Game essentials: Clash Royale
We take a closer look at the App Store’s must-play games.
Epic Real-Time Card Battles!
It’s hard to imagine a more immediate and visually entertaining multiplayer game than Clash Royale. Within seconds of tapping the clashing-swords icon to kick off a battle, you’re thrust into the fray, ready to fight goblins, golems and giants for crowns, glory, and the chance to rise up the ranks.
Your job is to destroy your opponent’s towers within three minutes – take down one of the smaller towers in front and you can access their King’s Tower, which means an instant win if it falls. Naturally, all the while, they’re trying to do the same to you.
Your elixir meter steadily refills as the battle wears on, but if you pack your deck with high-powered units you won’t be able to play them so often. That could be fatal if your opponent is attacking on all sides as you wait for a powerful lightning strike to charge up.
The start of each battle is usually a cagey affair, as you can only play a couple of cards at once, whether it be a fireball-belching baby dragon or three fast-moving goblins. Soon you’ll have an idea of your opponent’s deck, letting you adapt your strategies and prepare for any potential threats.
Where you place your cards is crucial. It’s not always wise to attack your opponent directly – for example, you can place spear goblins behind a tower, letting them chip away at melee attackers from a safe distance. And sometimes it pays to let your rival make the first move: keep an area spell in reserve (such as a rain of arrows or a tornado) and you can take down a cluster of opponents in one fell swoop.
While the chests you win from battles let you power-up your units, the secret of Clash Royale is that smart tactics will always win out against brute force. Slow-moving giants can be taken out by surrounding them with swarms of tiny skeletons, while hog riders will go straight for towers when your opponent is throwing out distractions.
Every battle reaches fever pitch towards the end, as the elixir gauge refills twice and then four times as quickly, letting you launch all-out assaults or man desperate last defences to cling onto a lead.
With so much to see and do – like new arenas, legendary cards and the thrill of 2v2 mode – one game of Clash Royale is never enough.