You’d be hard pressed to find a bigger franchise in gaming than Warcraft, with the original releasing way back in 1994, but since then spawning sequels and spin-offs. This of course includes the wildly popular World of Warcraft, which even got its own movie. While Blizzard have certainly been a force to be reckoned with across consoles and PC, they haven’t forgotten about mobile gamers. Warcraft Rumble is the first Warcraft game designed from the ground up for mobile. It’s an “action-packed strategy game that invites players to assemble armies with their favorite characters from the Warcraft universe and battle it out in unique missions designed to test their tactical wits.”
We had the chance to sit down and chat with two of the lovely folk from Blizzard, Jeremy Collins, Art Director and Elhora Davis, Game Producer about what makes Warcraft Rumble such a fun experience.
Warcraft Rumble looks to nail the “easy to learn, hard to master” style that makes mobile games so addictive. Essentially, you’ll be placing tabletop miniatures into lanes, where they’ll march forward and take out opposing monsters. Your miniatures have a cooldown so you’ll need to balance which ones you want to place and when, in order to maximise your efforts.
It promises a lot of variety and replayability, with over 70 missions in the single-player campaign, and additional weekly and monthly challenges. Epic raids are coming in the future, and you can play with your friends either competitively or cooperatively, even joining guilds to link up with others. For the “gotta catch ’em all” folk among us, there are over 60 heroes in those tabletop style minis for you to collect, level upa and improve, so you can build armies around your favs. It also looks to be chock full of references and inspirations from Warcraft and World of Warcraft, so long-time fans are going to have a lot to enjoy.
“…no matter what kind of player you are and what level of Warcraft knowledge you have, there will be something for you.”
For newcomers to Warcraft, Davis notes that it’s still very much worth playing. “I think one of the strengths of the Warcraft universe is that it’s vast. The minis and cast of characters have this appealing look to them. When we’re introducing Rumble to people, we’re trying to show off this cast of characters and there are so many things people can do. So no matter what kind of player you are and what level of Warcraft knowledge you have, there will be something for you. For example, you can really heavily index on just collecting everything. We’ve lovingly rendered these characters, and you can just get as many minis as you can. Or if you’re deeply interested in strategy you can progress through the campaign into more challenging modes.”
Another example of this is the ongoing Arclight Surge is a mode that will always be active, with energy overloading zones that have already been cleared, that will add modifiers that fundamentally change the level. This will always keep players coming back for more. “Overclocked for example will allow you to triple your gold income and collect more minis.” adds Davis.
Collins echoes this sentiment when talking about the art direction, too. “It was really important to the team because we knew we were coming into this mobile environment: Warcraft is for everybody, and we want to make sure it feels like it’s for everybody. There were deliberate choices we made on the art side of things to bring people in, the colours are very vibrant, very saturated with popping colours. But from a gameplay perspective, it’s joyful chaos fighting fires in different lanes and winning individual skirmishes. When that happens, the art style really kicks in, and we kept the colour blocking small for each character so you can identify characters easily. We really wanted to make sure it’s approachable and hopefully, people will pick it up quickly.”
Warcraft Rumble has been in soft launch in some regions already (including us Aussies), and the team note that feedback has been largely positive.
“We’re so thankful for the folks who have been participating and people seem to be enjoying it.” says Davis. “We’re trying to understand what things are frustrating to people, and what things they enjoy. We’ve made adjustments throughout. One of the first things we learned early-on was how hard the game was! A lot of people were getting bodied by the game, so we made adjustments to make things more approachable. Learning things like that has been extremely important.”
“If you ask any game developer what they’re most excited about, it’s when people play their games!” adds Collins. “That’s what we care most about. First and foremost what I’ve enjoyed most from the soft launch period, getting to hear all the feedback, it’s so gratifying for us. It’s just so cool to watch people discover things about it, and have those “a-ha!” moments that we had when we were first learning how to beat the bosses in the maps.”
From playing Warcraft Rumble ourselves, we can see that Joyful Chaos is a great way to describe it. It’s colourful, it’s fun, collecting miniatures is already proving to be a bit of an addiction, and it’s challenging without being too overwhelming. Visually it leaps off the phone screen, and it has very high-quality audio throughout. Blizzard are known for their high-quality products, and this feels no different.
Considering we’re one of the regions where Warcraft Rumble is currently in the soft launch phase, you can give it a download and check it out for yourself right now, for free.
Warcraft Rumble launches fully on iOS and Android on November 3rd.