So I am going to be honest with you. I was mainly interested in this game because of the musical talent behind it. Being a huge fan of The Living Tombstone, when I heard they would be involved in a music based game I got pretty excited. So I signed up for the beta for AudioClash: Battle of the Bands knowing absolutely nothing about the type of game it was. But that is why we are here, to check out what AudioClash has to offer.
Auto-battle of the Bands
AudioClash is a musically inspired auto-battler. I have certainly played my fair share of auto-battlers, such as Storybook Brawl and Teamfight Tactics, but I will say that AudioClash was not exactly as intuitive to me as those other auto-battlers were. Not for lack of the developer, Big Boat Interactive, trying to make it easy to understand as there was a nice tutorial video during the play test about how to play the game.
Build Your Band
Before you can even start your first match, you will have to build a band. This is done from a menu, where you start with selecting your band manager. These are characters similar to your legendary fairytale characters from Storybook Brawl, where they have special abilities that will have varying effects on the game itself, such as extra gold for winning a round, for example.
Next you will pick your band members. They all have minor stat differences, but I felt like during the play test it didn’t really matter which members I picked. Most of your stat bonuses come from abilities that you attach to your band members each round, but we will talk about that a little more later. You are required to put a musician on for each position in your band. Then you can select cosmetic items for each band member if you have any. After all of that your band is made and you are ready to compete.
As I mentioned prior, AudioClash is an auto-battler and therefore follows that similar structure. You have your choice between a four player lobby or an eight player lobby. Once the lobby is ready to go you will be taken to the ability selection screen. You can spend gold that you earn each round to equip your band members with special abilities. These will alter their stats as well as possibly provide special abilities that will influence your placement.
The second part of set-up for each round is unit placement. This is where those abilities come into play as some of them have additional effects for front and back row band members, as well as placing them next to other units or on platforms. This is where I struggled a bit honestly, because the unit placement sometimes placed units where I didn’t want them and you don’t get a lot of time to place your band members. The purpose of each round is to lower your opponent’s fame by winning each round and be the last person standing in the lobby.
In-game Store Time
This was honestly something that interested me more because of AudioClash being an auto-battler. These games tend to not have in-game stores that can influence the game very directly. There are a few things that you can buy within the store: managers, discographies, cosmetic items, new band members, and instruments. As I mentioned prior, managers are sort of your deck leader here, and being able to buy a deck leader is not new, as Storybook Brawl does this same thing.
Discographies, which I have not mentioned yet, are sort of like a spell list in terms of auto-battlers. They control what abilities show up for your band members and each contains different abilities for different play styles. Some of the ones in the store need a little bit of tweaking as they appear to give a rather big advantage in some cases when used in-game. The cosmetic items and instruments don’t appear to influence the game outside of aesthetics and that is okay by me. I certainly love cosmetic skins in games, well, unless you get bullied for not having them like in certain big game communities.
So, everything within the store can be purchased with gems. What I thought was kind of weird was that within the beta, the micro-transaction element of AudioClash was available. It just came off as weird to monetize a play test, but I suppose they need to make sure that that system works as well. As most of this stuff is not game-breaking right now, I guess I can let it pass, and though the play test did not have one in it, AudioClash seems ripe for a battle pass system in its future.
I firmly believe that AudioClash has a lot of potential as an auto-battler. The actual game play is really solid. But certainly needs a little bit of tweaking, but the theme of a musical auto-battler is so enticing to me. I will certainly be keeping an eye on how this turns out and hope to check it out when it comes out.