MOBA Heroes of the lunch break.

Give those drawing pencils and turn-based word tiles a rest for a bit, because Zynga has a brand new way to game in addictive short bursts. Solstice Arena will be Zynga’s very first mobile Massive Online Battle Arena (MOBA) title, and from the debut screenshots and gameplay trailer, it looks to be quite a fun and frantic take on the MOBA genre: with all sorts of Heroes from wizards to ogres casting spells and laying the smack-down in lush temple environments that feature cascading waterfalls and decrepit pillars.

So now you might be asking yourself, “Well I can hop on any old online arena and beat the pudding out of my friends these days. What makes Solstice Arena so special?” Well for one thing, young grasshopper, Zynga’s first mobile MOBA is shaping up to bring a quality, well-balanced fighting game to the handheld screen, without compromising the deep player experience of the hardcore gaming crowd. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as how this ambitious and powerful fighting game plans to contribute to the MOBA genre at large.

For starters, Solstice Arena comes fully equipped with a wide variety of combat and playing styles to always keep players on their toes. Each three-on-three Hero vs. Hero match takes place on a wily map where both objectives and tactical decision-making are very encouraged. The game will also feature three exciting game modes to switch things up at regular intervals, including Solo vs. A.I., Co-op vs. A.I. and Player vs. Player.

What’s also unique about Solstice Arena is that the game is a self-proclaimed “speed MOBA,” meaning that each play session only lasts an average of 10 minutes or less! As Team Solstice (A Bit Lucky) tells us in the developer’s first blog post about the game: “whether on your couch or a lunch break, it’s now actually possible to enjoy a satisfying round of MOBA gameplay.” That sounds like some pretty speedy action gameplay if you ask me!

Solstice Arena

As they play, gamers will earn experience points which they can then use to unlock ability upgrades for their Heroes across three different upgrade paths. While Solstice Arena will be adopting a freemium model upon its release, it is clear that the game will also be “fair to play,” by preserving the core progression that makes players really have to earn those Hero Upgrades and affect the overall gameplay. As a result, in-game purchases with real money will be geared more towards Solstice Arena’s customization options, like buying new skins and armor for your Hero.

Solstice Arena will be coming sometime soon to phones and tablet platforms, and interested players can visit the game’s Facebook fan page for more updates as a release date gets closer. I think my lunch breaks in the future just took quite the combative turn!