Aerena - Clash of Champions - The Turn Based Arena Combat Game
ÆRENA is a tactical, hero-centric combat game with a unique Ætherpunk setting. Command formidable Champions, employ powerful Æther Shells and challenge your brain - not your fingers - in strategic, turn-based yet fast paced combat. It's like speed chess meets LoL or DotA. With Æther!
User reviews: Mostly Positive (654 reviews)
Release Date: May 7, 2014

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"ÆRENA is a tactical, hero-centric combat game with a unique Ætherpunk setting. It's like speed chess meets LoL or DotA. With Æther! and... Free-to-Play!"
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (40)

November 4

Albert Einstein enters the Arena!

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=336644945

Einstein has joined The Games!

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=336643557

His basic attack adds +1 to ship aether and his super and ulti attack can transfer Aether from the enemy ship onto your own


- The user who starts second in a match, starts with +2 Ship Aether
- Sharina got a new skin
- Career quests no longer have a locked/unlocked symbol in the mission screen. The symbol is now a chest with coins and users receive Æther coins for solved career quests
- After the tutorial all game modes, shell generator, career and daily quests are unlocked and usable
- Champion rotation gets unlocked when the user reaches level 3
- New daily quest: Level up!
- New career quests objectives:
5. Deal 200 damage
6. Play 5 league matches

Fixes

- Won AI and casual matches now also count for "Win with ship X" achievements
- Rector's tutorial dialogue has the same format as the rest
- Text issue for random hint of pushing champions against others was fixed
- "Win with The Beast" achievements are now consistent with all Win x matches with ship y
- Kill 1/10/30 with HAMMER achievement text has been fixed
- Achievement title for 30 logins is now correct
- Coupon window is not shown automatically after the tutorial anymore.

2 comments Read more

October 21

Tali and Lily join the Air Pirates! New Air Pirate arena Wildfire!

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=329847822

Features:

- New Champion: Tali (5 HP, 1 DMG +1 for every friendly pirate champion; Super attack deals 2 DMG or kills Taeyang instantly; Ulti attack deal 1 DMG +1 for every friendly pirate)
- H.A.M.M.E.R got a police skin
- New ship: Tesla (14 HP, ESS faction)
- New ship: Mac (14 HP, INC faction)
- Valerian Skin for Tesla
- Lilly Skin for Sparrow
- Rector skin for Bombshell
- Hendrick skin for Mac
- Map rotation now occurs every 30 minutes
- New Air Pirate "Wildfire" now fully integrated
- New league icons which are also different for every subtier
- Ranked mission debriefing added to clarify the progression through the leagues
- League Seasons now change approximately every 6 weeks starting with 15th of October
- Players now see the current rank of their opponent if the play a ranked match
- Career quests 2,3,4,5,6,7,9,12,13,18 and 19 have been changed
- Some of the early daily quests have been changed: play a match; deal 30 damage; play 4 shells; play 3 matches; win 2 matches; play 3 shells
- The tutorial can now be skipped by pushing the appropriate button in the interface and will take players to the Trophy-screen where they can enter an in-game-name
- Client side versioning warns the player if his client is out of date and will tell the player to update the client if this is the case
- All game modes: practice, casual and ranked are unlocked immediately after the tutorial is finished/skipped

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=329849806

Tali:

Taeyang and Tali were the son and daughter of a powerful industry magnate who had founded the Four Stars Trading Company, who joined the INCquisition to bring back order to the chaos that reigned after the AEther wars. Where her brother happily devoted himself to the cause, her free-spirited and chaotic nature riled against the INC's rigid structure and elitist approach. Naturally drawn to the free life of the Air Pirates, she joined them after stealing the latest top-secret prototype weapon from her father's lab - a new device designed to harness Æther residue from sources the device is attuned to. This allows her to empower her attacks, drawing additional strength from her fellow Pirates!

