Welcome to the land of Mythos, filled with dangerous monsters, epic adventures, and wonderful treasures. Rise of Mythos is a free-to-play collectible card game in which you need to keep the city of Silver Heron Ridge safe from relentless assaults. You will use a deck of the finest warriors you have assembled to fight your way through goblins, mages, ghouls, and many more dangerous creatures as you embark on your adventure.
Is Rise of Mythos a good game, or will it fail to rise to the challenge? Read on to find out…
Rise of Mythos uses a horizontal lane combat system where you summon units to your side of the screen hoping they will make it across to the opponent’s hero and attack directly. Any enemy units encountered act as obstructions and must be defeated before your units can progress. It’s nice to have a visual representation of your units on the screen and to see them moving toward the objective in an animated manner.
This style of gameplay adds some tactical depth as positioning and the timing of your cards become incredibly important. Each card has a timer that will need to count down to zero before it can be summoned or cast. This is essentially the game’s resource system, and it is the only one that really works with this style of game. Anything else would feel clunky and unnecessarily complicated, I think.
You take on the role of the hero and must defeat the enemy’s army using the cards you collect from completing missions, opening booster packs, or by other means. These cards can be combined into a deck that you then take into battle. There are a number of different unit types with different effects. The only statistics they share are attack, life points, and a timer. There are a number of different rarities available for some of the cards and the general rule is that the more powerful cards will be harder to obtain and the better their special effects will be.
When the timer on a card reaches zero you can summon that unit or cast the spell. You can usually summon up to 3 spaces in front of your hero. The cards are held in your hand until they can be summoned and a new card is drawn from your deck each turn. Summoned units move toward the enemy at the end of the turn and if they encounter an opposing unit, they will attack it. The opponent does the same and this process is repeated until either hero is vanquished by a reduction of life points to zero.
The units bobble up and down in rhythm to the music, which I find hilariously funny. The music isn’t as bad as some games, but it is hardly a musical masterpiece either. The most disappointing aspect among all of this is that there are no sounds to accompany the strikes delivered by the units. If it wasn’t for the music, you would have a very silent battlefield. Perhaps they’re just miming their way across the battlefield and taking part in a dance battle?
When you start a new game, you are given a short tutorial on how to play and are led on a linear path until you can exert some freedoms. There is no way to explore the game’s content until you complete the tutorials and do as your guide wishes.
The city screen does hold a lot for the player to see and do, and even has some very innovative features that make up a little for the dated look and feel of the game if you’re willing to look past that. The game’s features will give you plenty to do outside of battles and they take up some considerable time when you’re waiting for your energy to recharge. Each battle costs you some energy via a “stamina” system, so that means you can’t just partake in endless battles. We need a break every now and then – as would any hero!
MODES AND FEATURES
Rise of Mythos has so many features and different game modes that it is hard to know where to begin!
You’ll want to explore all that Rise of Mythos has to offer before passing any judgment upon it. Rise of Mythos is primarily a single-player game due to the sheer number of missions that you can play through. The multi-player aspect of the game comes from the Arena, Challenge Hall, and Tournament areas found by clicking the Battle tab.
The Arena is a 1-v-1 battle between you and an opponent’s deck controlled by the A.I. Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be any real-time battle options here – and that’s a little disappointing. The Tournament is much more promising, as it is a draft system that costs you 98 Gold (the premium in-game currency) or a Tournament Ticket. This mode will test your deckbuilding skills along with your tactical aptitude as the caliber of player is going to be much higher than that of the Arena A.I. players.
Challenge Hall is a boss fight where you and a friend can tackle this difficult mission together. This plays much the same as any other battle, except the boss has a higher life point total and commands more elite units than those found in the conventional campaign. These modes should prolong your experience in the game and I applaud the developers for including a co-op mode that allows for some human interaction with a friend. This was one of the more enjoyable aspects of the game for me.
As you level-up your hero you will be able to gain access to new features within the game — features like the Blacksmith allow you to craft or Enchant items that you can equip to your hero which will change its stats and the stats of your units. The Alchemy Lab is another feature that focuses on the upgrading of your cards by combining, extracting, and fusing them. This will increase their rarity value and base statistics. This is your go-to place for creating a more powerful deck, as opening lots of boosters is very expensive.
