A Look at Long-Running Facebook RPG, Age of Champions

Age of ChampionsKlickNation title Age of Champions has found its way onto one of our top emerging apps lists, even though it has been out since last May. Here’s a review of where it’s at today.

Though the game is not tremendously popular, it appears to have carved out a user base, today earning more than 600,000 monthly active users and around 50,000 daily actives after all sorts of ups and downs in the past month, according to AppData. The recent growth appears due to some game updates and a new advertising campaign that kicked off at the beginning of this year.

Anyway, primarily a text-based role-playing game, Age of Champions comes with a number of the familiar mechanics that have come to be known as “mafia style.” Set in a fantasy world, the game does attempt to be a bit different in terms of its quest and player versus player systems, granting users a bit more variety in quest types (e.g. crafting/harvesting), beyond sequential storyline jobs, and slightly different PvP challenges such as King of the Hill. Nevertheless, while the game’s static visuals look decent, many of its advertised, 3D, selling points, and overall polish feel clunky, at best.

Long story short, players are entered into a fantasy world where the king of the land is gone and it’s they that are putting in their bid for the throne. With the basics that of a mafia-style RPG, players do quests at the consumption of energy, repeating them until they are dubbed 100% complete and move on to new ones.

Age QuestsWhile users can find equipment for their avatar and increase their statistics, the bulk of their might comes from an actual army. As users level up, they will be able to purchase more and more soldiers, of varying types and power, and equip them (this is done passively as items are bought) as they would themselves. Additionally, units for the army require both gold and food to procure, with the latter produced by purchased farm buildings. In fact, there are also buildings for earning periodic income, unlocking new units, or researching new types of equipment.

This is where the game is similar to a past reviewed game, Mercenaries of War (though Age of Champions was released first). Many of the quests that can be done are animated with a brief battle sequence. Though users have no control over the battle itself, they are able to see the extent of their army charge that of whatever the enemy holds. It’s also worth noting that, like the gun-touting successor, Mercenaries, there is a level of gratification and satisfaction in seeing one’s army (rather than they be text on a screen) grow and watch them battle it out. That said, the visual is rather underwhelming. While everything appears to be in 3D, it looks extraordinarily basic and pixilated, sapping a majority of the noted satisfaction away.

On another note, there is no real investment in the army; no real upkeep beyond having enough farms. Units die very quickly in the battles, but unlike Mercenaries, they never have to be healed. They just magically return when needed again.

AlchemyStill on the topic of quests, one of the more interesting aspects is that players are not limited to a sequential series of quests. Players can actually jump around chapters in a sort of book doing either the storyline missions, new player tutorial quests, high level challenges for advanced players, or even perform more craft oriented jobs.

This actually raised the our eyebrows the highest out of anything in the game, as it is not something we typically see. Players can actually visit a place called “Scalesong Village” and perform quests that will allow them to sell random items (such as rabbit fur), fish, or gather herbs. Beyond experience and fiscal (which can be significant) benefits, this allows the player a chance to collect rarer items that can be utilized in Age of Champion’s “Alchemy” feature; allowing users to combine items to create more powerful ones. Moreover, any quest can be bookmarked so that the player can quickly access it again at any time.