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=329850345

Fixes:

- Support e-mail display in the menu has been changed to aerena-support@cliffhanger-productions.com
- Luna's Ultimate damages friendly Champions again
- Badges and master images for reaching Valerian V and VI are correctly unlocked now. Players who did not get them yet but are entitled to it have to play another AI match to unlock them.
- Claiming badges takes less time
- Issues with repeated disconnection dialogues popping up will no longer happen and only occur when the client has a connectivity issue
- Corrected typos:
- in Taeyang's welcome dialogue
- in ranked screen
- Match-wins via surrendering by opponents are correctly counted towards appropriate daily quest-goals now
- Lost AI matches now reward stars for the rare shell package reward.
- Fixed that the visual effect from a heal tile was shown simultaneously on another tile on the map.
- Improved character skin portraits (they now have a higher resolution).
- The memory size of levels has been cut down to a third making it faster to download
- Claiming daily quests works quicker now

0 comments Read more

Reviews

“A mix of MOBA ideas and tactical RPG gameplay, Aerena is a cool game that has the potential to be a hit with fans of both strategy and competitive multiplayer games.”
8/10 – Gaming Nexus

“Ærena is a uniquely accessible and thought-provoking take on multiplayer battles that could easily turn the MOBA scene on its head. And above all, it is damn fun.”
9/10 – GameZone

“Ærena's visuals are a delight to see. Menus and loading screens are filled with entertaining artwork that adds to the vast steampunk world that Cliffhanger Productions has built, especially each champion’s avatar portrait along with their backstories. [...]offering a different experience to those looking for something that stands out within the growing genre of battle arenas. Ærena: Clash of Champions is definitely worth checking out”
4.5/5 – OnRPG

About This Game

ÆRENA is a tactical, hero-centric combat game with a unique Ætherpunk setting. Command formidable Champions, employ powerful Æther Shells and challenge your brain - not your fingers - in strategic, turn-based yet fast paced combat. It's like speed chess meets LoL in an Ætherpunk arena!

Listed as one of the best strategy titles of 2014 by PC Gamer!


An ÆRENA match or mission takes about ten minutes, but offers the depth of a true strategy game. Whether you like MOBAs or classic Turn-Based Tactical games such as Advance Wars of Final Fantasy Tactics, ÆRENA combines the best of both worlds.

ÆRENA offers true cross-platform gameplay. Battle your friends and other players, or hone your combat skills in solo training -- anytime, anywhere.

Now, enter the Ærena and become the Master of Æther!

Aerena is a brilliant game and deserves your attention.
Cult of Mac

Win exciting prizes such as iPads, Figurines or real cash in our two-montly League Season!!! JOIN NOW!

Key Features

  • Build you team, ready your shells in a tactical game unlike any you have played before.
  • Use YOUR tactics and strategy in challenging battles to lead your team of Champions to victory!
  • Compete live against your friends and other players, or perfect your combat skills in solo training!
  • Pilot your ship from arena to arena and leverage its special abilities to support your team!
  • Turn the tide of battle with game-changing Æther Effects!
  • Build a winning strategy from dozens of Champions, Æther Shells and ships!
  • Once you’re battle-tested, enter the “League of Champions” and compete against the world’s best players for the ultimate prize!
  • Monthly updates add new champions, ships and arenas.

The game has a fair-to-play business model, meaning everything can be acquired with in-game money. We don't support pay to win!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows 8.1
    • Processor: 1.7+ GHz or better
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB NVidia or ATI graphics card
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.7 +
    • Processor: 1.7+ GHz or better
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB NVidia or ATI graphics card
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
46 of 58 people (79%) found this review helpful
67.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
Ærena: Clash of Champions isn't your standard turn-based tactical game. Ærena places you directly into the battle for Æther--there's no slow start--things go BANG and BOOM right from the beginning!

If you can, imagine a system similar to League of Legends, where you earn points and use those points to purchase new champions. This is the system employed by Ærena and it does a good job of keeping players engaged.

Not only is the in-game currency/point system similar to League of Legends, but the champions have a similar feel, which is awesome because in most turn-based tactical games you don't command CHAMPIONS but rather generic units. In Ærena, the champions have beautiful, vibrant rendering and their abilities are dynamic unlike the generic abilities units have in most turn-based tactical games.

Ærena is a 100% PvP game, which I love! You can practice with the AI but that gets old, its human competition that drives this game! Similar to other ELO/RP based PvP games, you can rank up from Bronze to Æther Master. The average match takes about 10-15 minutes so this game will not consume your life unless you choose.

Since I purchased this game (Alpha) I've seen numerous updates. The devs are constantly adding new content and they stay in close contact with the player-base. Recently, players voted on a Top-10 list of 'Wanted Features.' The devs are now working diligently to apply as many of the requested features as possible.

