Vainglory is an excellent MOBA for mobile. Instead of copying the mechanics of rivals like Dota 2, League of Legends, and Heroes of the Storm, Vainglory simplifies the essence of the genre to suit the portable platform.
Simple and elegant
Vainglory has one single, brilliantly designed, level. The goal of your team is to reach the rival base at the far end of the map. To do this, however, you must traverse a central path, conquering control points that increase your gold and increase the strength of your minion army. The addition of these control points differentiates Vainglory from its competition, and also adds an addictive strategic factor.
Vainglory only has 10 heroes to choose from, but each has very distinct skills. While in comparison to other MOBAs this cast is limited, it allows Vainglory to create more combos and more meaningful interactions between characters. Unfortunately, the characters you can play as for free continually rotates - meaning if you want to guarantee your favorite is available you will have to pay real money to unlock them.
Games can last a maximum of 20 minutes, though usually one team will secure victory long before this time cap is reached. Because of this, Vainglory is designed to reward teams that are able to rapidly coordinate – play well with your teammates and you will easily annihilate your opponents. The only problem with this focus on coordination is that Vainglory does not offer good online communication options, making complex strategies near impossible.
Good controls, good graphics
Vainglory controls work incredibly well, probably better than you expect and certainly better than I imagined. Its super detailed tutorial rapidly gets you into the MOBA mindset, while also explaining how it differs from others in the genre.
In addition, Vainglory’s developer clearly realized that the smaller screen may lack the clarity of information on a computer monitor. The game is therefore packed with visual cues to let you know who is attacking you, the direction that you will unleash your abilities in, where your next sub-goal is, and other important information you may miss with your thumb covering the screen.
Vainglory's graphics are stunning. Unfortunately, as a result, Vainglory struggles with slow down on older devices - probably not something your team will be happy about mid-match.
A great, small MOBA
Vainglory is a MOBA adapted to mobile devices. Instead of trying to recreate the massive and complex battles the genre in known for on home computers, the developer has created a game designed for simple and quick matches. It is great, and I recommend it to any lover of competitive multiplayer games.