Faeria (iOS) Review

By Chris Leebody 21.05.2017

Review for Faeria on iOS

The natural home of card battles is undoubtedly the tablet market, and the phenomenal success of Hearthstone would attest to this. There is always room for new challengers, and Abrakam hopes that its new entry into a crowded and competitive market can do so. One of the best gauges of lasting success is the tried and tested formula of 'easy to learn, hard to master,' and it is clear this is the ethos with which Faeria is based on. Of course, anyone knows the danger of free-to-play card battlers, and sometimes developer greed can get the better of them. Pay to win is a big issue in the industry. With that in mind, let's take a look.

The best way to describe the structure of gameplay would be "streamlined." Now, to some, that has negative connotations around being too "casual" or easy. In this case, the trade-off for general complexity comes at the benefit of relatively quick matches, which lend themselves very well to portable battling.

Now, don't get any ideas; there is a decent chunk of strategy within this system. The map is laid out in a typical hex-based field, and early game is all about settlement and conquering the best land. Good placement can make all the difference in pulling victory from the jaws of defeat in the later game when the action ramps up.

Where this comes into its own is the mini battle in capturing resource points, which deliver boosts to the gems that make up the main currency in deploying units. This adds another layer on top of the basic goal of conquest.

Screenshot for Faeria on iOS

What is great are these clearly layered sections of gameplay; with the best scout cards being key early, then the defence cards coming into their own in the mid game in bolstering the structures, and finally the offensive weapons to push through to capturing the enemy main hex.

Along the way, passive land units are introduced and these allow well thought out chess moves to be executed, with bonuses granted to units residing within them and increasing movement. However, balances have to be made, and some land penalises some cards, and so it is exciting that there are never-ending strategic choices to be made, constantly making the player think two moves ahead.

The amount of choice is pleasing. One of the big mistakes with many of the failed ventures in this genre is a lack of imagination within cards, and this lack of variety results in a stale experience rather rapidly. With over 270 cards on offer here, and more being added with additional updates, there are going to be new strategies to tinker with all the time.

Screenshot for Faeria on iOS

Combat is probably something that is pretty much standard across the board, and with each card having their own attack and defence, there isn't anything revolutionary here.

Despite nothing revolutionary in combat, it is always pleasing when there is a slow introduction to a potentially tricky genre, and so Abrakam made a smart move in ensuring that all newcomers were required to complete a well-developed and straightforward tutorial prologue.

That prologue word is key, as there is a campaign mode here, which adds enough incentive to play through before jumping into the competitive battles. What stood out in the solo play were the fun and challenging puzzles, which set out objectives such as completing missions in certain turns, or working out the right combination and deployment of moves to win.

Screenshot for Faeria on iOS

Speaking of the competitive scene, it is geared up for a successful life, with a real focus clearly being made to set up an organic community around the title. Now, this is always a hit and miss kind of objective that many developers strive to achieve. In the long term, it is hard to say how long Faeria will grow or last. That isn't a condemnation of the experience, but more an acknowledgment of this very fast moving sector and industry. The next competition is just round the corner. Abrakam should be lauded for encouraging things like a growing Esport market by setting up their own paid competitions, as well as introducing spectator modes.

A few negative points to pick out include the inclusion of gem packs on the iTunes Store, and although currency can be earned through gameplay, it is disappointing that some will be encouraged to buy their way to chests and gems, which can lead to greater decks and therefore potentially winning matches. To be fair, so far it looks like this hasn't impacted the multiplayer scene too extensively, but it is always a worry.

The performance at least on lower end iPads also is worth considering. Having reviewed the iPad 3 version, it is clear that Faeria is best experienced on the better devices. This is noticeable in even the main menu, with a lot of freezing and a few times when it was required to reboot the game to get out of the stuck menu.

Screenshot for Faeria on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

In terms of fun factor and addiction, Faeria delivers. It is an experience that anyone can get introduced into and succeed, but all the while maintains the ability to deliver some satisfying strategic moves. The content is solid, while not extending to anything revolutionary within the genre, and fans of Hearthstone will definitely see too many similarities to jump ship. However, newcomers will find a lot of fun, and it is clear that developer Abrakam is committed to creating a sustainable title with its active community engagement.

Developer

Abrakam SA

Publisher

Abrakam SA

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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