Preview: Clash of Magic VR – Highly Repetitious Tower Defence

Loads to unlock, but a lack of map variation hampers gameplay.

While there can be a great deal of variation in tower defence videogames they generally tend to fall into one of two categories, addictively repetitious and tediously repetitious. Due to the style of gameplay it can be a fine line between the two and it’s one that Narvalous Inc. is currently treading with Steam Early Access title Clash of Magic VR.

Clash of Magic - Screenshot

In its current form Clash of Magic VR offers a 24 level single-player campaign with several boss levels woven in. As development continues a PvP multiplayer is planned but whether that’ll help matters will have to be seen.

Gameplay is very straight forward. Inside a square arena you have three crystal obelisks to defend. These supply mana with which you can summon different magical spells to defend or attack against the AI. Each level unlocks a new spell, so you start off with a fireball and eventually build up a roster of various creatures and enchantments that you can pick and choose from for each encounter.

Basic spells like the fireball or freeze cost one mana, as well as creatures like bunnies, wolfs, and weird spitting mushrooms. More powerful spells that cost three mana eventually unlock, such as the Hero – who can be independently controlled, while most troops automatically attack. Once you’ve unlocked a fair few you then have to pick and choose as a loadout can only contain eight spells.

Clash of Magic - Screenshot

So with all this variation in magical strategy you’d have thought the battles would be epic. Well not so much. While there’s some beautiful scenery with a grand majestic castle in the background, the actual battle arena is exactly the same across all 24 levels, and each of those crystal obelisks stay in the same place – one in front of you and one either side. Each fight consists of the AI summoning some creatures whilst you counter with an appropriate spell – some creatures are better against others – all the while collecting mana so you don’t run out. Most battles last ten waves, once completed your troops are then free to demolish your opponents’ obelisks.

And this is where the repetitious gameplay starts to edge on the side tedium. Without a mixture of levels having a multitude of magical attacks going back and forth across the same green square tends to lose its spark after a few goes. There’s just not a great deal of variety across the campaign to offer much scope for strategy and therefore continued interest, so it’s hard to see much replay factor in Clash of Magic VR without a multiplayer aspect.

A lot can change in Early Access so hopefully Clash of Magic VR can be adapted to include the much needed gameplay variety it needs. Graphically and technically the title is fine, with no apparent bugs or glitches presenting themselves. Tower defence videogames can be great fun, hopefully Clash of Magic VR can be one to.

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