Dungeons & Dragons: Arena of War iPhone Review
Dungeons & Dragons: Arena of War sees mobile publishing giant DeNA team up with Magic developers Wizard of The Coast. The end result is a free to play game like few others - a beautiful, quest-based arena combat game where you take your chosen RPG archetype into battle against a series of grim opponents.
Fantasy fans of all persuasions are taken care of here, whether you prefer to take charge of a sneaky rogue, a damage-from-distance arcane mage, or the shield and axe-wielding warrior. Further characters are unlocked as you level up each character too, so there's plenty to work towards beyond the usual spells, abilities and enhancements found in this and other RPGs.
In Arena of War's combat, you not only have to manage the powers and abilities of your chosen class, you also have to manage their positioning carefully in wave-based battle. A virtual "flick" system sends your hero whizzing around the arena, then they take their shot shortly after stopping - a sort of magic-flinging billiards that's a lot of fun. You can even team up with friends and strangers if you wish to tackle a particular tricky challenge with superior forces.
The core combat system is fun at first but the overall fighting mechanic becomes a little repetitive after a while. We also found the difficulty level spiking rather sharply after those confidence-boosting early days, and there are of course ways of paying to get ahead a little. On that note, a limited energy system means you'll only be able to play freely for a certain amount of time.
We're not sure the combat system is enough to keep you engaged with the Arena of War for a huge amount of time, but it is refreshingly different and you should definitely give the game a go. Even if you'll only be able to play in relatively short bursts, this is a great fantasy game, beautifully produced, and packed with plenty of depth if you have the patience or cash to go deeper.