Your access point to these features is via the City Hall. Once you are of the required level, you can order the City Hall to “unlock” them and through this screen you can upgrade them too. This will open up new sections within these features for even more options and ways to improve your hero and cards. There appears to be no end to the amount of upgrades and improvements that can be made to your hero and cards, so if you get addicted by this level of customization and enhancement (like I do), you’ll find more than enough to keep you going for a long time here.
Another feature that can be “built” in the City Hall is the Seaport. This is one of the most innovative features I’ve seen in this genre. It makes use of the downtime you have away from the game such as sleeping, work, and other life activities. You can send your deck on an “expedition” in search of EXP (experience points), Silver (soft currency), and Crystals that are used to upgrade the City Hall. Using the downtime we have from our games is not something that is often explored, but this game does, and kudos to it for doing so. I found it an interesting way to encourage the player to come back and “check in” later to see what rewards were discovered while away.
Now to talk about a feature that infuriated me and is likely to infuriate any new player to Rise of Mythos. Every game in this genre has to come with a shop, and in that shop we can expect to make purchases of all kinds. Rise of Mythos throws this expectation out of the window by having clear and blatant gated content that is a huge slap in the face to the free player. There are booster packs that cannot be purchased until you reach the minimum VIP level and the only way to get there is to make a real money purchase. The booster packs that are cut off from the free player have a higher chance of obtaining the rarer cards, too. If you were thinking of playing this game as a free-to-play player all the way, unfortunately, it’s impossible.
There are a few more features and a lot more to discover in Rise of Mythos. How much of that you still wish to uncover is up to you. You can spend the minimum amount to get access to those boosters, but in no way should you have to. This is a blatant grab for our hard-earned cash and the game should no longer advertise itself as free-to-play if it doesn’t even provide a slow-grind method of unlocking everything, in my opinion.
DECKBUILDING AND STRATEGY
There are a couple of ways to edit your deck in Rise of Mythos – do it yourself or have the game select the cards for you. Choosing the cards yourself is often the best bet, as you can balance out your strategy and use the effects of your units to your advantage. When choosing the auto-build option, the game will often pick the best cards in your collection. This might sound like the best strategy – and it is, at the start of your experience with Rise of Mythos – but it isn’t one that’ll carry you through to the harder stages. Imagine if all of your units were bowmen and they had no melee units to safely sit behind?
The obvious strategies involve using low-wait-time cards in order to rush the opponent. I found this to be one of the worst deck types, as low-wait cards had low attack and health. A few of the low-wait cards can serve as early walls and then you can use your more powerful cards to take down the larger units. Passive abilities such as Armor and Cure will prolong the life of your units. Extending their life should be a priority as the longer they spend on the battlefield, the more damage they can inflict on the opponent’s units.
Rise of Mythos is not a game that I can heartily recommend. It has many flaws that see it fall behind its direct competition. The animations are smooth, but the sprites used for the units look rough and lack detail. The problem with all of this is that it feels quite dated. Rise of Mythos is not an old game, but it feels older than its current age. The combat system is dated, the sprites and card images are of a relatively low quality, and the interface looks like it was taken from a 10-year old game. The cards lack the detail you would expect to find in a fantasy-inspired card game, too.
There are a large number of reasons to recommend the game, though. The insane number of modes and features you have access to are going to keep you entertained for hours. If you’re not too fussed about the graphics and sounds, then you will definitely have a pleasant experience playing Rise of Mythos and slowly enhancing everything to perfection.
The developers have gone with the hated method of having gated content, locking out entirely free-to-play players. You can earn Gold through conventional means within the game, at a slow pace, but cannot buy the premium packs unless you spend real cash on more Gold. I have never seen a game have gated content even on its premium content before – truly a first!
There is still a thriving and active community for the game who post on the Facebook page and Kongregate forums. It’s certainly encouraging to see the developers respond to their players’ queries in such a timely fashion. I just hope someone can tell them to up their game and improve the standards a little, if they want to remain competitive in this genre.
For more screenshots, click here.
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