Legends of Runeterra (LoR) is a card and board game for Android and iOS phones, and has a version for Windows PCs, with characters and references to the League of Legends (LoL) universe. As you can see, Riot, developer of the game, plans to expand its repertoire of games by reaching very different styles of LoL, but without losing its characteristics. The LoR, as it couldn’t be otherwise, has a lot of similarities to the already popular card game Hearthstone, although it has some very different features and some improvements. Check the game review and know if it’s worth downloading on your mobile.
How is the game?
LoR is a very basic and standard card game, remembering mainly Hearthstone, but also others like Magic The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh. You create your deck with the cards you have available, trying to create a synergy between them to form your game tactics. There are four card rarities: Common, Rare, Epic, and Champion. The Champion cards are the most different, as they provide the chance to “evolve” during the game.
Among these rarities are the “creatures” cards and the spell cards. Decks are assembled by combining both, with a limit of 40 cards. While the creatures attack the field, the spells bring magical effects that can change the course of the game. In the end, the two opponents try to beat the enemy Nexus to the maximum – the first one to zero the life of the Nexus (20 points), wins.
One of the very positive points of the Legends of Runeterra is how it runs on mobile phones. Unlike TFT Mobile, another Riot game released in 2020 for mobile phones, which isn’t so optimized in smartphones, LoR has a very good performance. Even on a weaker and older mobile phone (the test was done on a Moto X4 of 2017, with Android 9, Octa-core processor 2.2 GHz Cortex-A53 and 3GB of RAM), the game runs smoothly, without crashes and problems until played on 4G.
Soon the loading ground, even with a rolling animation, charges very fast. If you need to switch the game to some app, like WhatsApp, for example, it is also possible to go back and reconnect without major problems or too much delay.
Riot’s recommended mobile configuration is 2GB RAM, Android 5 or higher operating system and iOS 9 or higher, and processor equivalent or above Adreno 306 or Arm64. In other words, the game runs from very simple devices to the most advanced.
Graphics and visuals
Because it’s a card game, the game graphics don’t need to be so realistic and advanced. Riot is focused more on a footprint of humor and fantasy, very similar to Hearthstone. The animations of the cards are very cool, as well as the characters and menus. Everything works very well, with a very light and fun environment.
The Legends of Runeterra matches are quite dynamic and, as the game is light, they go very well. Comparing with Hearthstone once again, the game can be even faster and more direct. Many times, being able to read the effects and what each card keyword means can be a little difficult on the mobile, but it’s a matter of time for you to get the hang of it and don’t have to stay all the time opening each dialogue box to understand the meanings.
In general, however, the gameplay is not that different from a standard card game: there is a turn system, where you have to wait to make your moves and play your cards as you handle them. Each turn, the two opponents gradually increase their mana and can throw stronger cards.
One of the big differences with Hearthstone is the way you block enemy attacks. In the Blizzard game, you attack and defend more freely, while in the Riot game you need to have a certain tidying-up of the field: you only block the card that is positioned in front. It’s not better or worse, but simply changes the dynamics between games a little.
The LoR can hold the players very well. In its main menu, it creates several chances for you to unlock card packs, chests, and capsules. By winning a game, you gain experience and can earn rewards. Also, when you enter the game daily, you get items. It’s a great way to keep you playing and always on.
One of the coolest things about LoR is the wild card system. With these cards, you can unlock any other you want, as long as they have the same rarity. This way, the game becomes much more democratic, allowing you to have access to the best cards even without having to spend money. Of course, the rarest wildcards are not easy to get, but at least it is already a form of facilitation.
The coins (which are acquired with real money), by the way, seem to be much more oriented to “decorations” than to improve the decks themselves. With them, it’s possible to buy new avatars, terrains, emotes and other skins – not something that directly affects the game. They will only make you attract more attention when you go up against an online opponent.
Despite being far from being a game with great originality, LoR performs very well its role as a card game and strategy game. It is well designed, runs very well on the mobile phone, has an interesting dynamic, and creates several situations to keep the audience loyal. Even without having a great differential, it seems to come to directly challenge other games in the category, like Hearthstone itself. As both games are very well developed and have close dynamics, it’s a question of whether you play with World of Warcraft characters or League of Legends.
Although it has several details to discover, as the effects of the characters and what certain words want to say, to go through it is not a difficult situation. Moreover, being a new game, players are still weak and the decks simpler, so it’s a good chance to grow and develop without struggling against very advanced enemies.