Realm Grinder: Customization

Realm Grinder is an incremental game that explicitly merges idle games and clickers. The emergence of “incremental game” demonstrates the convergence of the two, but Realm Grinder embraces both sides with options that gave it more interest and life for me than most incremental games. I may even go back.

Realm Grinder starts with six factions, whose abilities support different playstyles. Elves are the purest clicker faction, Undead the purest idle faction. Demons favor big buildings and Fairies favor many small buildings. Angels like magic and Goblins like money. As you advance further, the game offers prestige factions, first neutral factions to go with the good and evil trios, then a faction to add on top of good/evil. More recent updates have added Mercenaries that combine abilities across factions, along with bloodlines and heritages to let you bring forward racial strengths. These choices let you customize according to your playstyle, although only the Mercenaries allow much customization beyond the initial choice of a faction.

Like most incremental games, Realm Grinder lets you reset (“abdicate”) and start over with a stronger start, potentially changing factions. Then there is another tier of reset (“reincarnate”) that resets that process for a different series of bonuses; the progress currency from abdications is eventually cashed in for reincarnations, your “I beat the game” reset rather than “bank and go faster.”

The customization is more notionally interesting than relevant as balance is not quite there. This is a manager game about increasing numbers, and it can be mathematically proven that some options are orders of magnitude stronger than others. For all the potential options, only a few are in the range of “optimal” at any given point, although what works best for you might vary based on whether you play actively, leave the game running idle, check in occasionally, use offline progress, etc. So it matters a bit, just not as much as one might dream.

The diversity of abilities and factions, the existence of multiple paths, and the support of different playstyles makes it the best incremental game I have seen.

: Zubon