Might and Magic: Elemental Guardians (iOS) Review

By Josh Di Falco 17.10.2019

Review for Might and Magic: Elemental Guardians on iOS

Might and Magic: Elemental Guardians is Ubisoft's latest free mobile iteration of the popular series, this time basing it off the "gacha" style of titles that has congested the mobile marketplace in recent years. Featuring a whopping number of creatures and monsters to train up and evolve into stronger fighters, a range of RPG-related mechanics and stat increases combined with a turn-based fighting system - there is a lot to unpack in this title that promises a lot from the outset. Here's a look into what exactly sets this title apart from the large bevy of games that are similar to this.

The main thing that sets this apart from the bevy of the other similar titles is that Elemental Guardians is packed with terrific art design and sound quality not commonly found in indie-based games. It is clear when booting up this game that there is a lot of care and detail that has gone into the presentation, the art design and even the sound quality. This doesn't look like a game that was crafted by a small team trying to make their break into the industry.

Beyond the pretty and stylistic art design, Elemental Guardians goes down the Pokemon route by crafting an experience that centres around building a team of up to four monsters or creatures. In the early stages, a handful of creatures are unlocked - and soon, more creatures are unlocked to be a part of the team. By making it easy to unlock monsters, there is that sense of needing to collect every single monster in order to put together the best combination of fighters.

Screenshot for Might and Magic: Elemental Guardians on iOS

This is where the "gacha" style comes into it. For those not familiar with the term, it is used to describe a specific loot-box system. By cashing in-game coins or currency, a randomizer determines the prize that awaits. In this case, the creatures are the prizes. Elemental Guardians has a range of different crystals, that each require a specific number of shards to spit out a random creature. These crystals are split into ranks, so the easier crystals will spit out the general monsters and more specific, high-level monsters can only be gotten by collecting enough of the specific shards required to "spin the wheel." Of course, the respective shards for each crystal increase in difficulty in regards to how you will obtain them.

The actual game itself plays out in the form of a turn-based fighter. By going into battle with a team of up to four creatures, there are three waves of enemies to fight through. The creatures have three moves each; ranging from basic attacks to team buffs, or curses placed on the enemies - basically, the typical stuff commonly found in many turn-based RPGs. While three moves may not seem like a lot of flexibility or cause for strategy, the large number of monsters available certainly makes up for it, and the move-lists overall are enormous.

Screenshot for Might and Magic: Elemental Guardians on iOS

Battles can play out turn-by-turn, but there's also an option to auto-battle and let the AI take over the controls as well. In fact, the auto-battle does a good job of running through the story missions. Most battles in the early game are easy enough to plough through, and the level progression is steady enough to put complete faith in the AI. However, the main story just serves as a vessel to play around with the different creature-combinations, earn Glyphs which can be equipped to increase stats, and begin building a formidable team. This is one of those titles where the actual game doesn't begin until after finishing the story, where harder fights and PvP options take the difficulty to that next level. In saying that, the main story doesn't take long to get through.

Glyphs come thick and fast, and these are the equipment that can help to boost stats for the creatures. While there is a levelling-up system with the glyphs, it is the later-levelled glyphs that are worth sinking the shards into, whereas a lot of the early-game glyphs are disposable. There are different classes for these glyphs, and there are extra bonuses awarded to the creature if they equip three of the same type of glyph. Playing around with these is paramount to helping the monster's level up, as the actual levelling-up system relies on the monsters partaking in battles.

Screenshot for Might and Magic: Elemental Guardians on iOS

However, once the early-game content has been played through, the difficulty spikes quite dramatically, and this is where the experience begins to collapse. Monsters will constantly be out-levelled, and there is a lot of grinding by replaying the early game battles over and over to try and gain some levels on the bigger monsters. There are potions which can help to level up monsters outside of battles, but these aren't that common to earn.

Like most mobile phone titles, Elemental Guardians has an 'energy' system, where competing in battles uses up five energy points. Fortunately, this title is quite forgiving with energy, as gaining wins creates opportunities to get some energy back to compete in more battles. There are the standard wait times for energy to be refilled as well - such is the case with free mobile titles.

The main thing that is worth noting, and is disappointing, is that Might and Magic does require a constant internet connection to play, and the internet cannot drop out during play at any time. While reviewing this, it was played every day on the train ride to and from work. There is a 'black spot' on the train line where mobile internet connections would always drop out, and Elemental Guardians would crash during this portion every time without fail. Whether it was in mid-battle or while sitting in the hub world, if the internet cuts out, then this simply won't work. While the PvP modes obviously need a constant connection, it is mindboggling why offline play wasn't implemented, or at the very least, the option to allow those to go offline briefly only for the game to resync monster levels, etc when it finds an internet connection.

Screenshot for Might and Magic: Elemental Guardians on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians is a fair mobile title that offers an enjoyable experience for those who are into collecting monsters to partake in turn-based battles with. In short bursts, this is an entertaining experience that doesn't overstay its welcome. However, once the true grind begins at the conclusion of the story modes, then it can become a frustrating past-time to stay engaged with longer-term. It isn't the best "gache" on the market, but it is a free title for iOS and Android devices, so there's nothing to lose by trying this out. Note that it does require an active internet connection to play, unfortunately - so it's best to play this at home on the WiFi, where there is a steady connection, as Elemental Guardians isn't afraid to crash play-throughs.

Developer

Ubisoft Barcelona

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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