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Chain Of Souls: An entertaining puzzle RPG

Published on Jul 21, 2014 5:09 AM

Following the release of a casual shooter game last year, Konami's Singapore studio is taking a more mature approach with its second game built from scratch.

Chain Of Souls is an iOS-only game. The Android version is slated to be out in three months' time.

It is a free-to-play card game with puzzle elements, and graphics that adopt a Western fantasy art style befitting of the game's premise: You are one of many chosen to stop evil dragons from wreaking havoc.

As with the popular puzzle role-playing game Tower Of Saviors, players collect virtual cards to form a five-card team. The cards depict mythical creatures such as unicorns and elves, and mediaeval characters such as archers and knights.

The cards each have a colour and special abilities. They serve as your weapons in battle with enemy cards. Battles end when your life points hit zero or all enemy cards are defeated.

Players unleash attacks with cards of one colour by matching three or more same coloured runes on a 7 x 6 grid. Unlike similar games, Chain Of Souls does not match runes by moving them on the grid. Instead, players swipe across neighbouring runes of the same colour.

The game does not have a time limit for rune matching, unlike past titles, so it is less stressful.

Connecting more than three adjacent runes of the same colour creates hearts that heal damage from enemies. Doing so also allows you to "chain" three or more neighbouring runes of another colour, causing a player's same coloured cards to strike at an enemy.

A card's colour matters. For instance, red cards do more damage when attacking green cards, but take extra damage when hit by blue cards.

Some cards have "leader" skills that are automatically activated in battle if one is selected as a "leader" among the five cards used. When conditions are met, some of your cards in battle will trigger extra skills if certain cards are also in hand.

The game has card levelling and evolution mechanics too, by fusing cards to make them stronger.

Battles seem simple at first but can get pretty challenging, requiring strategy in card selection, skill use, and balancing between healing and attacking.

Chain Of Soul's gameplay has depth but is not unique. Still, the game stands out for its gorgeous card artwork, although some may be put off by the many female game characters in skimpy outfits with boobs aplenty.

While the game is free to play, you can spend real cash to buy crystals to get special cards, extra space to store cards and more. As card storage is quite limited and crystals are very hard to come by, the temptation to spend real money on the game is high.

While I would have liked to see more activities for players to engage in, Chain Of Souls is still a decent and entertaining game, despite a few drawbacks.

This article was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life on April 2, 2014.

Background story

Rating: 8/10

  • Free to play (iOS only)
  • Puzzle role-playing