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Mighty Battles preview - Hothead takes on Clash Royale

Close quarters battle royale

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Product: Mighty Battles | Publisher: Hothead Games | Genre: Multiplayer, Strategy, MOBA
For: iPhone   Also on: iPad
It's the turn of Hothead Games to take on the task of beating Clash Royale at its own game. This is something many have tried, but precious few (maybe only Titanfall: Assault) have even got close to managing.

So how is the maker of the popular Big Win sports game series faring with this formidable challenge?

Mighty Battles has been in soft-launch on several European App Stores since February, but it's just received the latest of several updates. Now seems as good a time as any to check in and see how it's shaping up.

Confrontation regal

You'll recognise the formula at the heard of Mighty Battles. Two bases face of against each other across a simple rectangular battlefield. There are two lanes along which various attack units can be sent out to try and topple your opponent.

This setup is pure Clash Royale, but there's one notable difference. Hothead Games has decided to zoom in for a closer look.

You view the action as if you're stood on the battlements of your base, with enemies walking towards you. It's a similar trick to the one pulled by Ubisoft in Tom Clancy's ShadowBreak, which is also currently in soft launch.

There's no direct sniping in Mighty Battles, but you can tap on units (or your opponent's base) to have your base's main cannon auto-fire on them. Yep, this is another game that adopts a more modern militaristic tone rather than Clash Royale's fantasy one - though it's similarly whimsical.

Remote control

As with Clash Royale and its many imitators, you send units out by tapping their card when you gain sufficient action points to activate them. I found this process curiously uninvolving at this early stage.

It's not possible to drag and drop units onto the field of play. Rather, you need to tap them, then tap a virtual button to select which lane you wish them to attack.

Once you get used to this, it's business as usual. There are cheap infantry troops, hulking tanks, power hitters and aerial units that bypass the ground troops altogether. You can also temporarily power up your base's cannon with rockets.

In between levels you get loot drops containing unit cards that go towards levelling your troops up, as well as introducing new ones. However, you'll also need to spend the game's two currencies to do so.

Cost of war

I hit a wall with Mighty Battles's freemium systems surprisingly early. Or rather, two walls.

The first arose when it came to actually unlocking the loot boxes - watching videos only shortens the wait timer rather than eradicating it. The second came with the amount of currency needed to upgrade your units, even when you've collected all the required cards.

Even discounting these overzealous freemium systems, it's questionable whether Mighty Battles is going to be up to the Clash Royale challenge. It just doesn't seem set to bring enough that's genuinely fresh or compelling to the table.

Of course, Mighty Battles is in soft launch, so Hothead has the time and opportunity to tweak those irritating systems and tighten the gameplay. Here's hoping it manages to put up a convincing fight.

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 7 September 2017
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