Game Reviews

Warcraft Rumble review - "RTS-but-not-RTS, with lots of grinding in between"

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Warcraft Rumble review - "RTS-but-not-RTS, with lots of grinding in between"

Derpy chickens minding their own business and mama vultures looking after their young - no one is safe from the proud commanders of Warcraft Rumble, where you'll take on everything from natural wildlife to some dude who got tired of people using his doors for target practice.

The highly anticipated Blizzard game is already making waves across the mobile market, but is it worth giving a go, or is the IP better left to its OG PC roots?

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The cutesy characters alone exude a casual appeal, but, as I mentioned with my Warcraft Rumble first impressions preview, looks can be deceiving in this fast-paced game. While the premise seems harmless enough - there's this new arcade sensation sweeping across the land, and it involves miniatures from the popular real-time strategy franchise - the game within a game isn't exactly made for more casual players, no matter how beginner-friendly the artwork seems at first glance.

Of course, the redesigned minis do look pretty charming, with vibrant animations that will definitely make you want to add them to your collection. It's not a gacha game per se, but there's still a random element to the minis you can recruit at the shop, which is where the grinding comes into play.


Much like LEGO Star Wars Battles, you'll deploy the "cards" you've collected onto a portrait-mode battlefield, with each character card requiring a certain amount of gold before you can use them. Your gold accumulates throughout the course of the battle, and you can take a more active approach by mining gold mines littered across the battlefield to speed up production.

Once you do have enough gold, you can then start deploying the cards in your deck, with all kinds of units from across the Warcraft IP. Each unit will have its own set of strengths and weaknesses, and this is where your strategic prowess comes in.

Of course, your enemy - whether AI or another human being - will also have their own arsenal of units, and it'll all boil down to whoever can take down the other's base first. The thing about Warcraft Rumble though is that it's not entirely for PvP - you can just play through the main campaign (don't expect any convoluted narratives here despite the game's namesake) and be content with the spoils of war. Each victory rewards you with gold and XP, which you can then use to upgrade your existing characters or purchase new ones from the shop.

This is where the aforementioned RNG gods come into play, as the units and spells available at the shop pop up randomly. It's also where the grind becomes very, very real because you'll definitely hit a paywall very early on in the game.

As a free-to-play player, you'll need to replay past missions over and over again (a tedious task) to gain enough XP until you can take on the more challenging nodes up ahead. The units are vast and varied despite the lack of your typical Warcraft class, so you can get by with being wily enough to defeat an opponent who's stronger than you. Oftentimes though, it's a simple "who's got the stronger minis" affair, especially if you're not big on micromanaging.


Compared to the initial soft launch when I first played this game, there are now better unit options in the shop to choose from right from the get-go, as well as an easier way to unlock the PvP element. The minis are extremely specialised across Alliance and Horde types, so you'll really have to think long and hard about which ones you want to add to your team. You can also switch up your loadout depending on the battle ahead, which brings all the RTS vibes of the franchise back into this entirely different game.

Of course, the "Warcraft" name is a bit of a double-edged sword, as newbies to the scene might just feel like it's too intimidating to try (it's not). For fans though, you might be expecting the same kind of RTS goodness only to find yourself locked in a grindy and tedious loop.

Battles are carried out in short bursts with a timer, so you can dive into a match in quick sessions. You'll have to focus all of your attention on the battle though, as there are no auto fights here - the game still keeps the same stressful real-time aspect but in a more on-the-go package.

I honestly don't see myself getting as addicted as I was with old RTS faves such as StarCraft back then, especially because Warcraft Rumble doesn't really have that much going for it save for its nostalgic appeal. I feel like it's something that's worth picking up every now and then during quick breaks, but it's not ultimately what's going to eat up all your free time and sanity when it comes to mobile games. It is, however, a great way to relive old franchise faves, or, if you're new to Azeroth, a baggage-free intro to Warcraft if you can handle the grind.

If you're playing the game, you can use our minis tier list where we have ranked each one according to its power and general usefulness.

Warcraft Rumble review - "RTS-but-not-RTS, with lots of grinding in between"

Warcraft Rumble is a strategic "tower offence" game where you deploy miniatures via cards across short real-time battles. Familiar faces from the franchise pop up with a variety of abilities you can get tactical with, but it does start to get grindy fairly early on. You can engage in some PvE missions though to level up before you take on others, so it's worth giving it a shot if you're looking to add a new twist to your standard PvP affair.
Catherine Dellosa
Catherine Dellosa
Catherine plays video games for a living and writes because she’s in love with words. Her Young Adult contemporary novel, For The Win: The Not-So-Epic Quest Of A Non-Playable Character, is her third book published by Penguin Random House SEA - a poignant love letter to gamer geeks, mythological creatures, teenage heartbreak, and everything in between. She one day hopes to soar the skies as a superhero, but for now, she strongly believes in saving lives through her works in fiction. Check out her books at, or follow her on FB/IG/Twitter at @thenoobwife.