2017 witnessed the sudden popularity of a new genre in video gaming known as Battle Royale. A battle royale game pits several players against each other in a large map where players are required to survive to be the last man standing. This genre quickly rose to achieve wide popularity with games such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite Battle Royale being one of the most played games in the world. Similarly, there is a brand new genre on the rise at present known as the ‘Autobattler’ genre.
Simply put, an Autobattler is a turn-based real time strategy which takes place on a chessboard. Players choose their respective chess pieces or heroes prior to each round, from a list of available characters. Each hero, just like any real time strategy game, comes with their own unique perks. They may belong to some kind of a faction or class where heroes belonging to the same class will have certain similar features, yet retain their unique abilities. Since the genre relies on turn based battle, players must plan their attacks accordingly as they can’t dodge their opponent’s moves. Killing opponents rewards the player with items which they can give to their own heroes. Just like heroes, items too have certain abilities and effects. They can sometimes be combined together to craft even stronger items. Players must carefully play through the match and make sure that their hero is the last character alive on the chess board.
One of the greatest examples of this genre is Dota Auto Chess. Developed as a mod for Dota 2, it managed to get over 8 million player subscriptions by May 2019. This sudden influx of players basically led to the recognition of the autobattler genre. Other games belonging to this genre include Dota Underlords and Teamfight Tactics.
However, on 4th July, Tencent Games entered the autobattler race with their brand new mobile title known as Chess Rush.
Chess Rush offers over 50 heroes for the players to choose from. Each hero belongs to a particular class and comes with their own perks and abilities. One of the most notable features of the game is it’s Turbo Mode. Unlike all other autobattler games which can take upto or more than 30 minutes, the Turbo Mode in Chess Rush allows players to play through a fast-paced match which can be finished in nearly 10 minutes. You can choose to play against BOTs or against other players. And yes, there is an option for co-op gameplay. Players can use in-game currency to buy various cosmetic items that Chess Rush has to offer. As for monetization, Tencent Games has introduced a Battle Pass to the game.
Tencent Games is already dominating the mobile battle royale genre market with their title – PUBG Mobile. Now that there’s a new genre on the rise, they quickly came up with an autobattler title. It’s only been a few days since Chess Rush was released. With time, we will surely get to see whether the game manages to dominate the mobile autobattler market too.