First things first: I had no idea what a RWBY was before I started playing Amity Arena.

Apparently it's a cartoon available on streaming service Rooster Teeth. It seems very young and squeaky, and the makers have clearly watched a whole ton of anime.

That means I'm approaching this game based purely on its own merits rather than any affinity with the source material. Which doesn't do it many favours, in truth.

Pastiche Royale

RWBY: Amity Arena is a pretty generic, entirely unspectacular crack at the Clash Royale formula.

You have a symmetrical battlefield, with each side having a base and two defensive towers. Various unit cards spawn as a move bar fills up, and you must drag them onto one of three lanes to initiate an advance or fend off attacks.

Those units are your usual mix of heroes with meaty special moves and groups of generic runts. The latter are both cheap to summon and handy as a means to to shield your more valuable units.

It's essentially a digital chess set, with expendable pawns, powerful bishops, and a vulnerable king.

Counter intuitive

As we've come to expect from such mobile MOBA hybrids, doing well against your human opponents is all about timing and placement.

Positioning a bunch of units behind your towers will cause them to move from deep, letting those automated laser units soften up an enemy attack, and potentially allowing you to break through the enemy lines for a swift counter attack.

Once you've taken out a tower you can start your attacks from further up the field, closer to the enemy base. But of course, you don't want to overextend yourself and leave your own base undefended.

This would all sound and play very cleverly indeed if we hadn't seen it done before many times - and often better.

Premium Dust, indeed

As you might expect, there's an obnoxious virtual currency ('Premium Dust') that acts as a doorman for the unit progression club. It's a doorman can be bought off with real money, naturally.

I realise this is all sounding very dismissive, and when it comes down to it RWBY: Amity Arena is perfectly proficient. It's not a bad game by any stretch.

But the brutal truth is that it doesn't offer anything meaningfully new or of a notably high standard. As a result, literally the only people I would recommend it to would be dedicated fans of RWBY.

If you're as clueless as I am about the show, or aren't especially enamoured with it, then you can do so much better with any number of Clash Royale-a-likes. Or just, y'know, Clash Royale.