One of the gaming genres that’s growing faster and faster everyday is the MOBA, or multiplayer online battle arena. The concept behind the game-type is pretty simple: fight the enemy, protect your home base, and destroy the base of your opponents. There are all kinds of conventions that go along with that idea, but it seems that a new game from Zynga is looking to do away with some of them in order to create the “world’s first speed MOBA” in the form of Solstice Arena, which launches today on the App Store. The game was made by A Bit Lucky, a studio made up of gaming veterans, many of whom actually worked on Rift at Trion Worlds. If nothing else, you know Solstice Arena’s got a real pedigree.
So what makes it a speed MOBA? Basically, it’s got an “all fighting, no farming” mentality. Solstice Arena offers quick, three-on-three matches that boil the concept down to its essentials so that users playing on an iPad or iPhone can get going quickly, with matches lasting from five to 12 minutes.
You can also play the game alone or with friends, as there’s a single-player mode that pits you against bots, or real-time multiplayer that offers cooperative play vs. bots, or straight-up PvP action. The development team says that Solstice Arena has a real-time matchmaking system that should pair you up with partners of similar skill. But you can also see what friends are online and play with them. Considering that this is all in a game designed for mobile platforms using iOS, that’s pretty impressive.
The game is also free-to-play—but in a way that makes the proceedings fair. According to A Bit Lucky’s founder, Frederic Descamps, “We want to preserve the core progression of MOBA competition, so players will never find themselves in a pay-to-win scenario. Players will need to earn those Hero upgrades, but for those that want to spend money can explore the extensive customization options, including skins and armor.”
From what I could see in the trailer above, it looks like a pretty fun game, so I’m hoping that A Bit Lucky and Zynga port the thing over to Android. I got a lot of bus rides to take over the next month…