Part Clash of Clans, part Hearthstone, Clash Royale burst on the scenes with more hype than the royal baby. The game pits players against each other, 1 on 1, in a series of 3 minute matches where you deploy troops from the Clash of Clans IP to destroy your enemy’s tower, while he attempts the same. Unlike “of Clans”, both players are online simultaneously and have to manage both offense and defense. Winning matches and just being around earns you packs of random cards / troops that improve your abilities in the match.
What did they get right? What did they get wrong? And is it strategy?
Boom Beach is a free to play strategy game from Supercell, creator of Clash of Clans. I mention Clash of Clans because this is the same game with a new wrapper and no chat. The setting has changed, and the graphics are much improved. The gameplay itself is extremely similar mixing city building with strategy. It does have a slight story …. Something about evil invaders or the like. The main objective being to capture as many bases scattered around yours as possible.
If you take a look at the App Store, you’ll see a lot of games in the strategy category. But are any of these actually strategy games?
What then is strategy? Max McKeown argues that “strategy is about shaping the future” and is the human attempt to get to “desirable ends with available means”. Okay, that’s interesting, but could just as well applied to shaping a future where I am not hungry by eating this biscuit. Maybe we’ll have better luck with “Strategy Game”?
Wikipedia says that “A strategy game… is a game in which the players’ un-coerced, and often autonomous decision-making skills have a high significance in determining the outcome.” This is still bollocks though, because decision-making skills is so vague that we’re not saying anything.
A strategy game is a game in which each player’s ability to anticipate their opponent’s move has a high significance in determining the outcome.
This means that, contrary to what Apple would have you believe, Cookie Jam is not a strategy game.