So, is that enough genres and buzzwords in one description for you? Stay with me on this one, because it’s worth the explanation: start off with your standard MOBA setup, including most of the features of a League of Legends or Defense of the Ancients. You’ve got a symmetrical map with three lanes, a series of defensive towers, and automatic creeps that roll in to attack them. Now, take that arrangement, tighten up the map a bit, and make it 4-on-4 instead of the usual 5-on-5, making it so you can see the entire map and all its players with ease. Next, put the game on both PCs and iPads, letting people play whenever and wherever they want, since matches tend to be compact and simple affairs like Solstice Arena. Then, give players a longer time to consider their moves, what skills to level up, and which lanes to push by making the whole thing turn-based, like a broader, 3D Hero Academy. Finally, make it ideal for whenever you’ve got a minute to play, by making matches asynchronous… and you’ve got Arena of Heroes from Sneaky Games.
Like so many of the games listed above, Arena of Heroes hits all the right notes, bringing variety (by way of disparate heroes), strategy, accessibility, and charm to the table. The game is free-to-play, offering a selection of its cast of characters for anybody to select on a rotating basis, offering other heroes on a permanent basis in exchange for a bit of cash, like Dragons & Titans. Simple touch controls allow very free movement and execution of the heroes’ moves, providing some major strategic options through attacks that occur in straight lines, blast cones, and so forth. There’s a minor learning curve to get past — learning not to underestimate the creeps, for example, or when to actually retreat rather than lose a hero for the next few turns. Once you’ve got a couple of games under your belt, though, Arena of Heroes is a clever mix of character-driven MOBA gameplay plus a wide-view strategic plan (since you control all the heroes on your side, not just one).