Do you like Norse mythology? Are you getting sick of all the idle clickers clogging up the Play Store? Do you want a dynamic game that gives you plenty of chances to learn, fix your mistakes, and progress further and faster? If you answered yes to any of those, read on, because Thor: War of Tapnarok caters to you.
The game opens with a charmingly drawn comic. Loki has opened the gates between realms, and has flooded Asgard, among other realms, with monsters in his bid to overthrow Thor and Odin and become king. Thor charges to meet his brother's army, then the sky opens up and Odin's finger smashes a labrge enemy. Thus, the battle begins.
You'll start out as a severely underpowered Thor, who takes several hits to fell common enemies. You'll be fighting alone. One unique thing about this game is that, for the most part, you'll stay that way. Enemies grow with you, and you'll have to exploit every tool at your disposal to gain the advantage and get back to steamrolling snakes and ripping apart reapers.
The core unique feature in this game is time travel. That's central to everything. Time travel throws you back to the beginning of the game, but with a twist; you get runes. Runes are special gems that can be used to unlock and level up powerful treasures that give all kinds of bonuses, like increasing damage, increasing the rate at which you get gold, and shortening skill cooldowns.
Once you've hit level 400 or recruited Eir, one of many Norse Gods and Goddesses you can have on your team, you'll be able to use the time travel feature. You'll get runes, keep treasures you've unlocked, and keep gems, useful for buying things like damage-per-second boosts and gold drops from Freya, who is also recruitable. The higher you've leveled yourself and your allies, and the further you've progressed, the more runes you get when time travelling.
Along with time travel, you also get allies, who all come with their own unique skills that offer boosts to everyone fighting alongside them, including Thor. There are skills that boost ally damage tenfold or more, skills that increase the damage Thor does per tap, skills that increase critical hit likelihood or damage, and many more.
Outside of the time travel loop and allies, the game keeps the twists coming by way of Thor's skills. Along with frantically tapping, or chasing moving weak point targets when fighting bosses, Thor can unleash skills that do things like summon a Storm Wolf to attack a certain number of times per second, deal 1,000 times the damage of a normal tap, and more.
Leveling up allies and Thor results in huge power boosts, so much so that leveling in mid-battle can turn the tide of a boss fight that you were going to lose. Boss battles last up to 30 seconds, after which the boss escapes and you're stuck in the same stage. Get stronger and tap the Fight Boss button, and you'll get another chance. Beat the boss, and you'll move on to another realm, fight stronger enemies, and get more gold.
Fighting your way through Helheim, Jotunheim, Midgard and more is easy enough for Thor and company, but it's not without risk. Bosses can wound allies, for example, dropping them out of battle for a few hours unless you pay up some gems. Wounded allies not only stop dealing damage, but can also no longer impart their skill bonuses.
Another good reason to keep allies alive is that they fight enemies and gather gold for you while you're outside of the game. Level them up and keep them alive, and you'll come back to a princely sum, ready to harvest. You can double that amount by watching a short video ad. You won't have to worry about allies getting wounded or leveling themselves up while you're away; they won't fight any bosses, and they'll simply store gold back for you to use and control.
That brings us to ad interruptions and the messenger system. The only ads you'll see under normal circumstances are cross-promotional ads for other games in the developer's lineup that can be clicked away instantly, usually advertising games. When you see the messenger, a bird carrying a scroll, tap it to unroll the scroll. Sometimes, it will simply drop some gold, gems, or runes, or start up a temporary bonus of some sort. Other times, it will give you the option to reap gold, gems, or a DPS boost by watching a video ad.
If you'd like to spend, you can buy gems, starting at $0.99 for 90 gems. To put that amount in perspective, 70 gems will let you grab some runes without time traveling, 25 will get you a gold drop from Freya, and 5 will net you a 10% DPS boost that lasts until the next time travel.
All of this uniqueness would likely fall flat if it weren't well-presented, and thankfully, that's not the case. Thor: War of Tapnarok is a very well put together game. The art style is charming and fluid, making it satisfying in motion. The sound design is fitting, and never grates on your nerves. The soundtrack is only one looping tune, aside from the short song on the title screen, but it loops quite well, is appropriately heroic, and never really outstays its welcome. While a different tune for each world would have been good, the song on offer serves its purpose well enough.
Everything about this game is intuitive, and you always know what you're in for. You'll never find yourself totally overwhelmed. You can also use rewarded ads to get out of Thor's skill cooldowns, ensuring that you can win any boss battle you get into, if you're willing to resort to that. The pacing also feels natural, and you'll likely never find yourself outclassed by enemies unless you're holding back leveling up Thor and his allies on purpose, for some reason.
Finally, let's talk about the technical side of things. When it's on screen, this game is a battery hog. There's a lot to keep track of and a lot going on. It can get pretty CPU heavy at times, as well; this writer's Moto Z2 Force, a 2017 flagship with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 in it, got pretty warm. Because of the CPU intensity, if you play on battery saver or with your CPU throttled for any other reason, things can get a bit laggy. On the flip side, however, this game is very easy on the GPU, meaning that older and weaker devices can get in on the fun.
- Speed (5/5) This game is blazing-fast, and you can get to insane levels in just a couple of hours, if you want to. You can also continue getting gold to level up with while you're outside of the game, and enemies will rain gold on you while you're actually playing. You'll never find yourself in a rut, and the core loop is compelling enough to keep you tapping.
- Theme (4/5) This game's presentation is perfect, for what it is. Don't come into this expecting a massive adventure RPG, because that's not what the idle clicker genre is about. All the same, this isn't just another idle clicker. One point docked for only having one song in the soundtrack.
- Features (4/5) There's not a ton of things to do outside of the core gameplay loop, but that core loop is done so well that it's quite easy to look past that. The menus are intuitive, there are tons of ways to customize growth to your play style, and the game offers plenty of goodies to help motivate you.
- Overall (4/5)
- Very well made and presented
- Music is appropriate and sound is very well-done
- Lots of allies and bonuses to keep you going
- Little bits and pieces of Norse mythology scattered around, such as in ally descriptions
- The game is constructed around the core loop, and everything feeds into it. There are no side operations of any sort.
- There's only one song in the soundtrack.
- Battery hog
Overall, Thor: War of Tapnarok is a wonderful twist on the idle clicker genre that bucks a lot of trends. It essentially tries to keep what's fun and convenient about the genre, while dispensing with all of the stuff that normally holds idle clickers down. Presentation is great, and verges on perfect at times. This one is definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a good time waster or idle clickers as a genre have grown stale for you.
The game is listed in the Play Store as unreleased as of this writing. This means it may not be available for you, but if you get your hands on it, you can give early feedback to the developers and help shape the final game before it's released to the public at large. Since the app is still not quite finished, don't be surprised if you run across some bugs, crashes, or other technical issues. This writer had a good experience with the game and found it pretty polished, but it was being played on a 2017 flagship device running near-stock Android, so take that as you will.