There is an insane amount of industry veteran talent behind Revolve8, a new short-form real time strategy game from Sega that's available globally, in a number of languages, right now. The dream team has pumped out a unique game with a story that bridges real and fictional worlds, and centers around a blend of card-based and real time strategy gameplay. The catch is that each round is a scant 3 minutes long.
In the amount of time that's usually a formative period for rounds of more involved strategy games, you'll figure out the best heroes to put on the field and where to put them, help defend them with lower-tier cards, and destroy enemy towers while defending your own. Think of it as a faster-paced MOBA, but without the action gameplay. Whichever player has destroyed more enemy towers by the time it's all over is the winner.
To say that this game was developed by an all-star team is a bit of an understatement. The project was headed up by Yakuza and Jet Set Radio producer Masayoshi Kikuchi. Chrono Trigger producer Yasunori Mitsuda, meanwhile, is handling the music. Castlevania fans may find the fairy tale character designs a bit familiar, and that's because Koji Igarashi, the man behind the series renaissance that started with Symphony of the Night, is behind them. Those are just a few examples.
As for gameplay, you'll start out with an empty field with three or more towers on each end; yours, and your enemy's. The goal is to pick a card, which takes some of your store of ink, place it optimally on the field, then have it ravage your foe's units and ink towers. Hero cards take more ink than small mooks, and there are other types of cards with different ink requirements. Heroes are exceptionally powerful, and boast skills that can be activated at the right moment to turn the tide of battle or deal massive damage to ink towers.
If you're thinking the storyline attached to all of this action must be pretty imaginative, that's because it is. The game is set in the fictional world of Imago. Every time a story is told in the real world, its characters, location, and event arise in Imago. Within the infinite space, each new story is a new realm. As the story is remembered longer, its realm rises higher. As the story becomes more popular, its realm gets bigger. Events in Imago usually have real-world repercussions regarding the involved stories, such as more books or movies about those stories coming out.
One area where the link between Imago and the real world is very strong is with the heroes themselves, and their role. Stories get rewritten all the time. Movies about classic fairy tales that tell them differently, game franchise reboots, and book sequels that completely turn the story of the previous book on their heads are just a few examples. When a hero fights in Imago, they're working toward the chance to rewrite their own story as they see fit. Once a hero has won the honor, they can plant whatever story about themselves that they wish in the head of somebody in the real world who can write it, shoot it, or sing it, and most importantly, spread it.
In order to do that rewriting, they need ink. In the world of Imago, ink is everything. It's a power source, lifeblood, and more. It's also the same ink that's in your reserves during battle, inside the towers that are on the field. Eliminating foes on the field is all well and good, but your enemy can just keep sending new ones until they run out of ink. That's why destroying the ink-laden towers is the way to go.
This is a high-quality and feature-rich free game with tons of features. It takes the core formula popularized in the ever-popular Clash Royale, and refines it to a ridiculous degree, while tacking on a fairy unique backstory that helps draw players in. It's safe to say that the game is going to turn heads in the mobile gaming space. Only time will tell just how popular Revovle8 will get, and what impact it will have on the market.
This is a premium experience, to be certain, available without ads or an entry fee. This is becoming an increasingly popular monetization scheme in the upper echelons of mobile gaming, with hits like Honkai Impact 3rd, Mobius Final Fantasy, Temple Run 2 and more embracing it.