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You Should Play: Explore dungeons and power-up your character in new RPG classic Spirit Lords

Chris Holt | July 9, 2015
These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

spirit lords main

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

My experience with mobile-exclusive RPGs has been mixed. Some games emphasize the collectability--giving you hundreds of dragons/powers/characters that need to be powered up through hours of grinding. The drawback with this style is that the gameplay usually lacks any semblance of skill-- you're running down the same hall, doing the same thing, and if you have the right level, your character will succeed. On the other end of the spectrum, we have games that emphasize the action aspects--every moment of the game is a sword-fight or a quick-time event--but lacks any depth. You've played one mission, you've played them all.

With Spirit Lords, developer Kabam largely succeeds in balancing action, skill, and depth: You can power-up your character, collect and evolve spirits, explore dungeons, and even engage in some tactically nuanced combat. If that's not enough to sink your teeth into, here are three more reasons why Spirit Lords should make your list.

It's not just a click-to-win game: Spirit Lords currently offers only classes (barbarian, sorcerer) and each is equipped with a variety of abilities and weapons to utilize against dungeons full of baddies. You have your standard armor and weapon upgrades that you can loot, but you'll also collect magical spirits that can be leveled up to greatly augment your arsenal. (We'll come back to those later.) No matter what class or set-up you utilize, you'll confront a variety of short and long-ranged enemies, including gnolls, lizardmen, and demons. These must be countered in a variety of ways: Through the rock-paper-scissors formula of the different spell types (nature, water, fire, etc), but also by how and when you use your attacks. Knowing when to deploy your board-clear and when to utilize your long-range ice missiles is as important as leveling up. A shrewd adventurer can go further than a simply well-leveled one.

Dungeons? We got dungeons: As you advance in the game, you'll find your skills being tested in a variety of environments, from crypts to primitive gnoll villages to, well, more crypts. The dungeons only take a few minutes to complete, and if you die, you can either pay using in-game currency to be resurrected or restart (and lose all of your loot and experience). Like any good RPG, the dungeons in Spirit Lords have gold, weapons, armor, and new abilities to find. The worlds are well-rendered 3D worlds, but there isn't much to do in them other than fight and find the occasional chest. This isn't Diablo, but that's not necessarily a bad thing: Spirit Lords is targeting a more approachable, casual audience.

 

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