royale but want a similar style with a more serious tone, this game is worth checkout out.
For those who might not be entirely familiar with the genre, these arena strategy games are a hybrid of tower defense and card casting games played against a live opponent in timed matches. You're able to cast cards based on their mana cost, with a wide range of troops available each with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Your goal is to destroy your opponent's towers while simultaneously defending your own.
In RIVAL, the gameplay goes left to right in landscape orientation, and the gameplay seems to be nice and balanced. The tutorial stages are great for introducing you to the basic gameplay and strategy, and the process for unlocking new cards and upgrading the ones involves translating tomes — just another form of disguising the card pack mechanic, but the unlock times are reasonable, to start at least.
RIVAL introduces some interesting concepts, most notably the ability to promote one of your troops to be your leader, which lets you periodically cast them onto the battlefield with a special attack that, if used strategically, can swing the battle in your favor.
This week's pick was recommended to me via the Cortex app on the Razer Phone 2 and is free to play with in-app purchases available.