Summoners War – PC & Mobile Game Review

Summoners War Review

Summoners War was released on 12 June 2014, literally a decade ago. It is a free game that is heavily monetised and has finally landed itself on Steam Games making it easier for players to access the game instead of using emulators. It is the prequel to Summoners War Chronicles and in my honest opinion, besides having worse graphics it has better game play & better content making it slightly more superior in all forms despite not having open world. Personally I have always compared Summoners Wars with Monster Super League series as they are very similar games with basically more or less the same features with different overlays on top. If I had to choose one of the two, I would choose Monster Super League any day but in terms of stability and longevity, Summoner Wars would take the cake.

Combat

Summoners War features a turn-based combat system that rewards strategic planning and tactical decision-making. In each battle, players take turns to choose their actions, allowing for careful maneuvering and thoughtful choices. Here’s a brief overview of the game’s combat mechanics:

  • Turn-Based Battles: Combat unfolds in a series of turns. During your turn, you can select skills, attacks, or other actions for your monsters.
  • Unique Monster Skills: Each monster in Summoners War possesses unique skills and properties. These skills determine their combat roles, such as tanking, support, or attack. The game’s rune system further customizes monster abilities.
  • Debuffs and Buffs: The focus lies in inflicting debuffs on enemies and buffing allies. Rather than straightforward DPS or tanking, players strategically apply debuffs to weaken foes and enhance their team’s performance
Summoner Wars Pre-Battle UI
Pre-Battle UI

Pretty much your standard monster capturing game here, that includes auto-combat, and auto-quest in this game. However, auto-combat itself is a little dodgy in harder content and would be potentially faster and less deaths if you play it yourself.

Elements

As one would expect from any kind of monster collecting gacha games, there will always be elements involved. Summoners War also has an element system, a total of 5 elements in this gacha game which are the following, where Light and Dark are separated as normal in their own elemental advantage category.

Summoners War Chronicles Elements
Elements Advantages vs Disadvantages

The elemental advantage/disadvantage affects both basic attacks and skills. When attacking an enemy of a weaker element, your monster’s attacks deal additional damage. Conversely, when attacking an enemy of a stronger element, your monster’s attacks deal reduced damage.

  • Fire monsters have an advantage over Wind monsters but are at a disadvantage against Water monsters.
  • Water monsters have an advantage over Fire monsters but are at a disadvantage against Wind monsters.
  • Wind monsters have an advantage over Water monsters but are at a disadvantage against Fire monsters.
  • Light and Dark elements are strong against each other.

PVP

There are currently 4 forms of PVP in Summoners War.

  1. Arena Battles:
    • Regular Arena: In regular arena battles, you compete against AI-controlled teams. You can set up a well-crafted team with specific roles (damage dealers, supports, etc.). Speed tuning and synergy matter here. Pretty much the standard PVP system as with most gacha games.
    • Live Arena: Live arena introduces real-time PvP battles. Unlike regular arena, live arena has banned units, and opponents may not always follow elemental advantage rules. Strategy and adaptability are crucial, this is very similar to the real time PvP Lost Centuria which was actually inspired by this game mode.
  2. Guild Wars (GvG):
    • Guild Wars involve guilds battling against each other. Guild members attack enemy bases, and successful attacks earn points. Communication and coordination within the guild are essential for victory.
  3. Guild Siege (GvO):
    • Guild Siege is similar to Guild Wars but on a larger scale. Guilds compete for control of territories by attacking and defending bases. It requires strategic planning and teamwork.
  4. Real-Time Arena (RTA):
    • RTA is a competitive mode where players face off in real-time battles. It’s a high-stakes environment where you draft and counter-pick monsters. RTA has its own meta and requires deep knowledge of monster abilities and synergies.

Lastly, there are something called rivals, which is a PVP mode that you fight against bots every few hours to gain Crystals (Cash Shop Currency). While you do only get 2-3 Crystals per winning match, it does adds up eventually after awhile and as anyone who does play gacha games, each currency really matters, even more so when you spend little to nothing on the game.

Cash Shop

As with what you will expect from any HIVE game, Summoners War is no exception here, the main island hub left pane is filled just with “Limited time package for $50.00” get it now ad at you. It is quite annoying for an average enjoyer.

On top, the game is extremly pay2win and even if you spend a few dollars a month at the game, you will have an overwhelming advantage versus a player who do not spend anything at all. Further, you can expect to get anything you want inside the cash shop, the only limit is as long as you can afford to spend.

Summoner Wars Cash Shop Packages
Cash Shop Packages

State of Game

The steam game runs very smooth on my PC probably alot smoother and less resource intensive then the Google Play PC version, while I have not tested it on my mobile yet, I cannot comment on that. According to Steam DB, the game itself looks very healthy.

According to reddit, Sensor Tower Monthly Revenue Report (Mar 2024), the game is on a slight decline but still a healthy 9 million a month which is usually where it has been at for the past few years bouncing between 6-10 million, making it one of the most stable game game in terms of revenue to date despite not topping charts like Honkai or other miHoYo games.

Summoner Wars Reddit Sensor
Sensor Tower Monthly Revenue Report

Personally, I still believe there is still huge potential in this game, first scrape that embarrassment of a sequel and make an option to toggle between original and updated graphics, that alone will bring in a lot more players in and would consider as a main Gacha, especially now there is 2 ways to officially play it on PC.

Artwork

The artwork style in Summoners War Chronicles is pretty but kind of all over the place, but I guess that is kind of what you would expect as they as just doing collabs with everyone including titles like Street Fighter V, Cookie Run, Assassin’s Creed & Witchers. Not a totally bad thing but chibi-like cartoony drawing does at times feels very common and not overly unique. It does really show its age although that is to be expected as it is a 10 year old game as of this review.

Summoner Wars Main Ship
Main Ship/Home

Fun

Summoners War is very enjoyable, at least for the very first few hours each time I come back where I would be able to just understand the new changes but I do end up dropping it real fast due to just boredom. Most of the content to begin the game is super easy and repetitive and ends up being super annoying and tedious for me. This makes me really don’t want to recommend this game for anyone looking to get started in a monster collector gacha game and instead looking towards Monster Super League instead despite this game has much more content and potential if you do manage to stick it through to mid-endgame. But on the other hand, if you want something for longevity with an active playerbase, than this is the game for you. The service has been up for 10 years now and it shows no signs of stopping or going into maintenance mode either.

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