Should I be excited about… Battle Camp
Battle Camp, brought to you by PennyPop is an exciting new MMO coming to the iPhone in the summer. It touches more on the adorable but feisty side of iOS titles, mixing Pokemon, Bejeweled and World of Warcraft styles all into one.
You start off with a team of five monsters. Monsters can be one of any five elements. It’s a very good idea to keep one of each element in your team as you can’t see exactly who you will be battling against until you’re already in a battle. Fire beats Nature, Nature beats Water, Water beats Fire and Air and Earth seem to have their own thing going on. While this is all easy to remember, this info is available to you at all times during battles which is handy for the lazy minded and if you’re having a bit of a dim moment.
Starting off at the base camp you get a series of quest to complete which help to run your through the basics of the gameplay. Quests will take you through your first battle and how to fuse (a way of leveling up, more on this later). In each base there will be NPCs that will hand out specific quests in order to help you progress to the next zone. You may receive challenges such as “beat me in less than 15 moves”, or “beat me in under 90 seconds”. Other quests just involve donating monsters that you obtain during battles.
Battles themselves are straightforward enough, however as the game progresses you really need to get tactical and think forward a bit if you want to ensure you keep your troop alive. Simply tap on a monster you find in your camp to begin a battle. Just to note, each battle will cost energy. Typically it will only cost one energy, unless it’s a special fight like a cave or something. Of course you only have so much energy which needs replenished. It takes 10 minutes to replenish one energy, which can be slightly frustrating when you just want to get going. There is the option to purchase more energy with your micro transactions should you desire.
Back to the battle. You will be presented with your opposing team. While you only tapped on one monster in the camp, you will in fact be fighting more than one, sometimes only three, sometimes more. You will also come across common, uncommon and rare monsters. Uncommon and rare are obviously harder to defeat and sometimes you can get really unlucky and be pitched against a team of three or more uncommon. It’s just random from what I can tell so just suck it up and do your best.
In the battle you will have a table which has a collection of all the different elements and your job is to make chains of three or more of the same to do damage in that element. So if you have a little fire monster in the opposing team, try to make a water attack.
Now you can see the Bejeweled likeness here but it’s a little bit better in that you don’t just swap places, you can move a piece all around the table. The trick is to use a piece to shuffle other pieces into place so you can in fact create multiple chain of varying elements just by moving one piece around. You can only have a piece moving for a set period of time though, and once you let go your move is played. If this all sounds confusing, my apologies, it’s really not, the in-game tutorial teaches it well. Ideally you have to make sure you have at least two chains in a move. For each chain you create in one move your damage done in that element is multiplied. So more chains in lots of elements equals massive damage. Get it? Got it? Good.
Fusing is where you take a monster in your inventory (monsters you’ve won) and fuse them with monsters in your team. What this does is boosts your team monsters stats and grants XP your monsters. Fusing higher level monsters will results in a higher boost in stats and add more xp to your monster. Monsters do not gain XP from battles, only from fusing. Fusing also costs stones. You can win stones via battles or you can sell monsters for stones. Of course you can swap out monsters in your team for monsters that you find too. Monster collecting (over 135 FYI), gotta catch em all ok! Oh and there is evolving too, which is different from fusing as it’s a way to create bigger and beefier monsters.
Now let’s get onto the MMO bit shall we? You have Troops (guilds) caves (dungeons), wars (PVP) and raids. Join a troop and get raiding with your monsters! Battle Camp benefits from real time guild chat and general chat for the camp you are currently based in. As you level up you can move to other camps and take on new quests, do new dungeons and raids. Currently there are six camps, but this leaves the door open for expansion.
Dungeons offer up several waves of monsters which you have to survive through and reward you with a skill at the end should you be victorious. This skill can be applied to a monster in your team. Some skills can only be applied to monsters of a specific element, other skills can be applied to any element type. The thing to note here is that your skill can only be applied to one monster. Once you give a monster a skill, you will need to do another cave to get another skill. You will be able to see the skill reward before you start the cave. When you have a skill attached to a monster you can use it during a battle and it will not use up a turn. You can choose to use your skill and then still make your move on the table below. It’s a good idea to have at least 1 healing skill in your team if you can get it. I said this was MMO, but caves are actually solo. Raids are where you want to be if you want to team up with your troopies/troopers. Raids follow the same idea except you work collectively with your troop mates to take down the enemy. Wars allow you to, well, war against other Troops.
You can be as solo as you like in Battle Camp, you don’t even need to join a Troop if you don’t want to but you really should if you want to see what it has to offer.
It’s quite possible this is the cutest MMO you’ll ever lay eyes on, but trust me, it’s no walk in the part. I’ve rambled for just over 2 pages of a word doc and I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface. I can’t possible tell you everything (did I mention you can customise your avatar, buy clothes and accessories?) but I certainly hope I’ve told you enough to get Battle Camp on your iOS wishlist (and it’s FREE!). So should you be excited about this? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Yes Yes.