Everybody around me was playing “Clash of Clans,” and I just wasn’t interested.
“You’re not playing?”
“Join my clan!”
“You’ve got to see this game!”
So, I did. And, honestly, I’m not terribly impressed. That doesn’t, however, mean I don’t see the draw.
I am loathe to admit this, but I played “Farmville” for quite some time.
While I never spent any money on it, I did spend loads of time planting and harvesting, working to find the best setups for my farm to make it as easy to progress as I could.
I took part in all of the events so I could get the unique decorations around my farm.
It was simple fun, something I could pop in and check periodically without having to babysit.
“Clash of Clans” follows much in the same vein, but with some different elements.
It sounds pretty awesome, to be honest, but much of my experience has been lackluster.
I find myself many times wanting to load up the app again and do something, but am unable because my two builders are busy working on something and I don’t want to spend any actual money to get another.
That, to me, is the big downfall. I don’t want to spend money on this game, because it’s a slippery slope. Sure, I can spend a couple bucks, get a few hundred of the in-game Gem currency and buy another Builder’s Hut. This would allow me to build or upgrade three items at once instead of two, but what happens if I want to build four?
This, of course, probably isn’t the case for everyone, it’s probably not even the case for me, but I know it’s the case for many.
That’s not to say that alone shines a poor light on the game. Microtransactions are the real money-makers in the mobile market these days.
I don’t think, though, that microtransactions should be forced in order to get any enjoyment out of the game.
It can be argued, and I agree, that they aren’t. But here’s the thing: I should be able to pick up my phone and play a mobile game at any point. I shouldn’t have to wait for something to finish before I can continue. That, to me, is the point of a mobile game. “Farmville” was a social game on Facebook, which initially required you to be at a computer. Setting up your farm to run overnight or while you’re at work (for those who didn’t play at work) was part of the gameplay. With a game on your phone, you should be able to play it at any point.
Mechanically, “Clash of Clans” plays well. It does what it needs to, albeit a little frustratingly at times. Combat, for instance, is an exercise in patience. It takes a while to figure out the best places to unload your troops to send them into battle. Once you place your finger on the screen and your troop is in play, it’s in play. You can’t direct it or call it back or anything.
This can lead to such wonderful events as 10 of your warrior guys attacking a building while the cannon immediately next door slaughters them. It would be nice to say, “Hey, meatheads, attack that thing,” but no such luck.
I’m enjoying the base gameplay of “Clash of Clans.” The building stuff is fun, the combat is mindless and interesting, but I keep finding myself going back to it and having nothing to do, and eventually I’m just going to completely forget it’s there, and that is definitely not a good thing.