The first time you play Wild Beyond you're going to be a little disappointed. The first few rounds feel a lot like another take on the Clash Royale format, albeit from a side-on-ish isometric view rather than an over-the-shoulder one.

But if you stick with the game, which you really should, you'll actually discover a whole raft of interesting ideas that move the game away from any potential accusations of being a clone, and instead adds plenty of new concepts to the burgeoning mobile MOBA genre.

MOBA me

Despite those new concepts, you're going to be pretty familiar with everything that Wild Beyond throws at you to begin with. You've got a base, you've got a deck of cards, and those cards cost energy to play - head out there and smash up your opponent before they do something similar to you.

You drag your cards onto the playing field to unleash them - you can only place cards on territory you control, which is represented by green squares when you start to move one of your units into the fray.

Things are flowing along nicely by the half hour mark, but you're still going to be waiting to see what else the game has to offer. And it's when you start wondering that Wild Beyond is going to start showing you.

Wild Beyond iOS review screenshot - Sending troops to finish an opponent off

For starters it's got a single player campaign. And the levels in that campaign aren't just about showing you how to play. There are challenges when all you've got at your disposal are fireballs for flinging at encroaching enemies.

Then there's the way rewards work in the single player. Rather than getting a chest for a victory and then having to wait for it to unlock, here you unlock a chest instantly after you've won a set amount of battles.

There are different levels of technological advancement that change the cards you can play, units with different strengths and weaknesses, and boss characters that you can use to unleash enormous attacks that might change the flow of battle.

Flow rider

And it's flow that makes Wild Beyond so much slicker than it first appears. Wild Beyond makes Clash Royale and its ilk look positively staccato . Every idea that the game has feels natural - its changes to the end of a game are really smart, and the fact you can run out of cards to play adds a smart extra level of tactics to play.

It'd be simple to pass Wild Beyond off as another also-ran in a genre that's been dominated by a single game since its inception. It'd also be wrong. Dig a little deeper and you're going to discover a great mobile mix of strategy and action here.