"Clash Royale" is a multiplayer mobile game. (Supercell)
Orange County School of the Arts

Review: Mobile game ‘Clash Royale’ requires strategy and teamwork

When quarantine started and everyone forced to stay at home, the time and need for entertainment rose drastically. Around the world, televisions and electronic devices were turned on more frequently, and amongst all the different forms of entertainment, video game sales also increased during the pandemic. 

During my time at home, I unwillingly admit that I was one of the many who spent a portion of my time playing mobile games. However, instead of the popular games that were trending during the pandemic like “Animal Crossing” or “Among Us,” I found myself falling down a different rabbit hole.

I found myself addicted to an outdated game: “Clash Royale.”

“Clash Royale” is a real-time strategy mobile video game that was developed by Supercell in 2016. Put simply, you choose 8 cards from the collection of 103 different troop, spell and building cards, to help you defend your tower against your enemy. There are many different game modes, but the two most basic ones are 1 vs 1 and 2 vs 2. 

Although the game may be fun, there are also many other factors within the game that makes it hard to put down your phone. This includes their trophy ladder system, chest slots and the frustration when you lose. 

One of the most popular and basic modes within Clash Royale is the 1 vs 1, where you play alone against your enemy. Only when you play this mode, you can win and lose trophies, which really do not have any meaning in the game. However, the feeling of losing trophies when you lose is extremely annoying, and it naturally makes you want to play again to win those trophies back. 

The game almost seems to be rigged when you are in that “losing state,” and you just continue to lose and lose, round after round. Your mood gets worse and worse, but you still continue to play because you are determined to win those trophies back. For me and probably many other players, this trophy ladder system is probably the most frustrating, but at the same time, the most addicting part of the game. 

In addition to the meaningless trophies that you still don’t want to lose, the four chest slots that are available also make up an extremely addicting factor of the game. When you win a game, you get a chest. There are many different kinds of chests, such as silver or gold, each taking different amounts of time to unlock.

It feels good when you enter the game and see that a chest is unlocking because you know that you will be getting something from the chest. When you see empty chest slots, then you just want to play a match to make sure you fill those slots.

However, many times, you will not win your first match. Or the second match. Or the third match. And it just goes on in a cycle until you have spent several minutes, if not hours, of your time on this addicting game.

Then, without winning any of your matches and getting no chests, you go on with the rest of your day or night still with empty chest slots, feeling like all that time you just spent playing Clash Royale didn’t accomplish anything.

In addition to the addictiveness of this strategy game, it may also be a money hole for many. Luckily, it is not for me.

In the shop, you can use real money to purchase gold, chests or gems — which are the currency of the game. I can very well understand if there are players out there that end up spending money on this game. I personally think that it is very unwise to spend money on a game, which you might end up deleting in the future. However, Supercell still has to make money.

Nevertheless, the addictive elements of this game may also lure many people to end up spending more money than planned on “Clash Royale,” which definitely makes it very unhealthy.

Overall, I love “Clash Royale.” It is a game that requires thinking, strategy and teamwork. However, it is also very addicting and can become your next unhealthy obsession.

I am proud to say that I am no longer addicted to this game, although I still do play it occasionally. I do not play ladder battles for trophies anymore, and I am fine with looking at empty chest slots before going to bed each night.

I would definitely recommend this game to teenagers or even adults, as it does require thinking and each game does not take up too much time. However, beware: the risk of addiction is quite high!