Tynon review

Tynon is a new free-to-play browser-based game from uCool, a new studio partially made up of team members who previously worked on the controversial game Evony. The new title is a standalone web-based game with Facebook connectivity, and blends stat-based role-playing game combat with traditional social citybuilding gameplay, a light player vs player component and a strong story.

Tynon’s gameplay is split into two main components. The first of these to be introduced is the “battle map,” on which the player works their way through a linear series of battles in order to reach the next narrative beat. Battles cost energy to engage in and unfold in a hands-off, turn-based manner, with the results being determined through a combination of the experience level and statistics of the participants, the equipment they have brought into battle and a degree of random chance. Both player and enemy characters attack each other in turn, seemingly picking targets at random, and occasionally unleash skills when a special bar is filled. These skills could have stronger attack power, damage several enemies at once or be defensive in nature — over time, the player will collect a variety of heroes which they can take into battle, meaning they can customize the combination of abilities they have on hand.

Following combat, the player is rewarded with experience points and “virtue,” a special currency which is used for a variety of purposes throughout the game — primarily researching passive skills that provide bonuses to heroes’ performance, and training heroes to higher experience levels. The player is also given a ranking of up to three “stars” after each combat, allowing them to go back and replay fights in order to get the best rewards whenever they please. A helpful “auto-grind” feature also allows players to set aside a proportion of their energy bar and then leave the game running in the background to automatically resolve a set number of combats without any required interaction. This is a particularly good feature for players who like to dip into the game throughout the course of the day while they are doing other things rather than dedicating time to nothing but Tynon.

The main issue with the combat system is the total lack of interaction. The player can influence the outcome of battles by ensuring their heroes are well-trained and equipped with the best items, but during combat it can be immensely frustrating to witness a hero unleash a devastating skill on an opponent that would have keeled over with a weak regular attack. To at least have the option to choose between automatic and manual combat would have been a pleasing addition. As it stands, there’s nothing really wrong with the implementation here, but it does make the game’s “battle” scenes feel less exciting and interactive than they could be.

The other main component of the game is a citybuilder in which players must build up a small community in order to fund their war efforts. This aspect of the game is very traditional, with residential and business structures generating income over time, farming plots generating goods with which to upgrade buildings, and the player’s overall experience level determining what items they have access to. There is a degree of light strategy in that various buildings provide income bonuses if placed in close proximity to one another, but this is somewhat undermined by the usual facility to pick up and move buildings at will rather than having to deal with the consequences of poor placement. In a very player-friendly move, performing actions in the citybuilding component doesn’t cost any energy — though upgrading buildings beyond a certain point does require either pestering friends for raw materials or expending hard currency.