Recently a new patch was released. As with most games, a new patch usually means a couple small problems, from which this game is not immune. However, the devs worked hard and fast to eliminate those problems so the community could once again enjoy the game. In fact, my account glitched out after the last patch and one of the devs personally responded to my request for help. He logged into the game and fixed my problem! Talk about service--this is a FTP game!

I'm not sure what more I can say to entice you to play other than, "If you don't try Ærena: Clash of Champions, you're missing a diamond in the rough" (although this game is beautifully polished).

Come find me in the Ærena. I'm on my way to Æther Master. I'll see you there!
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14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
21.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 8
Genre - Turn Based 1v1 Tactics Game
This game is F2P and has you in one flying ship fighting another opposite. You spawn three characters at a time with different abilities. You basically need to destroy the enemy ship using them and three shells you can fire, which can be substituted as heal etc. Games are very quick and fun (5-10 minutes). You will face varying abilities of players and as the characters are fairly balanced it is not P2W. You get daily missions and quests that allow you to earn currency getting new characters, shells and ships to use.
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14 of 19 people (74%) found this review helpful
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
A poorly planned F2P model kills an otherwise interesting game. If you want a good experience you really need to spend money.

This game could have been interesting, but the F2P models is so poorly thought out that people will be put off from playing. It works like this. You start out with three random champions, that are on a random rotation, and you can unlock new champions for in-game credits (or real money). Sounds good so far? Sure... but it's gets bad real fast.

The moment you buy your first champion, you get only two random champions each day (and buying two gives you one random champion, and so on...), so basically you get to try out fewer champions, and get stuck with a narrower selection for your battles. This means that you may get in a situation where you have bought champions that don't mesh well together, and you will be ending up losing basically every game. You will also get matched up VS people who have bought a lot of champions, and will have the ability to change linup on the fly (since you can have six champions pool to choose from, but only three on the field at any given time), so even if you manage to have a selection of champions that work well vs a player, they will still be able to counter-pick, since they got access to a pool of up to six champions during a battle.

Well.... how about just playing the game and buying some heroes? Sure, you can. If you feel like it's fun to play for hours VS players who have bought heroes, and by that merit alone have a higher chance of winning.

However, that's not all. It gets worse. You can also buy "shells", shells that can be bought in two rarities. Normal and rare. Rare shells are often stronger, and some can have devastating effects on the game, and having a big supply of rare shells will increase your chances of winning. Players who already bought all champions can spend all the money they earn on shells. Players who wants to go the F2P-route, can't, because if they do, they will never be able to buy the champions they need, unless they want to spend hundreds of hours playing the game with poor chances of winning.

Obviously you can off-set all of this by being a "skilled player" but an even easier way to increase your win rate is by throwing in some cold hard cash. Spending money gives you flexibility in your play. It gives you rare shells and better types of ships (ships basically give you a resources/tactical advantage and some added flexibility).

To sum it up, you may like the gameplay, but the free to play model is one of the worst on the market, because unlike games like LOL & SMITE you're not just stuck with a limited amount of heroes, you're also stuck with a limited selection of ways to counter your opponent during play. In MOBA games you can buy the same items, and heroes are reasonably well balanced and possible to counter through item selection during game. In this game, you can't even get a decent item selection, because that means never being able to buy champions, and buying champions early on, makes it so that you'll get an even narrower selection of champions, and are even less likely to be able to counter your opponent.

What they need to do to fix this, is to allow players to ALWAYS have three champions on a rotating schedule, even if you buy more champions. The would allow F2P-users to always have three random champions, plus the ones you bought with in-game currency. You will still be at a disadvantage VS players who spent tons of cash, but it would at least give you A SLIGHT chance to counter your opponent, since you would at least have a minimum of FOUR champions to choose from during any game. It would also allow you to try most champions in the game, since you will always get new champions with the 3x champion free rotation. It would also allow players to be able to spend some credits on shells, since you wouldn't be as punishing for F2P-accounts to spend credits on shells, since they still get a decent selection of champions.

