The mobile gaming space is super competitive, but one studio is attempting to capture some success by making a game with soul.

Developer Juicebox Games is releasing its StormBorn: War of Legends game for iOS and Android today. The fantasy adventure combines elements of role-playing games and collectible-card battlers to take on the crowded mobile strategy genre. While it has base building and fast-paced battles that are similar to Clash of Clans or Game of War, Juicebox is trying to separate its game from the crowd by focusing more on its hero characters. And that’s where the cards come in. Players collect and grow attached to unique heroes who go to battle and give boosts to production as opposed to the faceless military forces you get in a lot of the top games on mobile.

“The next huge mobile gaming success story is going to be hero-based,” Juicebox chief executive and cofounder Michael Martinez said in a statement. “People are tired of games with generic and anonymous characters. Players are demanding a deeper connection to the heroes and the story.”

This strategy is reminiscent of what developers Riot and Valve have done with their hero-based multiplayer megahits League of Legends and Dota 2, respectively. But Juicebox says it isn’t just throwing generic heroes against the wall with the hopes that something will stick to audiences.

“StormBorn is a RPG with soul tailored for mobile users and devices,” said Martinez.

And much of that soul is going into the character design of the heroes. Juicebox has a lot of experience with character design after building 1,000 different characters for its HonorBound game. But going into the early days of StormBorn, the studio says it wants to get much more focused, which is why it’ll only have 60 characters at launch.

StormBorn, like every other new mobile game, has a lot to prove before it’ll have a shot of challenging the top-grossing apps in the space. But considering Clash of Clans, the top-grossing game in the world, is nearly three years old, the market is due for some shake up. And maybe this is the idea that will rattle up those charts.


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