Review: Champs: Battlegrounds takes the tactics genre to the competitive real-time arena
I have played a fair share of tactics games in my day as a huge fan of the genre. While they have their own niches and differences, Champs: Battlegrounds is certainly the first real-time, competitive, tactics game I’ve ever played. That’s right, it’s real time. This means that not only do you need to plan out your six member squad, be on top of your advanced tactics, and try to figure out what your opponent is up to but also be quick with your commands. If you take too long your foe could get away or your unit could die before you get that clutch heal off.
In a simplified Final Fantasy Tactics like evolution system, your squad members start as one job and can choose to specialize into one of two different options. For example, the apprentice can become a healing specialized cleric or an AoE specialized mage. Unlike FFT though, there aren’t experience points to evolve. Instead you use in game gained points or microtransactions points to upgrade your previously owned units. If you have enough of these points you can buy the tier two characters right away.
Let’s take a moment to talk about these points a moment. The model Champs: Battlegrounds uses is identical to the popular MOBA League of Legends. Through playing matches, you gain blue gems. These blue gems can be used to upgrade and buy new champions. If your impatient or want to get stronger faster, you can also use real money to buy red gems. These microtransactions are known as Quark Points. There are even bonuses to get more Quark Points if you buy more at one time like LoL. These points are how the free to play developers make their money. This system is by no means ‘pay to win’ since it get you no advantage you couldn’t just grind out in game.
There are 30 ‘Champaign’ battles that can be replayed infinite times. Each level has three stars you can get depending on how well you do. These starts get you both blue and red gems but can only be gained once. So if you three star a level you can’t grind that level for more gems. However, if you 2 star a level you can play it again to try to get that one star more bonus. While thirty levels is quite numerous, you will reach a point where you need to play against humans to gain more gems without paying. You can invite your friends to a match CROSS PLATFORM between iOS and Android. No friends around, no problem! Join a random PvP match and have at it.
There are currently seven starting classes which can each update into one of two different specializations – that’s 20 different classes holmes. Even since the recent release, they have already released a new champion, the ‘Striker.’ So many tactics, so many battles. The battle maps have different evolution granting higher range champions further distance to attack. There are also swirly block on the map that speed up energy recovery. So you’ll want to occupy as many of those as possible and aggressively trap them so your foes can’t get them. Each unit can move, attack, and use two different special abilities. As a character is idle, they gain energy and the more advanced abilities take more energy to use. Moving also takes energy so try to time everything accurately for maximum efficiently.
This is a free to play game on both iOS and Android so if it intrigues you in the least I definitely recommend picking it up. You’re not forced to play against humans at the start and there is even a tutorial. Grind up those gems and unlock/upgrade those champs. See what combinations work for you, test them out vs AI, then take it to human opponents. While I’ve had some connection issues even under Wi-Fi, it could just be my phone. Regardless, this game is definitely worth the download.