The Taxonomy of PvP Mobile Strategy Games

Fancy title, eh?  I feel like I should be writing this article in LaTeX.   Don’t worry, it’s me, so it’s going to be very simple.  The basic idea behind this article is to describe the various influences of today’s PvP mobile strategy games.  I don’t want to use the word ‘clone’ as it has generally a negative connotation.  Sure, some games are actually outright clones, but a lot have twists that make them worthy on their own.  Instead, we’ll call them Families.

The first Family that is prevalent would be Clash of Clans.  This generally describes a dynamic base building experience, where you raid outher peoples villages as the primary gameplay.  It is also a lobby game and lacks a real map.  The end game usually takes the form of guild vs guild combat.  A lot of games fall under this family, like DomiNations  (which I love) and Star Wars: Commander.

The second Family of games would be Game of War.  Now, I know these may not be the games that invented the genre, but they are the most popular right now.  In Game of War, you have mostly a static base, combat is abstracted, and there is a real map.  You send out your armies, cooperate with allies and so on.  Other examples are Mobile Strike and Imperia Online.

Another Family, which is relatively new, would be Boom Beach.  In BB, there is dynamic base building, but it is less sophisticated then say Clash of Clans.  Attacking bases is also different in that you have less troops but more control.  The defining characteristic of this type of game is the PvE, where the map may be static, but the bases you encounter are generated so they are quite varied.  The end game of Boom Beach is also PvE focused with cooperative Operations.

Finally, there is the Card Game Family.  These go back to way before the Internet.  The big one right now is Clash Royale.  I suspect e will start to see a number of games like it in the near future.   CR is basically a cross between a card game and a MOBA.  You play cards, but they are active units that attack over two lanes.  It makes for quick and seemingly endless PvP.  How can you not like that?

Of course, games are not so simple to fit into one family.  Empires and Allies, for example, is a cross between Clash of Clans and Boom Beach with other unique features.   Even so, I feel it is helpful to know what you are getting yourself into, which is why using the Family name is helpful.  As I cover games, this will be one of the attributes.

So many games to play, what a great time for games.