Mobile games seem to all borrow for a pool of features that they all share in some capacity. It’s the titles that gain success by trying new things that really stand out to me. With that said, I can still find comfort in titles that double down on features that were successful in the past as the developers try new things with the genre.
So when I first heard that Sega’s newest mobile title Revolve8 had Masayoshi Kikuchi, the director of Jet Set Radio, playing a major role in this game’s development, I was highly intrigued. Then all that hype seemed to vanish after I find out that this was simply a Clash Royale style game within the first few minutes of playing. However, after sinking a good amount of time into it, Kikuchi’s approach to game design might have been what kept this title from becoming stale, despite the type of game I was playing.
As I aforementioned, gameplay in Revolve8 is very much like Clash Royale, so, you know the drill: Players get two lanes where they can send minions and heroes through to destroy their opponent’s towers. Use cards that represent your minions and heroes to push through enemy defenses. The first person to destroy the back tower wins, but that’s actually where the similarities between Revolve8 and Clash Royale end.
The main heroes you have at your disposal are all anime versions of fairy tale characters like Cinderella, Aladdin, Little Red Riding Hood, Momotaro and much more. I’d like to add that they’re all wonderfully detailed and keep the original feel of the fairy tale character, all while adding eccentric personalities to each character. If you ask me, Cinderella is best girl.
With the similarities between Revolve8 and other mobile titles explained, each hero in the game is equipped with their own activated skill. For example, Little Red Riding Hood gets an attack speed boost and Aladdin gets more damage each shot through a magical lamp. Depending on who the “leader” is in your deck, you get a special skill that can quickly turn the tide of battle.
If you have Cinderella as your leader, she gets the ability to zoom all the way to the first available tower in the way on her magical motorcycle and starts to smash it down incredibly fast. She could almost 100 to 0 a tower if left unchecked. I should add that each character’s special skill gets a beautiful cutscene only fitting of an anime-themed game. These skills give a level of engagement and planning I never could really get in Clash Royale. You have to plan around your ability cooldowns to find the best way to break through defenses.
Revolve8 also has a PvP mode that grants the player trophies upon each win. Once you reach a certain trophy requirement, you can unlock more stages, the ability to unlock more minion and hero cards, and of course tougher online opponents. Now here’s where the problem is: It’s painfully obvious who has paid real money to quickly level up their cards making it tough to beat anyone. You can earn books that unlock cards that you can use toward leveling up your minions, heroes, spells and more. However, drops for the better cards are of course far and few between. I’ve been personally stuck in League 4 (500-899 trophies) since I keep getting stomped by people with an unbelievably maxed out Cinderella card.
Card balancing is atrocious because of the way these types of games are formatted. While Cinderella is my most favorite designed character, she’s so broken. She has low HP but if you level her up enough, depending on how the game is going, she can solo push to your back tower. It almost forces you to buy more books to unlock cards to level up your characters to even stand a chance.
If you get tired of getting beat up in PvP modes, there are story missions that involve each fairy tale character as well as main story missions where you can earn materials toward your deck. However, those rewards are minuscule at best. With that said, it is a nice break from PvP since the story is pretty fun and engaging to learn more about each heroes quest in this word.
While not perfect, Revolve8 has added a level of depth that I haven’t seen in other Clash Royale style games. Add that with the eye-popping visuals and you have a game you can find yourself regularly coming back to. Unfortunately, it’s the barrier to entry clouded by loot boxes holds me back from thinking the game is anything more than average at best. In time, the game could be better if the developers focus on balancing the characters and decks to make the game less pay to win. As it stands, Revolve8 provides some nice moments of gameplay that’s hurt by its PvP offerings.
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