Refinné is a budding games journalist with a heavy focus on casual mobile games that don't demand too much of her single brain cell.
What Is Masketeers: Idle Has Fallen?
Masketeers: Idle Has Fallen is an idle RPG mobile game that plays much like Tap Titans, but instead of mindless tapping, you also get the option to strategize and link orbs together to make powerful attacks. The game is currently available on both Android and iOS.
This game is not your conventional point-and-click idle clickers. The game labels itself as an "Idle RPG" that has a lot of the idle progression of regular idle games, but it has a revolutionary orb-matching feature that adds more player interaction with the game.
The core of the game is to fight and defeat shadowy creatures called Wraiths with a team of masked heroes. According to the game lore, which is presented in a simple comic when you first open the game, individuals at the brink of despair discover masks that allow them to see Wraiths, the embodiment of negativity in society. With the powers imbued in the masks, they embark on an endless battle to save the world from depression.
After the short comic, you’re thrust straightaway into the gameplay tutorial. The game is chock full of different features and elements, which is actually quite confusing for a newbie. Even though the tutorial tries to simplify the entire process as best as it could, to be honest, I pretty much blanked out about halfway through. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on in the game to help those in the same boat!
What Are Masketeers?
First off, the protagonists of the game are called Masketeers. There are six Masketeers in the game that can be unlocked at different levels (called “stages”) of the game, and you can build your own team of up to four heroes. The Masketeers are divided into three classes: Attacker, Supporter, and Defender, and each have their own unique abilities and talent tree, which are also unlocked gradually as you progress in the game.
As previously mentioned, Masketeers draw their power from masks, so naturally, masks are a main feature of the game. They come in different levels of rarity and corresponding power, and you can equip your Masketeers with additional abilities through the masks. Runes, another power-up equipment, function much of the same way, but instead of just one, you can equip up to three Runes to a Masketeer.
How Does Idling Work?
As far as idling goes, your Masketeers will launch attacks on the Wraiths automatically, but the damage output of idle attacks is pretty feeble, especially against bosses.
Now here comes the fun part. The spotlight of the game is their orb-matching battle mechanics. Each Masketeer has their own corresponding orb. As you upgrade your Masketeers, you unlock orb skills, which basically means you get to link more orbs together. Just tap on the orb chains to deploy attacks that level up according to the number of linked orbs. Up to five orbs can be chained together for a spectacular attack. Tapping on orbs also charges the Astral Burst, which is an extra powerful attack that wipes out multiple waves of Wraiths in one go.
What Does Transcending Do?
Once you reach Stage 60, you get the option to Transcend, which means wiping out your progress and starting afresh with better growth potential. You still keep your talent trees and all unspent talent points, so it’s not as bad as it sounds. At one point, the Wraiths are going to be one-shoting your heroes, so it's a good time to Transcend so you can get a slight advantage and push further in your next run. A quick tip here: don't Transcend until you've defeated the Phantom Bandit, which appears on a certain stage during each run. The Phantom Bandit drops Fate Tokens that you can use to spin the Slot Machine when Transcending, and get extra buffs and goodies so that you can go further in your next push.
You can only change your team line-up when you Transcend. I’m not much of a fan of this, to be honest. The more stages you achieve before Transcending, the more rewards you get, but it takes quite some time and grinding to get there. You really need to strategize well when building your team every time you Transcend because you’re going to be stuck with that team for a long, long time if you want to get anywhere with your achievements.
My Experience and Review
What really tied the entire game together for me are the amazing backstories. The developers really did a splendid job of conveying a meaningful message through an idle incremental game. According to the game’s website, the main message of the game is “one is never alone when facing the negativity in society today.” Each Masketeer has its own tragic backstory, detailing how and why they were driven to the brink of despair before becoming a Masketeer. The stories are full of angst, incredibly intense and relatable, and probably not recommended reading for the depressed. But it really gives a lot of character and depth to the game.
Art, Graphics, and Monetization
The art and graphics are smooth for a game that has so many things going on at the same time. The masks are distinctly inspired by Japanese kabuki masks, and the art style is quite anime-like. The game is doing really well content-wise, with regular seasonal events and live-ops to take away the edge of endless grinding and mix things up a little.
As is custom for f2p games, there are a lot of ads in the game, but they’re mostly not forced. For the most part, you can get ads from Kois that pop up above the orb counter, and the rewards in exchange for watching an ad are quite generous. If you’ve played long enough and got to a certain VIP level, you get to skip all ads altogether, though you’ll forfeit the rewards.
One thing I found annoying in the game, though, is all the pop-ups that appear every time you open the game. There are a lot of interstitials, mostly for one-time in-app purchases or event announcements. There's always a bunch of them to x through before I can actually start playing the game. It's a little off-putting at times, especially when I'm not paying attention to what screens I'm closing and end up missing important information or a live-ops.
I must say, the game is really well-polished and unique for an incremental idle game. It certainly is a refreshing volume in a well-established genre. There’s a little bit for everyone here: fantastic art, intriguing backstories, idle progression, active play, strategizing, collectibles, and more. It can be a little confusing in the beginning with all the different elements and details, but it’s certainly shaped up to be a pretty addictive game that I can see myself spending hours on.
© 2021 Refinné Nahc
Talana on May 24, 2021:
Wow, I like the art!