Recently a new (or is it?) Genre has taken the gaming world by storm. Emerging from the creative minds of the DotA2 community and powered by the DotA2 workshop, DotA2 AutoChess became an overnight hit with the community. So much so, that it surpassed it’s parent game DotA2 in viewer count on Twitch for a while.
AutoChess: It’s nothing like chess but it’s chess alright.
Following the typical tropes of Tower Defense by making the player choose a defender from a set of different classes with different skills and roles and thereby adding to the existing defender by increasing its strength or adding more defenders to one’s ranks and having a Defense that compliments each other’s skillset to hold ground against any challenge, AutoChess comes up as a glorified TD (Tower Defense) game with a little twist.
The game puts a group of players against each other who then have to pick 1 defender from usually 6 tier-1 defenders. A defender unit is made up of two important classifications i.e Species/Race and Class/role. Placing a set number of same Species or same Class units on board gives certain buffs that may prove critical in winning the game. Every round the players get to choose from units of increasing power (tier) and are put against each other for the units to fight. The loser of this skirmish has their HP depleted based on how many and the tier of units their opponents had surviving at the end of fight. The last player to survive wins.
Sounds simple right? But wait, certain units have skills and health that make them a great frontline while certain units have mobility and damage that make them outstanding Damage dealers while some units have utility spells that make them great supports, some units have moving Patterns that make them move pass the enemy frontline and attack the backline with ease. And here comes the CHESS part of this tower Defense game, choosing a good frontline, backline, support and positioning the units so enemies can’t reach them or your units can reach theirs is a big key to victory.
This genre is addictively fun and easy to get into but given the strategic span of it, it’s hard to master. A game of AutoChess can last anywhere from 20-40 mins. And since it doesn’t demand continuous supervision, it’s a great pass time when you’re on the go out just looking for a casual game.
Checkmate for DotA2, LoL and the likes?
Given the hype, the appeal and the view count, AutoChess genre seems to have already dominated the gaming world overnight like once happened with Fortnite, but it can hardly own up to the fun quotient and strategic impact the MOBA genre has in the long run. For AutoChess genre to steal the show it has to bring new content, new pieces, new combos in really short and consistent intervals to keep the genre fresh. This genre may need power surges more than other genres usually do but it is here to stay on top at least for now. And it’s always most resourceful to extract fun when the game is at its peak.