When you make a Diablo 3 / Path of Exile style game on the mobile platform for me to see, you get a blog post one very long title. Enter Eternium: Mage and Minions, a hack-and-slash loot-a-thon that is surprisingly more addictive than it might have any right to be.
Yes, Eternium: Mage and Minions is much like Diablo, Torchlight, Path of Exile, and the like. You run around killing skeletons, zombies, ghosts, and demons, all while amassing a hoard of gold and gear. The mindless wandering around killing things is probably one of the most therapeutic means of killing time I’ve experienced since World of Warcraft.
You might be wondering, “how in the world do you play something like Diablo on a phone or tablet?” Well, Eternium: Mage and Minions has a surprisingly simple solution. You use skills by drawing simple shapes on the screen with your finger, such as an arrow, a circle or a “Z.” The feels more immersive than you might expect because of this “rune” system.
Aside from murdering waves of skeletons, one of the most addictive part of Eternium is the loot. The gear that you pick up and equip shows on your avatar. This gives a nice dopamine shot as you slowly deck her out. The graphics are decent for a mobile game – semi-realistic, but with some cartoon flair – which makes the slow progression of cooler and cooler gear that much…cooler.
Finally, Eternium: Mage and Minions sports some great music. The title screen’s music in particular is great for pumping you up and getting you ready to smash some skulls. The voice acting is a little odd. The voices are modern, which does not match well with the fantasy setting. It is, however, amusing to hear your character sing “Another One Bites the Dust” while killing zombies.
The one thing holding Eternium back from being a great game is that it is heavy on the freemium aspect. Yes, once again the freemium model brings down an otherwise satisfying mobile game. You see, you unlock a ton of things through gems, the freemium currency. That includes ability slots, storage slots, and even some chests. You can get these gems in-game through natural play as well, and that softens the blow, but it is still hard seeing something as rudimentary as ability slots and freaking chests being even slightly locked behind a paywall.
So that is why Eternium: Mage and Minions is the first mobile game that might not suck…if they at least toned down the freemium aspect a little bit.