It seems like Clash of Clans is EVERYWHERE right now. My television, all the streaming services I use, billboards, posters, just everywhere. Recently I took a trip to Korea, and guess what confronted me in giant size when I went into the subway? Yes. Clash of Clans.
What is Clash of Clans? It's an 'freemium' (free to play but has premium pay content), online multiplayer game for mobile produced by a company from Finland called Supercell. Like the older PC versions of Warcraft, it involves building up a home base and an armed force that you then use to attack other players and computer entities. The strategy aspect also involves shoring up your own defenses from invading forces. The game has been around for a couple of years, but their advertising blitz has recently seemed to be in full force.
I love playing games, but in gaming like in other types of entertainment, I have a weird aversion to things that everybody else is into, or that is too heavily pushed onto the public. So why did I end up downloading Clash of Clans onto my phone?
Simple. I'm a sucker for good advertising. Not in the sense that I unknowingly fall for their tricks. Better put, I knowingly fall for well-executed ad production. And boy, did the Clash of Clans ad team really hit it out of the park. Their cinematic trailers with beautiful animation and what I consider a perfect pitch of humor are glossy, high quality and enjoyable. It made me wonder - clearly their ad team is very talented; can the game itself measure up?
So far, I have to say I think it does. The art is great, with high resolution that stays good as you zoom in for more detail. The character design is creative and in keeping with that subtle humorous tone. I have played old school games from the Command and Conquer franchise, as well as Warcraft, rather unsuccessfully. I can't really get into those high-view strategy games and probably just don't care enough to make good enough constructs and battle strategies to win. And really, losing constantly is a quick way to get tired of a game. Clash of Clans, though, provides a few different levels of interaction. I prefer a shallower level in which I can enjoy building up my little town, barracks and resources, try out different defense strategies and occasionally venture out into battle. I am able to just dip in here and there, so I don't have to devote much time to it. Just 5-10 minutes about 2-5 times a day. Nothing horrible happens if I don't do it for a few days, and the length of time it takes to build things actually helps me not get too drawn in. I don't like the pay features, but really that's par for the course with mobile gaming. I find that I can do plenty with only the free content.
You can also join or create clans and play collaboratively with your friends or strangers, asking for extra forces, going into battle, etc. I haven't really gotten into this aspect, which is really where the deep-level engagements of the game kick in. I'd love to read someone else's opinion of those areas that I haven't ventured into.
I can see why lots of people enjoy playing it - I've seen many others tending to their clans on public transit. It's easy to get in and out quickly when waiting in line or on the train. As with pretty much any popular game (or most enjoyable things in life), there are people who overdo it. I just found out about a team fixation on Clash of Clans in the Kansas City Royals, which was really a first to me. You can read about it here: http://deadspin.com/a-clash-of-clans-addiction-nearly-sank-the-royals-seaso-1648848299
Business Insider profiled a guy who ended up playing the game 16 hours a day. This is what he said about what he found so addicting about raiding battles:
"There’s a three-minute timer on the raid," Tyrael said. "You get 30 seconds to look at an enemy's base, and then as soon as you start dropping troops, you have three minutes to destroy the enemy's defenses.
"If you win a battle you get at least one trophy, which advances you in the rankings. If you lose, you give up a portion of your trophies, depending on if your opponent was a higher or lower rank than you. If you're fighting someone less experienced, an upset would mean you lose more trophies proportionally, as a win would expected. If you're the underdog, you have an opportunity to earn more trophies if you're willing to take more risks."
Fortunately for Tyrael, he was savvy enough to turn his game time into a revenue source with live streaming videos of his gameplay. You can read more about him in the link I attached here, along with one of his videos. I'm more of a champion for moderation, but to each his own! What I like is not the game's immersiveness, but rather my ability to only play a little bit and still have fun.
Do you play Clash of Clans? What do you like or not like about it? What cool things have I not seen?