I’ve had an enjoyable experience figuring out how to play Chronicle: Runescape Legends.
The game is simple at first but becomes more complex as you level up. The graphics are pleasant to the eyes and the audio enjoyable, if not epic. So what is Chronicles: Runescape Legends? My experience is as follows:
You and your rival hero face-off using a series of monsters and allies (from a deck of cards) that when drawn can be placed in a strategic order to defeat each other first. Rival are either NPCs in the Solo Play mode or other players in the Casual or Ranked modes.
Your "Opening Hand," is an initial drawing of cards. This happens before the first stage of the five total stages begins. This first drawing is also the largest amount of cards you’ll draw at a time during the entire match. The computer determines who will attack first throughout the length of the match. Then you are allowed to select cards to be replaced once before the game begins.
After confirming your "Opening Hand" at the beginning of each level, you will automatically draw three additional cards from your deck. You are allowed to place up to four of these cards in whatever order you want. You can have a maximum of 10 cards in your hand at any point of time.
Once you have the lineup you want and select the “Play” button, your hero then proceeds to encounter each ally and monster in the order you placed them. If it is a monster and it isn't defeated in your first attack, it will attack you back and lower your health pool. You can calculate how much damage you will take during the turn so that you can be reasonably safe, but you also have to worry about what your opponent will do during that turn, too. So be wary! And allies may or may not cost you anything to use to get their aid, so there's at least that.
Once the monsters are defeated, they can drop rewards that benefit you, such as health, gold, increased armor and attack levels, and temporary weapons, and armor (which is a buffers attacks from your health).
Allies, after you pay the price in gold (if any is needed) for using them, will proceed to give you rewards just like a monster and perhaps an affect. These affects range from additional health (up to your cap, which is usually 30), drawing cards, and much more as you start to get deeper into the advanced decks.
Now, your rival also has their own cards to deal and can order them in any way they wish to face them, like you did. They will try to damage and hinder you along the way, all whilst powering themselves up. If, at the end of the 5th chapter, both you and your rival are both still alive, a death match between you and your opponent ensues; you trade damage till one or the other's health is zero.
As you progress through the game, participating in battles gains you experience and bronze coinage. Experience will level the deck you used up. Each level gives you a reward of some new cards that you can add to and customize your deck.
Decks can be customized from cards gained from leveling up, as mentioned, or bought from the store. The store operates on the Free-to-Play currency, Bronze Coin, and the Pay-to-Play currency, Platinum Bars.
When creating or modifying decks, you can discard unused cards by clicking on it and "recycling" it. This option gives you gem shards which then can be spent on crafting a card. I couldn't recycle a card, so I don't know how it works, but it looks like the option to "recycle", "craft", and "upgrade." The last option says, "Coming Soon." So it’ll be interesting to see how customized you can make your decks for battle.
Maps and Terrain:
There are different maps that you’ll see. The maps are made up of up to 5 levels and each has a different terrain. There isn't any thinking involved when considering a terrain; the look of the map doesn't affect how the cards or the hero work in any way.
The User Interface
The UI is relatively straightforward and barebones. The buttons, cards, and everything else you touch are very detailed and are made from beautiful art. You won’t have any trouble finding anything or making things work.
A neat feature I discovered in the deck creation section is that when creating/modifying a deck you can sort the cards by "Creature" (monsters) and "Support" (allies) cards. They also allow you to search for cards by word/name, or by how much gold the card costs.
I didn’t notice any, other than maybe the crafting and recycling buttons in the deck section, but I figured that maybe I didn’t progress far enough to unlock those features. The good thing is that, during battles, I was never hindered by anything that wasn’t explained beforehand.
Learning the Game
Jagex has created a tutorial to help anybody who wants it explained for them. It explains each of the core game mechanics. Side note: It can be skipped by going to the settings menu when it starts.
They also have five different NPC heroes you can battle against at three different levels if you just want to try out new things. Coming from a position of playing card games where card position matters, such as Rook and Magic, this game wasn't hard to grasp. When you start understanding that the order matters, you can play around with the card order and unlock the better cards in your hand, which makes defeating your opponent easier, but sometimes you’ll need to take a hit to deal one.
It isn’t the same as the different games you find out there, like Hearthstone or Magic, so you’ll have to learn a few different tactics and how the cards work exactly by playing. Playing games like those aforementioned does allow you to get a jump, but I’d recommend going through the tutorial - just in case.
I found the background graphics to be interesting and very detailed. They do tend to be out of focus, so you cannot see all of it, but the cards, my friends, the cards...
There was one thing I didn’t like was that the character image in the cards that you drew- even while on the highest graphics- are a bit blurry. You notice this even when “freed” from their card when you’re opposing them on the battlefield.
The opponent’s models across the table are very detailed and are very well made. The models on the battlefield are even better.
You’ll notice the ambiance of the game is very medieval. It’s what you'd expect from an old-time adventure game with swords, bow and arrows, etc. So that is very fitting, in my opinion.
The cut scenes and motion for each action and attack and such are very smooth and well timed. You’ll enjoy them.
While eventually everything started working without a hitch after one restart, I cannot leave out something that happened to me. When I first played the game, I tried to switch between the Full-Screen and Windowed options, and the screen would not go back into the actual full-screen mode. It required a restart and then it worked flawlessly going back and forth. Overall, not a big deal, but worth mentioning. Also, the button’s active areas in some parts of the UI were also misplaced (clicking the graphic doesn't always result in the button action) when I first played- but the active area is nearby, and can find it when the button flashes brighter, but this too went away after restarting.
NOTE: An active area is the area that recognizes a click for a particular button. So if you want to click “Play” you need to click inside Play’s active area to get the “Play” button to be clicked. So in this case, if you can’t find the active area, you won’t be able to “Play.”
They do include a handy, and much-appreciated clock in the upper corner, next to your currency counters. Kudos to them for that!
The music is quite rustic, or I should say, “classical,” and very rich with deep, striking tones and themes. The music playing varies from level to level and relies heavily on the level's scenery - the key to the medieval ambiance.
The sound effects are on time and descriptive of what is happening. These are also well developed. I can’t see many people wanting not to listen to them, but if you don’t, the settings allow you to turn off or lower the volume of the sound effects.
As of June 1st, 2016, there is only a bit of voice acting. Mainly it can be found at critical points of the game like the beginning and the end. In the options to toggle it on and off, it says "Coming Soon." It looks as if they are planning on adding more to the game later on.
There isn’t much of a story going on, to be perfectly honest. If you’ve ever played the MMPORG game Runescape (any of the versions), you’ll be aware that the monsters, allies, and heroes come straight from there. Hence the name: Chronicles: Runescape Legends. Even so, there is no narrative that you can follow. The characters have a background and such, but it isn’t anything you’d learn by playing the game. This is all about playing the cards against your opponents. No campaign mode or storyline mode, just straight combat.
A neat little thing they’ve done is they have developed the game for many languages. They have translated the game into is: English, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, and Polish. This allows for a broad audience and competition from all over the world in the multiplayer modes.
They are planning on introducing more Legends (heroes you can use and play against), new maps, and supporting the game on iOS and Android in the future. They did mention a “much more” to they will be adding into the game, so there may be a campaign mode or background stories that will be added in the future.
The game is very well developed and can stand in the app-based card game genre. The music, graphics, game mechanics, and characters are all unique with a lot of potential to grow into more. You don’t have to pay anything to unlock everything, so also that is also a plus going for this game. While there is no storyline, there is a potential for one in the future. Even so, the game is worth trying out just for the strategy involved and ability to test your wits against players from all over the world.