First Impressions - Aerena

It's like Battle Chess, but not.

Once again, I have been introduced to another game thanks to friends on Steam and this time, it's the Free-to-Play game called Aerena. As it's Free-to-Play, the good news is you can easily download the game and try it out for yourself, free of charge. However, this also means that the game is looking at micro-transactions in order to earn an income through the players purchasing characters and ships with real-life money. Anyway I still decided to give it a go for the stupidest of reasons: to generate Steam Trading Cards - one of the reasons GabeN introduced them to the Steam platform I'm sure.

What I like

  • Graphics: I dig the cartoon art style which reminds me of Borderlands
  • Accessible: It's easy to grasp the basics but in order to take full advantage of the character and ship abilities available you need to understand the game at a deeper level
  • Short games: Games can take a matter of minutes to complete so it's perfect for gamers that do not have a lot of time on their hands and aren't able to commit an hour or more to a game

What I don't like

  • Grind: It's not very long before you realise that it's going to take a looooong time before you're able to purchase anything since you only get measly rewards only after completing certain achievements after you get an initial $3,000 roughly. Until that time, you have to make do with three starter characters and a choice of two ships
  • Not enough variety: This ties in to the grind mentioned just before since if it takes several hours of gameplay in order to have anything new happen, you're running the risk of losing the interest of players - although they're probably banking on the fact that players will instead open their wallets in order to speed things along. However, even if you either have lots of money or have survived the grind, there's still only a handful of ships and characters available. Perhaps this will change as time goes by, but at the moment, the roster seems rather limited
  • No co-op: It'd be nice if there were maps where you could play with friends in a 2v2 situation but it seems like it's only 1v1 at the moment. Not to mention you can't even play against your friends yet, but that's apparently a feature that's coming soon


A fun little game that's easy to get into and especially attractive for those that might like the idea of playing DOTA2 or League of Legends but prefer their games turn-based or like chess. If I don't get anywhere after a few hours of grind though, I'll probably never touch the game again.

[ LINK: Official Aerena website ]