Is something still a clicker game if you replace the mouse with your fingers? Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms is about to find out as it brings its Dungeons & Dragons clicker stylings to mobile for the first time, coming to iPad and Android tablets during the second quarter of this year.
Codename Entertainment makes Idle Champions, which is the first clicker game set in D&D. It uses the Forgotten Realms, the long-lived and popular campaign setting that also serves as the world for games such as the Baldur’s Gate series, Neverwinter Nights, and the Neverwinter MMORPG from Perfect World and Cryptic Studios. In Idle Champions, you assemble a group of heroes such as Drizzt Do’Urden and Bruenor Battlehammer from R.A. Salvatore’s novels or Strix, the self-proclaimed “trash witch” of the D&D livestreaming show Dice, Camera, Action. It’s a free-to-play game, and it adds characters and puts on events on a regular basis.
CEO Eric Jordan said Codename could potentially put Idle Champions on the Amazon Fire tablet as well.
Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms has seen success during its Early Access run on Steam. It’s in the top 20 free-to-play games on PC gaming’s largest platform, and it’s been in the top 100 most played games on Steam as well, placing it in the top .5 percent on Valve’s service.
“We didn’t know what to expect, honestly,” said Greg Tito, a spokesperson for D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast. “The idle genre of games is so new, and we weren’t exactly sure how many D&D fans would latch onto the benefits of a game you could play for a few minutes or a few hours. We knew Codename were the experts in the field, though, so we took a chance on that talented team delivering something awesome, and we’re super-psyched to see the success it’s shown!”
He showed me Idle Champions running on an iPad during the recent Game Developers Conference in mid-March. It ran without a hitch. Instead of clicking on characters, enemies, and gold with your mouse, Jordan used his fingers to move characters into formations, slay monsters, and gather loot.
“I was demoing it to someone else, chatting, and they were moving people around. One of the things I really enjoy is the feel of picking up the gold. It has a different feel on mobile to what it does on PC,” he said.
The tactile feel of moving your characters is key to Codename’s spin on clicker games. Idle Champions is the first such game to bring in formations, and it’s a move that feels appropriate. How you organize your characters can be key to combat in D&D, and it’s a crucial component of PC games such as Baldur’s Gate and Pillars of Eternity.
“Yes, [formations were] kind of our thing,” Jordan said. “Formations allow you to make a bunch of choices, but once you get the idea that formations are there and they’re important to be aware of, it kind of becomes this relatively simple way of, OK, do I do this or do this. You can save formations and experiment. It’s worked really elegantly, which I love about that. But it was definitely us, drawing on the whiteboard.”
Now it remains to be seen if Idle Champions clicks with the mobile audience.
Update, 3 p.m. Pacific: A Codename spokesperson said that cross-platform play is not supported, meaning your progress and purchases from Steam won’t carry over to the mobile versions. “The different update cycles between platforms will hamper our ability to update and fix bugs efficiently. We have decided to separate the platforms to enable us to deliver bug fixes and updates for our community more quickly.”