Million Arthur is a card-based social RPG that came far too late with far too little to offer. What may sound like a promising venture for both anime and historical fans turns out to be a menu-ridden land filled with automated card battles, poor design choices and yet another completely ignorable story. It’s similar to games like Card Hunter and Duelyst.
After loading in I was both immediately impressed and let down. On one hand I was flashed with multiple tooltips that led me to believe that the game had many complex systems and an intriguing 3-class system, but on the other hand it was difficult to ignore the fact that the game was not optimized to work on newer devices and I was therefore presented with a smaller display with sidebars blocking out the gaps. The class system I described may have seemed complex at first, but it’s really just a way to make three slightly unique card decks, and I’m still not really sure what each of the over-sexualized assistants do.
While I previously said that the story is ignorable, it’s probably the game’s best feature. At least this aspect is somewhat interesting unlike the other elements of this title. Sadly, this one good part of the game is hindered by an obtrusive free-to-play stamina system, which means you can pretty much play for 10 minutes at a time before waiting for a few hours, unless you want to pay for your free game. This auto-play feature is similar to games like Berserk: The Cataclysm and Summoner’s Legion – two other CCGs with largely automated gameplay.
Questionable design decisions don’t help the game at all. For example, while playing the somewhat interesting storyline card battles simply entail laying back and watching your cards automatically fly towards your opponent in a simple 4-frame animation. However, when you enter PvP not only are battles not automatic, but they feature full-fledged 3D battles, much more akin to a Yu-Gi-Oh episode than the core experience of Million Arthur. Even with the 3D battles, I found PvP battles far too frustrating and difficult to get into then they were worth. Where the game really shines is its gorgeous anime inspired art. Square Enix put a lot of effort into the game’s production value, and it really shows.
In essence, Million Arthur is just a game that is filled with poor decisions and not enough content. The automated gameplay makes the game much more about collecting cards then playing with them. Not much about this game is bad per say, but nothing about it is great. The story is probably the biggest pull here, but with stop and go play based on a free-to-play model gets in the way of Million Arthur’s one redeeming feature. It won’t be dethroning Hearthstone anytime soon, especially since Hearthstone is available on both PC and mobile.