By the time Clash of Clans came onto the scene (and I got around to trying it) I had become frustrated with the neglected world building that is common with many freemium games. In many of these types of games there is almost no ability or strategy involved.
All that changed with Clash of Clans.
To me, Clash of Clans represents an important, although tentative, step towards altering this particular issue, though it is a measure that few take the time to recognize.
In the game Clans will ask you to go and populate and construct a village with everything your ferocious tribe will need. Your warriors need an army camp, a town hall for direction, a gold mine for cash, an Elixir collector to resources up from the ether, etc. Fairly soon you have got plenty of work to be getting on with in the game.
As you construct and enlarge your little camp into a fort that is burgeoning you unlock more buildings to try and build, but never enough to weigh you down with selections. Reach a high degree in your buildings and you’ll be able to take over the Clan Castle, allowing you to update your barracks, to create allegiances with other players, and to have different kinds of units.
It is in the conflicts of the game that you value the importance for some sort of ability with this type of game. The first few conflicts you’ll have with the AI are super-easy. Just assemble enough Barbarians and overrun the Goblin hideout. Simple. Afterward, though, you are given access to archer units, and you are thinking, “well, this is simple, I am just ripping through all of this.”
Then comes the need for strategy…
Then you certainly run up against an enemy barricade with a large chunky wall and a couple cannons, and you are done for. The wall can not rip down quickly enough, and your archers are overly busy plundering resources to realize that cannons have decided to gun them down.
So you update your Barracks and after some time you can finally get some Wall Breakers and Giants. You can smash through those same walls with a bomb that is properly placed, and cannons are easily being dismantled by your Giants.
The game typically ends up going like this, demanding increasingly more advanced units, requesting that you actually consider which components you should concentrate on building within your camp and to actually plan out a strategy. Next you will find that having overwhelming amounts of your forces simply is not going to cut it. You will need to give some thought to how troops are going to hit the enemy camps, and where and when you will deploy them.
For example: Tons of cannons guarding an entry? You will need an airborne unit.
This, needless to say, is all for when you get raided by another real life player. The very first time you see your foundation wiped out, you will watch the replay, to view how it occurred, and maybe work on some specific areas of your camp’s layout. Then it is time for you to go show them who is boss.
Wrapping this review up
The pressure to continue inventing more lethal types of assault or better defences keeps you coming back, and the fantastic matchmaking process ensures that you will never become bored or overly frustrated. It is not a perfect game, to be sure, but the problems are few and far between.
It was never the greatest-looking video game out there, but it isn’t all about that anyway. It is all isometric 2D, and the amount of frames of animation could have been higher, although it is not awful by any means. That is why it has been shown to pass the test of time since its start, and has an active community building complex forts in the hope of becoming invincible. Its that fun.
So go and download it. It is free, it is not difficult to get into, and it is an excellent example of the way that freemium games should work.