I’ll be the first to admit that I know next to nothing about MOBAs. The Massive Online Battle Arena genre (okay, I know some things) is hugely popular within the hardcore gaming community, but it doesn’t exactly have mainstream appeal. A Real-Time Strategy sub-genre, I once heard it described as chess for the modern age. MOBAs require both the patience and strategy demanded by traditional RTS games along with the real-time, on-the-fly skills demanded by action games.
Okay, I lied. I know a thing or two about MOBAs. I have a certain kind of knowledge regarding the genre, at least, but I lack whatever quality draws so many players to games like Defense of the Ancients (more commonly referred to as DOTA), Smite, Heroes of the Storm, and League of Legends. These games are the current pillars of the MOBA genre, and it’s going to be hard for any new game in the genre to make a name for itself against such lofty competition.
One Tower, however, believes it has what it takes. Described as a ‘free-to-play micro MOBA’, One Tower aims to be far more accessible for players intimidated by the complex nature of traditional MOBAs. The key design principles behind the game are that it be easy to learn, quick to play, and lots of fun. I’m reminded of the golden rule of arcade games, ‘easy to learn; difficult to master’, which is generally a basis for great game design. However, whether One Tower can find an audience willing to try will be its biggest challenge. Hardcore MOBA players are unlikely to seek a watered-down version of the games they’re used to, and One Tower will probably never even cross the radar of gamers who prefer more popular, mainstream titles.
I like the project’s Kickstarter page, I’ll give it that. It’s visually interesting, features plenty of information, and has a variety of reward incentives. Plus, it’s already secured $15,706 of its $24,000 goal, with 22 days still left on the clock. People are willing to support the game, certainly, but whether the final product will have longevity in its target demographic is up for debate.
Track the progress of the One Tower Kickstarter in our campaign Calendar.