Digital Chocolate has been on a roll lately, releasing five new games in a row for Facebook. The latest is Epic Fighters, a text-based RPG with a dark fantasy theme.
It’s not strictly correct to say that Digital Chocolate released five new games — two, Hollywood City and Vegas City, are straightforward reskins of Millionaire City. Likewise, Epic Fighters follows in the footsteps of MMA Pro Fighter, Digital Chocolate’s second most popular title.
Epic Fighters appears to be a more significant modification, though. One change that leaps out on first opening the game is the visual style. The game’s art is a step up from what MMA offered, with more interesting avatars and backgrounds, along with a few larger illustrations like those we saw last week in Legacy of a Thousand Suns (though the art takes an even stronger role in the latter game).
Another change is Epic Fighters’ step back from the more specialized text-RPG model that Digital Chocolate uses for MMA Pro Fighter. In Epic Fighters, there’s a storyline to follow, which is accomplished through Mafia Wars-style quests: just click the button repeatedly until the mission is done.
There’s one interesting addition to this button-clicking, though. As you go through missions, you’ll periodically enter random encounters that put you in animated, chance-based combat against an NPC. As in MMA Pro’s fights, you have no control over your avatar, but the encounters do add some flair to the quests.
The battle system used for these encounters is also used for player vs player fights. Where MMA shoved out lines of text recounting each move in the fight, a style that wasn’t particularly easy to follow, Epic Fighters has trainable “techniques” that visibly show up in combat through icons.
It’s also worth noting that while you can’t directly influence your fighter, you can have some strategic hand in the battle through the skills. Each technique comes with a counter-skill that can be trained up to reduce the damage if you’re attacked using that technique; for example, “quick slash” can be offset by “parry quick slash”.
Epic Fighters doesn’t bring much more that’s new to the table, but it’s fairly interesting as-is. Along with other games we’ve seen, this one offers evidence that the text-based RPG is still an evolving form on Facebook — these new titles are paying more attention to art, story and other atmospherics, and also working on making the basic mechanics more interesting.