Realm Grinder supposedly offers a “deep” RPG-like experience for a clicker-style game, but I’m honestly not seeing it. It’s basically just a clicker, so you know what to expect — and if you’re into that sort of thing that’s cool, but the fanfare declaring this as something more doesn’t make sense to me. At least it looks fairly nice, I guess?
You start off with a bare plot of land, which you need to expand into a fully-fledged society. With one coin to your name, it’s up to you to decide how you want your kingdom to grow. You’ll tap the screen a bunch to earn more coins, then spend those coins on buildings that generate more coins automatically, then spend THOSE coins, etc. It’s a recognizable pattern to anyone who’s even remotely familiar with these kinds of games.
Aside from building automatic income generators, you do have a little bit more control over how your kingdom progresses. Early on you’re able to join one of two factions: good or evil. Each of those factions have three additional sub-factions, which in turn provide a little more variation when it comes to earning coins. For example, some are more beneficial to idle players who let their wealth build up on it’s own, while others offer greater rewards to players who stick around and tap a bunch.
You’re not tied to a given faction, either. At any time you can “Abdicate” by cashing in all of your coins and resetting your kingdom, thus giving you the chance to start fresh while also awarding you gems that can be used to boost your production. Of course the more coins you have, the more gems you’ll earn, and if you try to abdicate too soon you won’t get anything from it — but the option is there if you grow tired of a given faction or simply want to see what the others have to offer.
Realm Grinder does at least have a cute (if fairly standard looking) pixel art visual style, at least. Nothing particularly stands out, but there are some nice details here, and I do appreciate the variation that comes with joining different factions. Unfortunately that quaint style also comes with text that’s just a little too small to comfortably read on a phone screen. It’s not as bad as, say, Ember, but it’s definitely smaller than I’d have preferred.
The other issue with Realm Grinder is, of course, that it’s “just” another clicker. There isn’t enough here to really set it apart from all the rest — which is kind of par for the course when it comes to these things, honestly. While the visual changes between factions are nice, the mechanical differences between them seem miniscule. Some factions do have slightly different spells that emphasize tapping over idling or vice-versa, but when you’re actually sitting there playing they don’t feel any different.
There’s nothing wrong with Realm Grinder, really. It’s a decent enough clicker/idler that looks nice and is easy to jump in and out of. It’s just that you could play most any other clicker/idler and you’d get the same amount of enjoyment out of it. If you’ve never played a game like this before, if you’ve been waiting for one that’s medieval fantasy kingdom building themed, or even if you’re just bored and curious, it’s not a terrible way to kill a bit of time.