I would also like to see the developers add an option to straight out buy the whole game. I recommend that they go the smite route with and charge 25-40 euro for all current champions and ships and all future additions of champions and ships. This give people who just want to buy the game an option to do so, without having to deal with all the cash-shop nonsense. They could also support the game in the future by buying skins, shells, and what not.

Anyway. I won't be recommending this game unless they improve the F2P model. In fact, I'll actively work to discourage people from playing this game. The current model is harmful for consumers, and it's not fair play. It's practically a PAY2WIN game at this point, and that's real bad.
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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
225.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
Aerena is extremely tough on new players and has a mandatory longer than usual tutorial. I just about gave up before getting through it. I'm glad I didn't. That's the negatives out of the way.

Aerena is a turn based Tactical board game for those competitors types, who don't want everything handed to them. Yes you start with 3 characters and 1 ship and everyone else has more. There is nothing wrong with those characters and they can win games. They are not what is causing you to lose, you're losing because of a lack of experience.

I believe the game which includes changable characters(with special abilities), ships (think Bases) & Shells (special Attacks) are well balanced and the ability to change them keeps the game from being stable. The rate at which you acquire in game currency is fine. I have heard complaints that it is too slow but people expect too much these days. What ever happened to the days where you had to play a game for more than 5 minutes to unlock things?

If you're one of the "oh no.. it's pay2win" generation... It's not. There is only 1 thing that you HAVE to pay for and is not available through in game currency.... and it's a cool ship that is COSMETIC. Sure you will have to grind through quite a few losses before you start getting things you want. within a week, I had 4 characters. If you want to speed things up then you should support the developers and $20-25 will see you through. IF you're smart you'll end up with a handful of charcter and 2-3 ships as well.

overall Aerena is one of the better games I have played this year and would highly recommend. 8.5/10
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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
35.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
Definitely recommend, a fairly solid game.

Unlike many games based off of champion roles, there's really no ULTIMATE champion with "overpowered" abilities. Yes, some are better suited to different arenas than others, but each team can be a winner no matter what. Just had a strong comeback win in a match that I thought I'd lost. All it takes is some careful, yet quick thoughts and strategies. By learning a few quick tricks during losses, you can become more and more formidable as you combine strategies that others show you.

Yes, getting in-game currency is a BIT slow, but easily done. Games take 10-15 minutes and you can unlock many badges (achievements) early and they reward you with currency as well. OR you can pay a few bucks to help the game makers develop the game more, work a few more bugs out of the system (a few shells still lag hard), or maybe add a new feature. Don't complain.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
362.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 8
So... I have played this game for 150+ hours or there abouts. Yep. If I have played it that much, then I would say with confidence that the game is good. I'd say that all of the positive reviews are well earned.

This game is truely perfect for a quick hit of PvP action while or you can play a new map each hour if you are a marathon player.

The game keeps improving with each update. The community of players and interaction with the developers keeps growing. And communication is good regarding bugs and suggestions for possible changes or things people want to see in game.

The game is free to play but it is very worth it to get the starter pack. Otherwise, you will have a long climb in earning in-game currency to purchase heroes or ships that you want. After that, you should be able to make the grind to earn the rest of the heroes and ships you want.
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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 26
I didn't play this Free-To-Play title for very long, but I did play it just enough to determine that it wasn't doing it for me. Comparisons in the store page to MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota 2 are misleading as the game really has NOTHING in common with any MOBAs whatsoever. Personally, I just find it too simplistic yet at the same time too complex- success is based around rapid calculations of how much damage your characters can put out, how much they'll receive, how much Aether they'll generate, how much Aether each player will generate, which abilities that will allow, which special shells that will allow and so on, so forth. The small battlefields and low number of units mean combat is non-stop and the short turn timer means you have to think REALLY fast. While I can see a lot of room for competative depth, I just felt the lack of any kind of permanent progression within matches made it too simplistic and dull for my tastes. It's more like Chess than a MOBA, but it just didn't appeal to me. After a couple of games, I just couldn't find the motivation to play any more. Maybe it'll be more your thing, but it wasn't mine.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
25.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
This game is fun and as far as I can tell, aside from buying things faster there isn't an extreme advantage to paying, which I appreciate. I don't mind supporting developers and will probably at least spend $5 or so to support them and their game, but I'm happy it's not forced in a sense. The one thing I don't like is when you buy characters it takes place of trial characters. So in the end, you limit yourself on options by buying characters. It makes no sense at all.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 5
Love this game got alot of mind boggaling challanges with other players nice graphics and not hard to pick up on
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
237.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
The game is a turned-based tactical arena, based on a crew of heroes. Also, it is a competitive 1v1 game, with leagues from bronze to masters (similar to StarCraft2 in this matter). Some people would say that this is pay to win, as you only have few heroes at your disposal as you start playing the game. I disagree this idea for few reasons: in order to learn the game you obviously need to play it. As you play some games (and go through the learning process at the same time) you will get about 2 heroes (with the cash you earned during this period). All the timse you also can youse the trial heroes, so the options are quite good even if you don't invest money. Being smarter than your opponent will help you win in most of the situations.
Overall I really enjoy this game. It is fun to play, it is challenging and for some people (including me) very addictive.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
49.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
Really good strategy game for what it is.

