Just because you can take it with you doesn’t have to mean an RPG’s developers have to think small…

by Jason Venter

Kabam is prepping Spirit Lords, a game that Pocket Gamer’s Alysia Judge describes as “an RPG on mobile,” rather than as a mobile RPG. There is a fine difference, one she discusses in her preview for the upcoming title.

“Smashing pots for loot, dungeon crawling, rich storylines, dynamic combat, multiplayer and customization are all pre-requisites for any RPG worth its salt,” Judge says, “but sadly many mobile games in the family recipe book lack that particular seasoning. Spirit Lords seeks to change this.”

The game depicts the plight of a human city, the last of its kind. A thousand years ago, a war between the Spirit realm and the physical universe all but wiped out mankind, so that only the one metropolis remains. Now, a new evil has arrived to once again threaten man’s existence, and you have the rare ability to see Spirits. Your gift just might be enough to allow you to save the day.

“You can choose to be a Barbarian or a Sorcerer – and craft their appearance down to the last freckle – or you can unlock over 200 unique combat abilities by collecting Spirits and upgrading their powers,” describes Judge. “Over 300,000 customization combinations are available to your hero as they travel through a range of different worlds populated by a cast of unique races.”

From the sound of things, then, Spirit Lords boasts a compelling narrative hook and plenty of activities to keep you busy while you try to be the hero your world needs. Judge describes touchscreen gestures that make control a breeze, but combat should still remain quite deep. Then, of course, there is the matter of the Spirits.

“They can be collected by winning battles,” Judge notes, “or completing ‘Spirit Missions’ that send your current Spirits to recruit new additions while you’re away from your phone. Choosing your Spirits carefully before battle is vital, as each has weaknesses and strengths against certain elements.”

According to Judge, the story is surprisingly dark, and in no particular hurry. It was apparently written by veterans responsible for the likes of Star Wars: The Old Republic and Dragon Age: Origins, so perhaps none of that should come as a surprise.

If you’re interested in Spirit Lords, there are a couple of pieces of good news. You’ll be able to experience the first 50 levels of Spirit Lords on both iOS and Android starting April 16th, and you won’t have to pay a cent for the pleasure.

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