“Clash Royale”: The defining game of my middle school days

April 19, 2024 — by Bryan Zhao
Graphic by Isabelle Wang
One of the iconic caricatures of the “Clash Royale” game.
The game is nostalgic, addictive and wholly immersive.

Sitting in one of the cold navy blue chairs after first-period journalism, I quickly take out my phone and click on the colorful app icon near the center of my home screen. A familiar black and white “SUPERCELL” logo fills the screen as I hurriedly claim the free daily shop item in the most nostalgic game of all time: “Clash Royale.” 

“Clash Royale” — known for its strategic gameplay — is a game I played throughout middle school. Whenever I play, it reminds me of my simpler childhood, when it seemed like I had all the free time in the world. I especially recall playing it during middle school robotics competitions when my friends and I would huddle up in a circle and game between our matches. 

The game’s main objective is to destroy your opponent’s towers while protecting your own. Each of your towers has a set amount of health points and each player has three towers: two smaller Crown Towers and one larger King Tower. Players build a deck based on various troops and spells, and in-game, require differing amounts of elixir depending on the value of cards. The system regulates elixir production by slowly replenishing it for both sides.

The game allows you to join clans, comprising either strangers online or close friends you know in person. The numerous game modes allow for different styles of play that hooked me onto this game.

One of my most memorable experiences with “Clash Royale” occurred during the COVID-19 lockdown when I stayed up late each night and obtained more than a thousand trophies in a single week.

As previously mentioned, the game regulates elixir, only permitting the placement of a certain number of troops and spells. Through this, strategy comes and combinations of cards become useful. When I played the game, one of the most prominent cards I played was an X-Bow, which is a stationary troop. This troop locks onto troops, meaning it takes down all the troops one-by-one and permanently locks onto one of the princess towers. I used this trait to my advantage and used spells to take down all the troops on the field and ended up protecting the X-Bow with bulkier troops, allowing damage to the tower from a distance.

Since middle school, I have lost some interest in playing “Clash Royale” due to changes in the game such as monetization, which gives players who spend money an upper hand through powerful spells and leveling up troops. However, whenever my finger hovers over the iconic square with a gold and blue shield on my home page,  the game sends a wave of nostalgia, returning to the days I’d bond with my middle school friends over a strategic game. 

If you ever have time to burn, I highly recommend downloading the game and getting lost in its addictive features!

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