SoulTactics is a hodgepodge of multiple genres thrown into one. At the core it’s a strategy RPG with elements of card games and match-3 puzzlers thrown in for good measure. The narrative centers on a clash between good and evil, if I had to generalize it, with an art style reminiscent of World of Warcraft: bulky and colorful.
Gameplay is set between two opposing sides with a life bar representing each player. In order to do damage to the opponent, one has to summon creatures to their aid in the form of five altering elements. Two of the starting elements are fire and earth represented, in their lowest form, as glob-like Elan. Forming three, or more Elan together will create an attack drone. Other heroes can be summoned in SoulTactics as well like an archer, which must be combined with two Earth Elan in order to enter him into an attack stance.
Each character type has a base value to them regarding their health and how many turns it will take for them to attack. For example, Elans only take one turn before they can attack, whereas the aforementioned archers need two, but have higher health and a better range. If an enemy has monsters in that attacker’s way, they will strike them and not the summoner’s border. Because of this battles take a long time to get through, which isn’t good for a mobile game. You want a game where matches can be quick while you’re waiting for something and I found myself, even at the beginning, sitting there for 15-20 minutes on the regular.
Another part of the issue here is the randomness. Tapping the bottom right corner of the screen will summon creatures from their deck, which will align across their board. Now the tricky thing is maneuvering a hero in a position where they can then be enhanced by Elan. It’s possible to delete heroes from the board, but this takes a turn, of which players have three unless they somehow match three, or more Elan in a row, which will grant an extra act for that round. Oh and if you accumulate MP then one can use skills to attack the opponent as well.
SoulTactics, if my explanation didn’t give it away, feels needlessly complicated. For a free to play game it has a lot to offer to a dedicated player. The campaign is quite expansive and there are a lot of dailies to grind through on the regular and it never felt like I needed to give the game real money. The length of the matches and the sheer randomness of placement made it feel like a chore though so every good bit about it fell flat for me. I applaud the developers for trying something new with a combination of genres, but it’s too clunky as it stands now.