PROS:
+ Short matches
+ Deep strategy
+ Ranked, Casual, and Practice modes
+ Maps rotate on a short timescale
+ Balanced

CONS:
- Non-paying players may get frustrated when up against P2W players (not as unbalanced as most games though).
- Small number of heros and ships
- Buying heros means you sacrifice the use of trial heros.

When I first played I didn't understand any of the strategies, I was getting creamed. Read a few guides and picked up a few tips and now the strategy of the game is clear and I can really hold my own. The problem that I have is just the lack of options as a new player and not paying money. I bought 1 hero and have the starting ship. This is very limiting as I do not have access to many of the most useful canisters or ships; but allows me to learn multiple characters and work on skill instead of OP builds.

I would support this game with a purchase but I'm not sure how many players are active and I don't want to buy into a dying comunity.

Also... and I didn't know this until today. The Steam, Android, and iOS versions do not sync. And any money you spend in one does not transfer.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 31
Brilliant concept. Great Graphics. Great Gameplay. Free!

Short Review:

The Good:
-Graphics are Great.
-Brilliant Concept.
-Great to play.


The Bad:
-Small fanbase (hopefully this can change).
-Practice mode.
-Annoying bugs xD.

Overall:
-Great game to get into and if you have doubts - its best to try it because you will most probably like it.

------------------------
Detailed Review:

This game is brilliant, at first, I thought it wouldn't suit me (being a FPS player), however this game is very good at getting you to try again - the amount of in-game badges, achievements, rewards and more keeps you playing and playing again!

Apart from this there are some downfalls like:
- Small fanbase: rarely anyone plays it compared to other Strategy/MOBA game and this really punishes the game because when you want to play another person whether it be casual or ranked - sometimes there is no one playing which forces you to play the Practice mode. COMBAT THIS BY: Advertising.
- Practice mode: brilliant idea but not enough levels, only 6 isn't going to keep the audience happy if they cannot play online, and increasing the health doesn't make it more fun - but harder (this can be fustrating for players).COMBAT THIS BY: More practice levels - maybe cap health and use rarer shells (helps players be more strategic).
- Bugs: a few bugs here and there which can get annoying but hopefully you developers can fix it.

Overall: This is a great game and you should really check it out because you will probably end up liking it. It is a new approach to this genre of gaming and the design and gameplay is very fun, fast-paced and enjoyable.


-CMDGaming Reviewed This-
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
39.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
This is awesome game. İf you like turn based games but bored grand strategy turns, you love this game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
25.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 9
Pretty addictive
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
213.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
really fun
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
This is one of the best free strategy games you can get on steam i'm only level two but haven't got bored yet the storyline isn't anything unique but the gameplay is fun if you want to get away from all the action games. I would have to describe this as a mix between Battle nations and hearthstone.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
60.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
FUN!!!!!!! MEga battle chess x 1000
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
This game is GREAT fun!

The champions are all varied and there are a lot of little strategies that can be used depending on the map.

One possible detractor is that those who pay $$ will get stuff a lot quicker then those who don't. However as far as I can tell you can get EVERYTHING without spending a dime.

I highly reccomend this game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 26
The game is pretty solid. As a Tactics Arena game, the characters are pretty fairly balanced and feel different. Though, on the rough side, beginning your career is a bit punishing as per all ranked MMOs. And it's free to play, and worth playing.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Fun game with lots of depth in strategy.
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