Flame vs Blaze is A Brilliant 10 Minute MOBA Brawl
Mobile games have had a bad reputation in the “core” gaming community, either because of the limited mechanics of a game or the pricing model. While I can’t speak to the monetization of Square Enix’s new mobile MOBA, the gameplay of Flame vs Blaze is actually a ton of fun. It’s a 3 vs 3 MOBA where players spend the first half of the game farming minions and souls. After some period of time, each team’s reactor will come to life and start attacking the other. The game is won by destroying the other team’s reactor. The rules seem fairly simple but when you throw in a diverse cast of characters to choose from the layers of strategy start to pile on.
I only got a chance to play a couple rounds so I’m no expert, but I could get a feel for what some of the strategies will be. As mentioned, the first phase is all about farming up minions to help fight for you as well as collecting soul. The basic minions don’t pose much of a challenge, but if you control several they form into a larger minion. Controlling a group of larger minions can put you at a great advantage against other players so I found myself farming these little guys for a good while at the beginning of every match. Periodically, souls will drop randomly in the lanes and should be gathered as quickly as possible. These souls act as the energy for your team’s core so it’s crucial to capture as much as you can. The only other method for gathering souls is by defeating players, something that I found difficult to do without the help of a squad of minions or an ally.
About five minutes in begins the second phase where the reactors come to life and being their assault down the top lane. The more soul your team collects the more damage your reactor will inflict so be wary of an enemy reactor when it’s all powered up. In the limited games I played, the top lane became the focus of all the players once the reactor’s met in combat. It was like a brutal game of tug-o-war with champions dying and trickling back to the battle over and over until one team achieved victory. I imagine these matches will become more elegant once the population gets some more experience with the game.
I don’t usually anticipate the release of a mobile game, but Flame vs Blaze has that perfect combination of competition and strategy that will definitely pull me in.