Realm Grinder is an incredible little idle game that has only a few flaws and works really well to engage the player into playing more in order to unlock new mechanics and systems. Instead of just making numbers grow higher, this game throws together plenty of interesting ways for you to interact with it and have different 'runs' most of the time. I'm still playing it after more than three weeks, and I plan on playing it until I grow bored, if that ever happens. If my iOS reviews seem to lag behind in the future, you know what game to blame!

The very core concept of Realm Grinder is that you tap to produce coins, which can be used to buy buildings that produce coins passively. Buying enough buildings unlock upgrades for them, increasing their output. After you've collected a few coins, you can unlock an alignment, either good or evil, both with their strengths and weaknesses. Doing so unlocks races that you can pick from, each with different abilities. Each race has multiple tiers of passive abilities and spells that you can unlock via 'faction coins' that you gather by clicking or passively with assistants (helpers that get unlocked when you buy specific upgrades). Many races have special abilities that allow them to get more faction coins as well. At the beginning of the game, these can be a roadblock. You need increasing number of those in order to get more powerful abilities and without special powers to collect them, your count increases really slowly.

The game is free to play and you can buy various things like rubies, used for special upgrades, and other bonuses. You can also view ads to get more mana, more money over time, or some faction coins. I'll admit that I'm using it almost all the time, because it's more efficient that way, and it's not a too terrible way to give some money back to the developers. Mana is what's used to cast spells, there are a bunch of them and you can increase your mana regen and maximum via upgrades and you can even unlock automatic casting to help you with that. I really enjoy how many upgrades get unlocked when you complete achievements since it encourages the player to try and accomplish various challenges. 

After you've accumulated enough money, you can abdicate and collect gems based on the amount of money you've got. Gems increase your production and some races have special abilities that depend on the gems you have. You need a high total of gems in order to Reincarnate, which resets your money and gems to zero, but unlock a bunch of new abilities and challenges. This is one of the only part of the game that breaks down for me, it seems that some combinations of races and playstyles work really well at generating gems while others just won't net you enough money to increase your gem count, I wish that every race had the potential to get there without you having to wait forever. 

Another mechanic you get later are archaeology expeditions where you dig to get faction coins, rubies and artefacts, this really helps when you need faction coins fast to unlock new abilities and you don't want to wait forever. The cost of expeditions increase as you perform them, and it resets when you reincarnate, so this balances out. You unlock many things with expeditions, like the neutrality alignment - with three new races - and even two extra races that stack on top of the one you select at the start of the game, each with their own three tiers of powers and spells. Further along, you get special challenges that are quite difficult but boost your races in unique ways. This game is full of mechanics like that. You won't just get "+5% production for Undead buildings", but you'll rather get upgrades that add flavor and uniqueness to each faction.

There sometimes are events, like there was with Easter, but I missed it because I had to update the app in order to participate, I kinda wish the app would pull info from the web and tell me to update it in order to get on the event. I wonder how frequently they occur and if their rewards are worth it. Another thing I have unlocked is the Mercenary race that allows you to mix and match spells and abilities from every other faction, I think it's a fun idea, but in practice I haven't managed to create any good combination that worked better than the default stock choices, so I don't think I'll thinker with it too much.

And there's still more to come! Researches and bloodlines and spell levels and a ton more stuff! That's why I think I'll be playing Realm Grinder some more in the future, I still want to see what's in reserve for me. I'm at Reincarnation 8 right now and there are new mechanics that unlock at Reincarnation 70? I'm almost tempted to try and link my iOS version with the web version, if it's possible! It's a really neat idle game and I'd recommend it wholeheartedly!

AuthorJérémie Tessier
Categories5/5, Idle, iOS