“We’ve designed Solstice Arena with a distinct mission: take a genre we love and transform it to allow hardcore fans and casual players to experience the fun of MOBA gaming right from their mobile devices. To those familiar with MOBA games, you will find a deep, competitive and well-balanced MOBA – one that is unlike any free-to-play game on the App Store. But our goal wasn’t to just attract players similar to us. We want to make Solstice Arena accessible to new players too – so many of whom may have never tried a MOBA before.” – Zynga
Being a hardcore League of Legends player (for you DoTA fans, yes I’m aware that sounds silly), I am always a little skeptical of new MOBAs. I have played my fair share of them, and never have been all that impressed. When I heard about Solstice Arena, naturally I was expecting to be disappointed. However, there was one thing that intrigued me about the game enough that I wanted to try it out. It was marketed as the world’s first “Speed Moba”.
One of the most interesting features of Solstice Arena is that it is cross platform. You can play the game on your PC and be in a game with your friends who are playing on a Mac and an iPad. So far Zynga hasn’t shown much love to Android users on this title, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they made a move in that direction soon.
The graphic style in the game is very similar to other MOBA titles. The visuals are pretty good for a PC title, excellent considering the fact that it is a cross platform game. Everything looks polished and the spell effects are visually appealing.
Despite my initial reservations of yet another MOBA game, Zynga really showed up with this title. The concept of a speed MOBA with average game lengths of 5-10 minutes is really appealing to people who don’t have 45-55 minutes to devote to a game. Everything in the game lends itself to fast games, be it the small map, the small team size, or the narrow itemization options. The mechanics are familiar, while being different enough to not be just another League clone (which is a clone of DoTA, yes I know).
Solstice Arena handles leveling and itemization significantly differently than your standard MOBA. There are no in game levels. You gain experience and levels with specific characters as you play more games with that character. When your character gains levels they also gain points towards customizing their abilities to fit specific playstyles. There are quite a bit fewer items than most MOBAs, and an option to auto-buy the recommended items for your character. This takes some of the focus off of itemization, and creates an atmosphere of nearly constant action.
Overall, I really enjoyed this game. As bad as this will taste coming out, I think I finally found a MOBA that rivals League of Legends in terms of accessibility. I would eventually like to see a few more map options, but that is a minor point in the grand scheme of things. Solstice Arena managed to create its own niche for an accessible, fast paced, no nonsense game that casual players and MOBA fanatics will both enjoy. My friends and I have already put a considerable amount of time into the game, and I doubt we will stop any time soon.
Gameplay - 9.5
Features - 8
Graphics - 7.5
Replay Value - 8.5
Solstice Arena managed to create its own niche for an accessible, fast paced, no nonsense game that casual players and MOBA fanatics will both enjoy.
Ben is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of PCGR. He writes much of the content, manages the site, and does other editorial things that would bore you to tears.