Free PC games Review: Duels
Normally I would not do a review of a browser based game as most of them are not much of a game and not worth writing about. Then awhile back I stumbled across a forum post pointing to Duels, I was bored and decided to try it out. I went in with low expectation and was pleasantly surprised! Duels claims to be a mix of MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role playing game) CCG (collectible card game) I personaly enjoy both of these genres so thats what peaked my interest. I liked the game enough to give it a quick review and here it is.
Duels is a browser based game. not a flash or java applet just site based. There have been and are many games out like this such as Vagabond, Anarchy and others. And like others of this genre there is not much for graphics. pretty much just avatar pictures which is customizable to some extent, and combat animations that are shadowed silhouettes of you and you opponent fighting. So not much in the graphics department, If you are looking for flashy shiny graphics you wont find them here.
There is even less in this department then graphics. The only sound in Duels is some basic hit and blast sounds during the fore mentioned combat animations.
This is the meat of this game. now with the serious lack of graphics and sound which is normally a large part of any good game can the game play make up for it? I believe so! I will break this section down into the key components of the game.
Items & equipment.
This is the part of the game that is akin to CCGs. To get equipment you need to buy "packs", these are purchased with tokens you earn from fights. there is a selection of different packs ranging in price and theme. Of course the more expensive packs have a hight chance of getting good items.
Each pack contains 1 piece of equipment, 2 scrolls, and between 1 and 5 gold.
Equipment is pretty self explanatory to anyone that has played any form of an RPG, pretty much weapons and armor of different sorts to use or sell on the market (which is also a good place to get gear you need as well, you don't have to rely on the luck of the draw to get what you need) What equipment you can use is determined by power rating, Every piece of equipment has a power rating and so do you. What equipment you use can not exceed your own power limit. As an example if you have a weapon with 50 power, and a piece of armor with 50 power, and your own power limit is 100 then you are fine and can use them. But if you have that same equipment but only have a power limit of 75 then you could not use both of them, though you could use one of them with 25 power to spare. Your power limit grows as you gain levels giving you access to more pieces of equipment and of greater power. A little tip, In the early levels it is best to focus on having the best weapon possible and pretty much ignoring armor until latter on.
Scrolls are one time use items for a bonus in a fight, these bonuses range from healing, dealing damage to you enemy, or even a variety of buffs. I personally save scrolls for tournament fights but thats entirely up to you.
Charter development and Classes.
Items is only one part of the strategy in Duels. Gaining levels, picking your skills, and you "path" is the part of Duels that is much like a MMORPG. You gain levels by fighting, and with each level you gain stat points and a skill point to spend. picking you skills and stats is a very important part of the game and this is where alot of the strategy is. you skills and stats make up what is known as a "build" your build is your long term plan on what you want to be. Your build will be based around what class you are/plan to be. I can't really go in to allot of details about what builds you should use as there are many good builds, but remember no one build can beat everyone.
As for classes they are called "paths" in Duels. at level 5 you select you path from two choices, Path of the staff, Path of the sword. The first being geared towards magic use, and the second focusing on melee combat. Your path determines what skills you have access to. But it does not end there at level 20 you select your "high path" each path has two choices for there high path. Path of the sword can go high path of the assassin, or high path of the warrior. Path of the staff can choice high path of the druid, or high path of the mage. So in the end there is 4 paths to choice from. and with you high path comes a new set of skills to select from.
Now for the main part of the game the fighting! First you should know Duels is a mostly PvP game (player versus play) there are a hand full of npcs to fight with but not many. Combat is Duels is automated, It is turn based but you have no direct control during a fight. Basically you build you characters skills, stats, equipment, path select a scroll if you want to use one, and at higher levels choice an action set (action sets are action to buy and set up to use on certain turns during combat, these deepen the strategy allot but I wont go into it here, you will learn as you play the game) Then challenge someone and the fight is played out. This may sound weird but once you try it you will understand. though the fight is automatic it does not feel like you lack control thats where your strategy and build come into play.
You can also compete in tournaments, in fact I am doing just that as I wright this review hehe. and at higher levels you can test your might in the ladders.
So whats the bottom line with this game?
Cons: If you are more gear to flashy graphics and action/twitch game play Duels is probably not for you.
Pros: If you enjoy character development and strategy then you should enjoy Duels as much as I do. It is a thinking mans game.
For more information about this and other free games check out my Free PC Games site