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Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics vs Clash Royale - Has Gameloft learnt any new tricks?

Supercell and Gameloft assemble their best units
Product: Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics | Publisher: Gameloft | Format: Android, iPhone, iPad
Gameloft has just released a new game called Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics, and Gameloft being Gameloft it's rather similar to a popular game that preceded it.

There's no denying that Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics takes a few cards from Clash Royale's deck, to put it politely. But how do the two games compare? Where has Gameloft branched out?

Having played both games intermittently for a few hours - I'm no expert at either - I reckon I can offer a pretty light but balanced appraisal of where these two games differ.

Landscape vs portrait

The first difference becomes apparent the moment you see Gameloft's loading screen. It's a matter of alignment.

While Supercell went with a portrait viewpoint for Clash Royale, Gameloft has flipped things 90 degrees for Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics. You're now playing with the phone on its side.

What does this mean, exactly? It's a subtle shift, but to me it means that Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics feels like something you need to give more attention to, as you essentially need to cradle your phone in two hands.

Clash Royale, by contrasts, feels more playable on the go. It's a helpfully one-handed experience.

Isometric vs top down

That shift in alignment has a simple reason behind it - Gameloft has moved to an isometric perspective, offering an angled look at the action.

Has it changed the way the game plays fundamentally? Not really, though I did find it a little easier to take everything in - from the status of your regenerating units on the left to the actions of your opponent on the right - at a glance than with Supercell's original effort.

Your experience may vary, of course, and I should also note that Clash Royale feels like it makes better use of the available screen space.

Near-future vs medieval fantasy setting

Both games shoot for cartoony accessibility with their art styles, but the setting is fundamentally different.

While Clash Royale goes with the whole 'Pixar medieval fantasy' angle, Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics takes on a more modern - though scarcely less fantastic - militaristic tone. It reminds me a little of Fieldrunners in that respect.

So how do they play?

Much the same, as you might expect. The structure of putting your eight units into play to take out the two opposing towers and one HQ is nigh-on identical.

That being said, while I'm pretty rotten at both of these games, Clash Royale seems more balanced than its upstart rival.

I found myself steamrollered far more in Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics than in Clash Royale. Games of the latter would frequently go the distance and be decided by the odd tower.

There were far more games balanced on a knife-edge, while I also experienced the odd reversal when I appeared to be heading for failure (and vice-versa).

This could be down to early-days balancing issues for Gameloft's game, or perhaps the matchmaking system needs tweaking. Maybe I was just unfortunate to come up against much better players at my designated level. But my initial perception is that Supercell's game still has the edge.

What do you think of Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics? How do you think it matches up to Clash Royale? Let us know in the comments below.

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 5 May 2017
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