For those of you who haven’t played it before Vainglory is a MOBA on touch devices. You might remember the Apple Keynote where the game was shown off, or maybe on Twitch recently and written it off. I was hesitant to give this game a shot since its a “phone game”. But after more than a few requests, I gave it a shot.
Vainglory- The mobile MOBA
The Game is produced by Super Evil Megacorp, and besides having the best name ever, they make the game and the engine it runs on. It was highly touted by Apple during the 2014 Keynote and I’ll admit that I was immediately skeptical of it. Touch based games can have deep mechanics, but usually don’t. My first reaction was that this was just a developer that was trying to cash in on MOBA fever. I downloaded the game and played around and was pleasantly surprised. The game was rough around the edges, but had potential. I told myself to come back to the game after giving it time to grow. So here we are!
To start, the game is available for iOS and Android devices (Amazon store too). If you are holding a relatively new device you shouldn’t have any problem, but anything older than an iPhone 5s might be trouble. Its also important to keep screen size in mind, you don’t want to try tapping on a screen too small. It’s crazy to think of how widely available this game is, all you need is a mobile device that was made in the past few years and you should be good to go!
The style of the game is pretty normal for a MOBA. The art looks like a mix of League of Legends, and Dota 2. The graphics are actually on par for some of the best mobile games out there. In close up views its not Source 3 or Unreal engine good, but the engine looks great during normal play. The art style of the game is good, if just a little generic. The heroes are very similar to League of Legends, in fact if someone were to put the artwork side by side from each game I don’t think too many people would notice.
It’s hard to separate the game from the fact that its on mobile devices, but lets just talk about how it behaves as a MOBA. In most ways this game is very standard. The heroes are divided into normal groups, and the items are pretty straightforward. It’s about as vanilla a MOBA as you could ever expect. But in the end that’s what makes the game great. Vainglory is everything a player would expect from a PC game, but on a mobile device. One of my favorite mechanics of the game is the way that players can create their skins. You can also buy them outright, but knowing that the developers let players get skins for free is pretty great. In fact all the in game currency systems feel… dare I say… good?
Rather than make you read more I recorded a video!
If this game was on a computer I would give it a pretty average score. There isn’t anything too amazing about it, the currency system is nice, and the design isn’t bad. But as it stands right now, this game is not on computer. There’s a saying “the best camera is the one you have with you” and I think it holds up here as well. Vainglory is a good MOBA by normal measurements, but as a mobile game that is also a MOBA, its great. Now that the game has a pretty good selection of characters, and a real tutorial for new players I can’t think of any reason not to recommend this game. Sure Dota 2 may have more depth, and League of Legends may have more characters, but darn it if this game isn’t fun!
I gave this game a 90% it’s a good game, and a lot of fun. I can see myself putting a lot of time into this game going forward. Players coming from more established MOBAs might find the skill ceiling to be a little lower, but its not without its own challenges. I don’t know if everyone will love this game, but I really enjoyed it, and the in game purchases are priced incredibly well.