Vainglory on Tablet. © Super Evil Megacorp

Vainglory is an innovative MOBA game developed by Super Evil Megacorp for mobile devices and it is compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. It bears many similarities to multiplayer online battle arena games produced for PCs, but introduces original concepts. Players compete for control points and the ones who succeed will acquire additional resources, while the ultimate goal is to defeat the opponents’ base.

The game was initially released for iOS powered devices in November 2014, with the Android version surfacing half a year later on July 2, 2015. The plot is the same and the game was well received by the critics, who appreciated the quality of the graphics, competent gameplay and impressive level design.

Key facts about Vainglory

  • Vainglory emphasizes the importance of working together with your teammates rather than individual skills, rewarding those who play well together.
  • The game has won the award of the game of the year for mobile devices, with its iOS version being praised by critics.
  • There are a total of 20 Vainglory heroes for players to choose from, although the initial roster consisted of just 10 characters.
  • The multiplayer online battle arena game features some of the best graphics available in a video game of this type for smartphones and tablets.
  • An average Vainglory game takes around 20 minutes, but given the fact that players use mobile devices, the rate of abandonment is pretty high.

The Vainglory games

Vainglory was not supposed to be a clone of League of Legends and Dota 2 and introduces some original concepts, while being aimed exclusively at mobile users. The popular MOBA concepts still apply and Vainglory games are quite difficult to play, as they tend to spiral out of control after the first 15 minutes of the game. If one team manages to take the lead and build on that advantage, it is virtually impossible for the other side to close the gap.

The roster of Vainglory characters consists of only 20 heroes, which is several times less than what its counterparts for PCs have to offer. Initially there were only 10 of them available, but their number was doubled in December 2015 when new heroes were introduced. They have interesting relationships during the game and each of them comes with unique abilities. That’s why it is essential for players to choose the proper heroes and try to come up with the ideal setup to dominate the lane and win in the late game.

Screenshot of Vainglory © Super Evil Megacorp
Screenshot of Vainglory. © Super Evil Megacorp

In addition to the heroes and their specific abilities, the Kraken creature plays a very important role in Vainglory games. It spawns at the 15 minute mark and the team that has the advantage will have an excellent chance at taking control of this monster. It is strong enough to win a game single-handedly, so it is one of the few chances a losing team has to turn the game around.

What is Vainglory?

Vainglory is a multiplayer online battle arena game developed for mobile devices by Super Evil Megacorp since 2012 and released in late 2014. It runs smoothly on iOS and Android powered tablets and smartphones, while offering a real alternative for mobile users with a keen eye for MOBA games. It is supposed to be played exclusively in multiplayer version, while offering a roster of 20 unique characters.

Gameplay of Vainglory

Vainglory stays true to the standard concepts of multiplayer online battle arena games, making it easy for League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm players to pick up the rules. Mastering the game is a real challenge and there are a couple of differences that make the game suitable for mobile devices. Each team consists of only three players as smartphones and tablets can’t accommodate a full team of five heroes.

Players try to conquer the opponents’ base and destroy the main structure, while advancing on the lanes that connect the bases. Minions spawn in both bases and  proceed into the opposite direction, while being gunned down by players. Heroes level out whenever they annihilate these computer-controlled minions, improve their abilities and accumulate the resources necessary to upgrade their arsenal.

Vainglory © Super Evil Megacorp
The Blades of Vainglory. © Super Evil Megacorp

Vainglory’s name derives from the Vain Crystal. This is the central structure in the opposing base and the one that each team tries to destroy. Finding the ideal setup and using the right heroes can make the difference between victory and defeat. Some heroes have high damage output but move slowly and are prone to moving impairing effects. Others are mobile and have plenty of escape mechanisms but deal less damage.

Vainglory is a free to play game and each week players get to choose between the available free heroes. As they play the game, they accumulate points which can be spent to unlock all the characters forever. Those who want to speed up their gaming activity and don’t want to wait until they have the necessary points can purchase Immensely Concentrated Evil points with real money. The good news is that paying customers don’t have an edge over those who play for free.

Plot of Vainglory

Vainglory follows the popular routine of most multiplayer online-based action video games and the emphasis is on the gameplay rather than the storyline. With just 10 original characters and another 10 added in December 2015, it doesn’t have a narrative, as there is no plot whatsoever. The available heroes come with a short description, but this serves the purpose of making it easy for players to remember them.

Dedicated to mobile users, a Vain Glory game is supposed to last less than 20 minutes and action starts all over again after one team wins. The bottom line is that even though this videogame doesn’t have a storyline it doesn’t need one to be enjoyable. Given the popularity of the game, it is only fair to assume that more characters are going to be added, yet no single player campaign is to be expected.

Development of Vainglory

Vain Glory was the result of one year of development but the stellar results can easily be explained by taking a look at the name of the game developers. The ones who founded Super Evil Megacorp used to work for industry leaders and brought their tremendous experience and original concepts to the table. Released on iOS and Android devices the game is an original approach to the MOBA genre, but clearly influenced by industry giants such as Heroes of the Storm and Dota 2.

Vainglory Team Fight © Super Evil Megacorp
Vainglory Team Fight. © Super Evil Megacorp

After the soft launch of September 2014, it was released formerly in November and it was much appreciated by tablets users. The developers highlighted their intention of allowing players to relieve the memorable moments of LAN parties while using modern tablets and smartphones. Vainglory was so popular that European eSports tournament organizers announced a string of competitions that will be known as the Vainglory Cup.

Vainglory Crush Opponents With Your Bare Hands. © Super Evil Megacorp
Vainglory Crush Opponents With Your Bare Hands. © Super Evil Megacorp

Where can I download Vainglory?

Vainglory can be downloaded for free using the App Store and since July 2015, MOBA fans can also download the game from the Play Store. The applications are free and players enjoy immediate and unrestricted access to additional content, while having the option of purchasing ICE points with real cash.

What are others saying about Vainglory?

Vainglory was praised by the critics, who appreciated the fine graphics and the attention paid by developers when crafting the level designs and the characters. Even though it was nominated and won the title of the best iOS game of 2014, Vainglory was also criticized for the steep learning curve. The absence of polished team communication features also prevented it from reaching its full potential.

Vainglory tournaments

Vainglory is quite popular among mobile users with a genuine passion for multiplayer online battle arena games. The fact that an average match takes less than 20 minutes makes it an excellent way to spend some quality time when you are on a short break. Vainglory tournaments are still in their infant stage, but with the advent of the Vainglory Cup, this MOBA game has the potential of turning into a fully fledged eSports contender.

My rating of Vainglory

I’ve play so many hours of League of Legends, Dota 2 and Heroes of the Storm that I didn’t expect to be surprised by a MOBA for phones and tablets. Vainglory swept me off my feet and I’m surely impressed by how the developers managed to capture the very essence of the genre on these devices. Vainglory might be a game for small screens but it has a big heart and definitely deserves a high score of 9.5/10.

Overall Score