Rise of Mythos (RoM) is a browser-based MMO that is a mix of card trading and turn-based tactical gameplay that lets players embark on a journey in a world filled with magical and mythical creatures to do their bidding. Offering an immense amount of PvE levels and tons of PvP action, RoM is able to dish out hours upon hours of entertainment with its distinctive stylistics. At first it appeared to be a flavorless game, filled with the regular basics and tropes of card-based games in general, but I found it to be entirely different once I entered its world.
Rise to Power in Rise of Mythos
A misleading sub-title, but RoM has a start like anything else, though that start has hardly anything to do with a narrative. You start off as a <insert protagonist type origin here> where you are taught the basics of the game by a very lovely elf-lady, scantily clad as one would expect, through some very detailed, albeit lacking in style, instructions. Much of the gameplay is quite simple; you and your opponent start at the opposite extreme ends of the game screen, and the type of battle would indicate how many panels the battlefield would hold in accordance to the number of players. You cast a creature by simply clicking on it and placing it on the first three tiles in every column available and during every turn, they will either attack or move, sometimes both, all on their own. When a creature approaches the opponent, it starts attacking it until it loses all it's hp and you win. Go tell 'em this complicated stuff, sexy elf-lady!
It sounds simple, true, and any complexity can be hardly felt in the first ten levels, but as you go on the adventure, RoM gets surprisingly more difficult in its aspect of PvE. Certain fights require certain tactics than can only be managed by specific cards and specific deck themes in order to finish, thus managing a very deep form of combat that many other card-based games have difficulty in achieving. You know that really weak card you have that has vigilance? Oh, you're going to need it. You just got a wall creature that does nothing but stand on a square? Um, don't misjudge that. I had to learn these things the hard way. The game in itself is more than just being able to put down your strongest creature or buffing that strongest creature to its utmost potency, but there are a variety of ways and abilities, from both creatures and summoners, that can be used to debilitate, obfuscate, and obliterate an opponent that range from debuffs, offensive spells, timing creature placements, and countermeasures against certain styles and deck themes.
There isn't much in the way of a story, as stated earlier, with only a few breadcrumbs here and there, through prompts, pop-ups, and more sexy elf-lady telling you what you should do next. Simply put, the story's campaign revolves around going on the map and following a linear path that inches you forward a non-existent plot of elven rebellions and whatnot. While it isn't all that interesting, you do move forward at a pretty decent pace with only the actual combat to keep you entertained and, believe me, that's all it really needs. Must I mention again that it is a card-based combat system? You would have to be daft to not realize how powerful the pull is in collecting cards and building the most perfect deck.
Pretty Girls With Elvish Curves
Though RoM's art isn't exactly the avant-garde of MMO stylistics, it does present quite a great looking palette across the innumerable cards a player encounters. I will admit that it looks and feels rich enough to have me curious about the world surrounding RoM, but as was already stated, there really isn't much story in the way, nor is it ever explained in-game why people fight each other with cards. Character designs are quite attractive that stem from the creature cards to even just art on skill cards, making it very alluring to just try out a new card and see what its sprite looks like. Like I stated earlier, even the tutorial NPC is attractive enough right off the bat to make a player trudge on through past the initial stages.
Quests and Town Development
RoM offers more than just an addictive card game; it's also an addictive town builder. By gaining crystals through various quests and deeds in RoM, a player is able to upgrade certain places, through the use of the currency called crystals obtained in various activities, in the city hub that unlocks a lot of potential goodies like resource farming, card fusions, equipment enchanting, and a lot of other neat stuff to enhance a player's gameplay. Ironically, the places that do not need upgrades, with the exception of the City Defense, are the places you will find yourself in more often than not. The Arena is, as you may have already guessed, is where all the PvP action happens in three possible flavors: 1v1, 2v2, or 4v4. They're not so much different as with the regular PvE fights, but it does boast a lot of intense strategics that may happen, especially in 4s. Like any true card game, RoM's PvP combat offers a lot of flair and variety due to the very nature of the game and its mechanics. Of course, we all know the thrill and rush of PvP itself regardless of the game we find ourselves in and RoM does not lack any of that at all.
The Challenge Hall is another great feature as it enables players to participate in what would be akin to RoM's own versions of raids. A party of 4 people can participate in a single instance that vary greatly from the obstacles and monsters fought from the campaign. Obviously, opponents here are stronger than those encountered elsewhere and can be an impossible task for less than four people, though I somehow managed 2 manning one with a random invite from a level 45 player, but even then, it was pretty difficult. The end is quite rewarding, though even this game, though not surprising, isn't safe from the horrors of RNG-based loot. With a swath of cards facing down on screen, you pick your reward at random, seemingly giving you the chance to choose your fate, though it is really no different from the other methods of giving loot in other games, but I suppose most of us MMO veterans are used to that sort of things, so I doubt it would bother anyone seriously enough.
City Defense is something that other connoisseurs of browser games might be familiar with, concept-wise. In this mode, a player is given a chance to siege another player's city, though no actual PvP occurs, but the attacking player goes against a set-up the unfortunate player decides on. Setting traps, obstacles, and even the city AI's own deck, the attacking player is up for a surprise as most of these are covered in fog and an allied unit adjacent to the tile is the only method to lift it. This gives a bit of an advantage to the besieged player as the proper layout could thwart the opposing players plans of bringing ruin onto his or her city. Partaking in a siege not only gives experience and currency, but also crystal.
Past all those, there are always the oodles of daily quests and one-time objectives that are paired up nicely as you advance your city and campaign. Seriously, there is so much to do here that despite all the time I've invested into this game, I'm still overwhelmed by the fact that I haven't run out of things to do every time I log in. Did I mention the general addiction posed by card games, by the way?
Ehrmahgehrd, Cash Shops!
I wanted to deny it because I've grown quite fond of this game, but of course, any F2P title isn't without its own dreaded cash shop. Sure, most things can be bought via silver, the real in-game currency, as opposed to gold, the cash shop only alternative, but there are a few things that apparently only money can buy. What makes this worse is that RoM even maintains an exp bar for VIP status that increases every time a player avails of gold. As amazing as the game is, it's hard to resist the temptation of cashing in and getting those awesome perks from becoming a VIP, like certain card packs can only be bought by VIP5 or a player receives a certain awesome card if he or she is able to obtain VIP7 status. It pains me to think that RoM potentially has a pay-to-win scenario, though I haven't gotten as far as I wanted to yet within the game considering that the items for sale to certain status holders are in the extremes of high levels, so hopefully, I could be wrong about this and everything can be acquired normally, though at a much longer pace than those with fatter wallets.
Thank Sexy Elf-Lady For Browser Games!
Rise of the Mythos is a fantastic game with tons of content for both the casual and hardcore gamer. With countless cards to choose from, the combat system is simple to look at, but the game is a lot deeper than it seems past the place-card-win appearance. There are many ways to choose how a player wishes to experience RoM has to offer and it doesn't even impede anyone with its own energy bar considering that the only downside is less experience gained. With how polished this game is, it makes me wonder why they didn't make it for a bigger and better system like a game for a console or a fully-fledged PC game. Then again, if they did that, it may not be as great as it is now.
It's easily accessible through any browser or its apps available in different standards and formats, making it a clear-cut choice for anyone who falls in love with this addictive game on the go. I, for one, am one of those people. I've reviewed a lot of games in the gaming career and only a few ever stick with me. I found it surprising that Rise of the Mythos is one of those games despite my initial apprehension. Now, if only they put a decent enough plot that I could care about and a cash shop that doesn't seem so much like cheating, it would have done better on the rating. 4/5.