The Ultimate F2P Mobile RPG
Since re-stumbling upon Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes a few months ago, I’ve been hooked on the free to play mobile RPG genre, including games like Dissidia Final Fantasy Omnia Opera and Marvel Strike Force. At times, the burden of logging in for my daily rewards and completing daily missions becomes too much, but I never miss a morning in Star Wars. When one of these games works well, they can be time absorbers (and pocket emptiers if they’re of the difficult-to-obtain what you need type) due to their extremely addictive nature and terribly fun gameplay. It isn’t a normal morning if I don’t complete my missions. Enter Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians, the newest entry into the genre of F2P mobile RPGs – and one of the best I’ve played in a long time.
Might & Magic features turn based RPG gameplay split across an interesting story and various additional arenas. You’re a brand new student at the ultimate academy of wizardry, and you’re gifted your very first guardian creature (a baby griffin). With it, and with the creatures you’ll obtain on your journeys, you’ll traverse the shattered islands as you train to become a stronger wizard. Along the way, your professors are continuously recalled back to the academy in order to assist in some dire circumstances, leaving you with a senior student who seems to be training you against questionable foes. Each mission contains an average of three waves of a variable amount of enemies.
As you complete the opening sets of training missions, you’ll find yourself in a hub of the academy and surrounding settings. From there, you can choose to visit any number of locations and collect timed rewards. In that hub, you can customize and upgrade the skills of your character (as well as choosing from one of three ‘classes’ – anima, materia, and chimera) at the academy, view the guild hall, visit the magic shop, collect crystals and gold, take a look at the menagerie of your creatures, and summon new creatures or open chests at the altars. Other places, like the ‘underground entrance’ or the ‘training grounds’ will be added in future updates (they’re greyed out on the screen). At the bottom of your hub is a string of icons where you can either check out the running events, look at your guild, check your daily mission and achievement progress, and shop. You also can choose to level up your creatures and explore the various battle grounds from that bottom bar, too. Daily, you’re given a lottery ticket to scratch and win things like gold, crystals, regular treasure chests, and energy.
Once you’ve chosen to battle, however, you’re teleported to the shattered islands, where you’ll be able to explore nine separate islands (each replete with a number of levels and three difficulty modes that unlock as you clear each difficulty) and the Dragonmist islands (a series of increasingly difficult trials set to help you grow in strength). In combat, you’re able to carry a team of four creatures to battle, each with their own unique set of skills. It’s a very traditional turn based RPG set up, but that’s something that harkens back to the nostalgic days of old and is something that many fans miss about current RPGs. Your character also has skills that will enable him to deal massive damage or grant powerful buffs to either your enemies or you, and those special abilities play largely into combat. Combat is a lot of fun, too, as your character attack in smooth animations. Lastly, creatures have strengths and weaknesses to various elements (hence the title), so a bit of strategy is needed to efficiently clear each scrum. One of the best additions that Might & Magic includes is that your creatures gain experience after each battle. You can increase the rate at which they level by feeding them potions outside of combat, but you gain experience after battle – something that most games of this type do not do. You’ll also find an arena, where you can play against preset teams that other people have put together.
Sound and visuals are other excellent aspects of Might & Magic, as they both play to the mobile game’s strengths. The sound is a welcome piece of this game, and I often found myself playing with the volume up (normally, I roll on absolute silence during mobile games). For a mobile game, the visuals in Might & Magic rank among the best, particularly when it comes to character/creature models (it’s high design over realism) and magnificent color palette. The result is a combination of dazzling and smooth visuals with some adorably cute battle worthy companions.
If you’re like me and were looking for a new F2P mobile RPG to tackle, Might & Magic: Elemental Guardian will end your search. The gameplay is easy to get into and complex to master, and the constant and ever shifting challenges of the arena will keep you searching for ways to improve your forces. There are micro transactions, and the dev crew gifted us an IAP code worth about $99.99 of in game mats, but I found that I hardly used the gold and crystals I received. For reference, the crystals are used to level up your skills or attribute stones while gold is used to buy summon stones from the altar (these enable you to unlock 2-4 star creatures, which is a guaranteed higher drop than the regular summon crystal). I didn’t foresee any issues that I couldn’t overcome with a little bit of leveling – again, the post battle experience goes a long way in this regard – and strategy, especially when I compare it to the potential money pit that Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes could be. I highly recommend this one, and it’s free to download; it’s definitely worth a week of playing to see whether you enjoy it.