Zynga Takes a Shot at Mobile Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas with Solstice Arena
Those of you who have been following the iOS gaming scene probably already know about Zyngaís latest iOS entry, Solstice Arena, which was previously shown at GDC earlier this year. More recently the company showcased the game at E3 but you donít have to read up on it anymore as you can download the game now for free.
For those of you who donít know much about Zynga, they have a reputation for pushy freemium elements in goofy casual titles, but this game doesnít seem to have much of that. The game seems to be a true mobile MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) title, similar to that of League of Legends on the Mac or PC but with an iOS-centric style of delivery. The game has been simplified in a lot of very smart ways, producing a high-quality title that is seemingly quite impressive. There are some balance issues but these are likely to get evened out as the game receives updates and tweaks with time.
Being a Zynga game, this is a freemium title, but one that Is done very intelligently. The freemium elements seem to be mostly confined to customization and convenience. Similar to League of Legends, the game opens up a number of free heroes to play every week, so thereís ongoing variety even if you never spend a dime. For those of you who do, real money can only buy you custom skins for the heroes you own, or you can pay for boosts in your own XP, ultimately proving that spending money doesnít affect the gameplay. Prices do seem to be a bit high (which is likely something that will be fixed in a future update), but all in all, the freemium elements almost never get in the way of gameplay, which is very respectable on Zyngaís part.
Overall, Solstice Arena seems to be the kind of game that Zynga needs to help clean its reputation as a money-grabbing casual publisher. One canít classify the game as hardcore, at least not in its current iteration, but itís a start that is headed in the right direction as of right now. If you happen to be a MOBA fan or just want to see what Zynga has been up to lately, give the game a try on your iPhone or iPad.