In an astonishing feat, Digital Chocolate has launched their latest title called Epic Fighters. This is the 4th game being released in a cascade of back-to-back launches all within 2 weeks. This record setting streak is sure to set the bar high for all social gaming companies. More after the jump.
Having recently launched Vegas City, Hollywood City and Island God, Digital Chocolate is letting the social gaming industry know who’s boss with Epic Fighters. Epic Fighters is an action RPG game where players embark on a quest to restore balance to a world tarnished by war and forces of evil. Over all Epic Fighters:
– signifies that more in depth game play with a deeper narrative and sleek UI is the next step in the evolution of casual RPGs
– offers a compelling presentation and guild-focused gameplay to engage a niche audience although clicking away at ‘Do Quest’ is very repetitive and boring.
– has room to evolve as its a new player and with Digital Chocolate’s team behind it, we can expect good things to come.
Players begin by picking one of four races that have a stark resemblance to races found in Blizzard’s Warcraft III, but manage to evade being complete replicas. Players then select 2 of 6 styles of fighting which will grant them specific abilities they will use during combat. These abilities can be leveled up in the techniques section using silver coins – the primary currency of the game.
The tutorial walks players through the basics of gameplay consisting of clicking the ‘Do Quest’ button which progresses the completion bar towards 100%. Essentially its the same ‘do job’ mechanic found in older RPGs like Mafia Wars. What’s interesting, however, is the battles that players can randomly encounter when doing quests. Battles showcase the player’s character, a 2d image that player customizes to some degree in the beginning of the game, and an enemy. The battles are automatic, kind of like the ones found in Superhero Cities by Klicknation.
What sets the game apart is a deeper narrative that immerses players in the gameplay a bit more than other games. New quests entail new background images that sit above the quest right below the menu bar, bestowing the player with a sense of adventure. Players can also duel other players, and each battle lists a set of techniques used by the opponent and the skill level of each technique. This is unique about the game because players are able to level up their techniques which are both offensive and defensive.
Since the combat is turn based, a technique is randomly played by the game and deals a damage that correlates with its attack skill level and the opponents’ defensive skill level against that type of attack. The battle is flash based and there’s an option to watch the battle in ‘fast’ mode or skip altogether – a problem Playfish’s Gangster City eventually resolved by letting players skip battles. Becoming stronger and getting friends’ help becomes important as players take on Epic boss fights which require a lot of stamina.Becoming stronger and getting friends’ help becomes important as players take on Epic boss fights which require a lot of stamina.
The ‘sanctuary’ section of the game is the page where players can purchase gold bars and also engage with offers that seem to be powered by the Super Rewards platform. Epic Fighters uses a single currency system as opposed to a dual currency system which is interesting as everything will be priced in silver coins except a few purchases like stamina refills.
Players can also train with friends in Guilds to increase experience points. Training takes place on the ‘friends’ page and has a time based mechanic that tells players how long it will take for the training to finish.
Overall the presentation is solid and we can see games stepping up their UI. 5th Planet’s latest game called Legacy of a Thousand Suns also takes a similar approach to game mechanics although it has its own mini-games and a deeper narrative which helps differentiate it from 5th Planet’s first game Dawn of the Dragons. Perhaps Digital Chocolate is taking a page out of 5th Planet’s strategy book by emphasizing guilds – a trend found amongst Japanese RPGs. Although I’m personally a fan of more visually dynamic gameplay like Funzio’s Crime City that’s garnered a massive user base of 4.7M users, Digital Chocolate should be able to develop a loyal user base that this mortal combat-esque meets mafia war gameplay relates to. It still remains to be seen whether Digital Chocolate would want to become really hardcore with its titles and create something on the level of Playdom’s Kogamu, a synchronous RPG that offers a gratifying gameplay experience for more hardcore players.