- Heroes of Might and Magic style combat
- Portable browser based gameplay
- Good graphics for a flash game
- Very little grinding required
- Combat difficulty and rewards are very rewarding
- Prone to disconnects
- Pretty much everything is purchasable with real money
- Unabashed real money gambling mechanics
Nightfalls is a free browser based MMO by Chinese developer 37games. It was first released on November 2015.
In Nightfalls you are an angel sent to prevent the awakening of a great evil. This storyline is fixed, and there are no paths to choose from. In fact, there are no classes or customization options available to you. The only thing you can change is your character’s gender. The lack of customization options is pretty unusual even for the MMORPGs that 37games publishes. Other games from this company have classes at the very least.
Made in flash, Nightfalls is a browser based MMORPG with a top-down isometric view, similar Diablo 2. The character is controlled via the mouse. Clicking on the ground will cause the character to move to that position. Similarly, attacking is done by clicking on an enemy. Right-click does nothing and only brings up the flash menu.
What makes Nightfalls unique though is its combat mode. Combat here is not done in the usual action RPG style. Instead, whenever you touch a mob, the screen will change into a battle view, which is composed of a side-screen view of your party and the enemy mobs, reminiscence of old turn based tactics game like Heroes of Might and Magic.
Under this view, combat is turn-based, and there’s a time limit of 8 turns. The amount of rewards you get depends on how many mobs you killed before time over. Needless to say, wiping out the enemy party will give you the best rewards. During battle, you can attack from one of the different skills available. There is no mana in this game. Instead, there is a rage bar which charges every time you use the basic attack on the enemy. Having sufficient rage is required in order to execute special skills.
You can have up to 3 AI champions that fight with you during battle. These companions can be recruited from the tavern and they are pretty varied. For example, the barbarian is strong at defense which makes her perfect for the front row. The wizard is a glass cannon and is able to attack multiple mobs in one turn so it’s best to put her in the back row. After recruiting them, they will appear with you during combat, but you cannot control them. Note that these companions do not automatically level up; you have to give them EXP books to level them up.
If a companion dies during a battle, you’ll have to recruit a new guy to replace him. If you’re afraid of losing that companion, you can put him in an assist slot. Companions put in an assist slot will not directly participate in the battle. Instead, they will buff and give you various bonuses during combat.
Once you’ve reached level 26, you can evolve you and your companions. Evolving will cause that character to absorb all the items he’s currently equipped and unlocks new skills. The absorbed pieces of equipment will be gone, but the items’ stat bonuses will be added to the character you evolved.
The battle system is fun to play and reminds you of a crossbreed of MMO games like Heroes of Might and Magic. Unlike most ARPGs, you’re not merely clicking on a mob until they die. Will you use your super ability to wipe out the enemies on the front row? Or will you save it for the boss on the last row? You have to plan your attacks, especially since you’re on a turn limit. There is also an auto option, in case you don’t want to take control of the battle.
The game is also easy to play and get into. Since it’s a browser game, you can play it on any PC that has flash installed. You play it anytime you want without requiring lengthy downloads and installation. The graphics are not bad. The 2d graphics look great and reminds me of Diablo 2. Every monster is unique with their own sprites and animations.
But the best part of this game is that you don’t need to grind much. It’s not uncommon to level up after every battle, especially if you annihilate the enemy party. Quests also give out a decent chunk of bonus EXP. This lack of grinding makes the game perfect for casual players.
Unfortunately, the game is pretty unstable. I keep running into constant disconnects while playing the game, something that I never encountered while reviewing other games from this developer. I think the developer isn’t used to making these type of games, resulting in bugs and instabilities.
Like most other games from this company, Nightfalls is also pretty heavy into P2W. You can bypass almost everything with real money here. For example, if you don’t want to do the daily quests, you can just become a VIP member and have it be automatically completed for you. Fair? Definitely not, especially if you’re into PvP. This game is unfair towards free players.
There’s also a built-in slot machine that you can use to gamble your money. You put premium currency in, and if you win, you get more premium currency. Yes, it’s honest to goodness gambling and they didn’t even bother changing the prize to premium items.
Nightfalls has something right going for it. It doesn’t require much grinding and the Heroes of Might and Magic style combat is pretty fun. Unfortunately, it’s also pretty unstable, and there’s a lot P2W elements. Nevertheless, I still recommend it, if only to check it out. You can easily try this game out without much effort since this is a browser based game.