You probably have heard about Auto Chess months ago. It basically opens up a brand new game genre with lots of potential going on. Dota Underlords is an official Auto Chess title from Valve, which recently enters Open Beta on mobile. Believe it or not, there are also RPG as well as Battle Royale elements in this genre.

Dota Underlords
Dota Underlords, officially from Valve.

Auto Chess? What is that?

First of all, if you haven't tried Auto Chess before, it's kind of a strategy game where you play in a match of eight different players. The game progresses through rounds and each one starts off by offering you hero choices to hire. Certain heroes when teamed up together will grant you special bonuses to work with throughout the game.

Dota Underlords
A screenshot of Dota Underlords showing the game board

Each turn you’ll meet one opponent and the two armies will battle each other. If you win, you start building a win streak. If you lose, you take damage based on how many heroes the enemy has remaining. Each player has 100 health to start with, and if your health gets reduced to 0, you're out of the game. The match ends when there's only one player left, who is then declared the winner

Is Dota Underlords fun?

Just like chess or literally any game, you need to learn and master combinations. Once you start understanding the basics, it’s extremely fun and addictive to play.

Dota Underlords
Looting round: the screen displays item options to choose from.

Match three same creatures to upgrade that creature to level 2, or "two stars" as it's commonly called. This doubles its health and damage, giving you huge improvements in power level.

The downsides

Auto Chess is great on PC, and going mobile has not really changed the experience at all. While that is a good thing for a mobile port, it leads to a problem that has more to do with the nature of the platform than with the game itself: Auto Chess takes time. An average game varies between ten to more and thirty minutes. If you’re on your phone, thirty minutes is a lot!

Dota Underlords
Dota Underlords takes time to learn and to play. You'll also need some luck to win a normal match.

Mobile games in general should be simple and quick, which isn’t the case for Dota Underlords. There are tons of chess pieces, new alliances and an item system that requires time to research.

In addition, you’ll need to count on your luck a lot of the time to get what you want. That being said, you can either own from the beginning or simply got knocked down so quickly without understanding why.

Is it worth the try?

Dota Underlords is for you if you’re a fan of Dota 2 heroes or strategy titles with a long duration. However, those who don’t want to play 30-40 minutes of game on their phone might be turned off by its more complex nature.