The Nintendo Direct gave everyone a bit of a surprise with the sudden release of Super Kirby Clash, and while we were happy to see it, everyone was a bit cautious at hearing the words, “Free to start” to describe the game. Fortunately, a long look at the game reveals that while there is a ton that one can purchase, it is largely unnecessary to enjoy the content, either solo or with a group of friends.
Gem Apples Are Premium Currency
Like most “free to play” games, there is always some manner of premium currency that can be both earned through gradual play, and outright purchased with cash. In this case, Gem Apples are needed to buy everything from the Shoppe, including Weapons, Armor, Support Items, and Stickers.
Both Weapons and Armor require Elemental Fragments to purchase alongside Gem Apples. While the latter can be purchased with cash, the former comes from completing missions. These provide more power and defense for your character. If playing solo, you will need to also buy items for your AI controlled teammates.
Support Items are next, and these fit more into the category of benefiting from the use of real money in the game. Support Items only require Gem Apples, and they directly affect how much experience one gains and at what rate, how quickly stamina and Vigor are restored (Vigor being what allows us to play the game before needing to wait for it to restore), and in terms of progression, the quantity of Elemental Fragments that drop from missions.
In this way, purchasing Support Items allows players to progress at a more efficient rate than one who does not wish to spend any money in game, but are not necessary in order to progress. At first glance, this appears to be done in a way that is similar to other “free to play games”, such as Warframe, where spending real money awards only cosmetic items or faster completion of crafting.
The final item in the Shoppe are stickers, which appear to be purely cosmetic and used to express your feelings in online play with friends.
How Much Are Gem Apples
Once again, Gem Apples can be acquired freely by simply playing the game. Purchasing them ranges from less than a dollar all the way to $50.39 CDN, or about $40 USD. Buying Gem Apples also increases the rate at which free Gem Apples are acquired, which seems a bit counter-intuitive, but serves to reward players who spend money in game by then granting faster acquisition of future resources.
Super Kirby Clash is 2D Dauntless, Sort of
Although Nintendo uses the term “free to start”, a better description would be that the game is completely free, and one can choose to stay that way and still enjoy the game, but at a slower pace than others. After playing Super Kirby Clash for a while, it feels almost exactly like Dauntless. Consider the following similarities:
- Both games are free to play, but you can pay for certain perks that speed up the progression
- Both games focus on missions with the sole objective of defeating a boss to move on
- Defeating a boss provides materials necessary to acquire new weapons and armor
- Paying real money can speed up this rate of acquisition. In Dauntless this is a passive gained by having the premium season pass. In Super Kirby Clash this comes in the form of Elemental Fragment Codices, bought with Gem Apples
- Neither game needs real money to be enjoyed, but it often feels great spending a bit to support the developer after hours of enjoyment
The most notable difference is the Vigor needed to play missions, which is not something Dauntless deals with at all. While this can gate how much one plays at a time, it keeps the game down to short bursts of activity. Perhaps that was the intention of the design, but others may be spurred to spend Gem Apples to speed things along every so often.
Overall, Super Kirby Clash appears to offer fun gameplay with the option, but not the obligation, to spend real money. Time will tell how friendly this game remains to those who only wish to spend a little, or nothing at all.
Source: Super Kirby Clash