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Honor of Kings Global Release Review: A Solid, Yet Familiar Mobile MOBA Experience

Platform(s): Android (version reviewed), iOS
Genre: MOBA, Strategy

Honor of Kings and Arena of Valor are staples in the mobile Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) scene. With the former originally released in 2015 and the latter in 2016.

Arena of Valor originally stood as the international adaptation of TiMi Studio Group’s hit mobile MOBA Honor of Kings which was originally exclusive to China, Brazil, and Turkey until now. With the sunset of Arena of Valor, it’s believed that a lot of the manpower has shifted onto the international release of Honor of Kings. So we had to playtest this new and improved version of the monolithic staple of a game. 


Sticks To The Rules

Honor of Kings stays true to the MOBA formula. Two teams of five battle it out on a familiar three-lane map, aiming to destroy the enemy base while defending their own. The game offers a fun and challenging experience for both seasoned MOBA players and newcomers.

In terms of heroes and roles, players can choose from a decently sized roster of heroes, each with distinct abilities and fulfilling traditional MOBA roles like support, jungler, and the laners. The character designs are visually impressive, drawing inspiration from Chinese legends. While there are some characters that you may recognise from Arena of Valor, such as Wukong and Lu Bu, unfortunately, most of the roster does not remain the same so if you’re a one-trick pony, then you may need to find a new main.

The map adheres to the traditional MOBA structure with three lanes, jungle areas, and strategic objectives. Although it does lean more towards the mobile MOBA route in the sense that the bottom lane provides more gold whereas the others provide more XP. This familiarity allows players to adapt quickly and utilize the map’s features to gain an advantage. Making the transition over from other mobile MOBAs more seamless.

The user interface and controls are designed for ease of use. Straightforward mechanics allow players to focus on strategy and teamwork, making the game accessible and enjoyable.


Fair Monetization

The game primarily focuses on selling cosmetic skins that don’t provide any gameplay advantage. This approach is commendable compared to other mobile games where spending money grants in-game power.


Standing Out from the Crowd

While Honor of Kings excels in core MOBA aspects, it currently lacks a distinct identity compared to other mobile MOBAs. When you compare it to games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) and League of Legends: Wild Rift (LoL:WR), MLBB offers a faster pace which is catered more towards casual MOBA players, while Wild Rift boasts more strategic gameplay for those hardcore competitive players.


Not a Penta-Kill

Honor of Kings is a strong contender in the mobile MOBA market. It delivers a captivating and competitive experience with a focus on gameplay over flashy graphics. The diverse heroes, strategic depth, and adherence to traditional MOBA mechanics make it a worthwhile choice for MOBA enthusiasts. While the game lacks a unique character currently, its potential for growth and the possibility of a thriving esports scene are promising. Overall, Honor of Kings is a solid MOBA experience for mobile gamers seeking a challenge and a competitive environment.


Final Score: 60/100

Review code provided by publisher.

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