The mobile gaming market has exploded in recent years, with more high-quality games available than ever before. Two of the most popular mobile games right now are Call of Dragons and Rise of Kingdoms.
Both games involve building an empire, gathering resources, training troops, and battling other players. However, there are some key differences that set them apart. This comprehensive guide will compare and contrast Call of Dragons and Rise of Kingdoms to help you decide which one is right for you.
Gameplay and Mechanics
Call of Dragons
Call of Dragons is a brand-new strategy RPG published by Farlight Games. The game takes place in a fantasy world filled with Vikings and dragons. The gameplay revolves around building a village, training an army, and battling against other dragon lords.
Here are some key features of Call of Dragons:
- Village Building: Construct resource buildings, defensive structures, and training facilities to build your village. Manage production chains and upgrade buildings to advance your settlement.
- Dragon Recruitment: Collect dragon eggs and hatchlings and raise them into mighty dragons. Level up your dragons, equip gear, and learn new skills.
- Troop Training: Recruit Viking warriors, archers, berserkers and other units. Level up troops, upgrade gear, and organize squads.
- Real-time Battles: When you encounter rival lords, battles happen in real time. Use strategy to deploy troops and unleash dragon abilities.
- PVP & PVE Battles: Attack other players’ villages to plunder resources. Or team up to defeat powerful PVE challenges.
- Alliance System: Band together with other players in alliances. Strategize together and help each other progress.
Overall, Call of Dragons offers in-depth empire-building and management coupled with strategic real-time battles. It’s an extremely polished game, especially considering it just launched.
Rise of Kingdoms
Rise of Kingdoms is a more established mobile MMO strategy game published by Lilith Games. It takes place in an ancient fantasy setting inspired by history. You build an empire, forge alliances, and wage war against others.
Key gameplay elements in Rise of Kingdoms include:
- City Building: Construct resource buildings, military structures, technology research sites and more. Manage complex production chains and supply lines.
- Civilization Development: Advance your civilization through different eras, unlocking new technologies and units. Specialize your civilization with unique buffs.
- Troop Training: Recruit historical military units like legionnaires, archers, cavalry and siege engines. Level up troops and commanders.
- Real-time Battles: When armies meet, battles happen in real-time. Tactically deploy troops and use terrain to your advantage.
- PVP & PVE Content: Attack other players, fight over resources, and contend for control of the kingdom. Also, rally alliances to defeat barbarians and bosses.
- Alliance System: Join forces with players from around the world in powerful alliances. Pool resources and coordinate strategies.
Rise of Kingdoms features more macro-management and broader strategic gameplay. There’s more focus on planning, politics, and the economy. Battles are larger in scale compared to Call of Dragons.
While both games involve building a base, training troops, and battling enemies, there are some core differences:
- Call of Dragons has a more tactical focus, with smaller squad-based battles relying on unit abilities and dragon skills. Rise of Kingdoms has larger-scale battles with more focus on strategy and terrain.
- Call of Dragons has greater emphasis on dragons as key units that can turn the tide of battle. Rise of Kingdoms focuses more on managing many different troop types.
- Call of Dragons has faster, tighter gameplay loops focused on upgrading key structures and units. The rise of Kingdoms involves more complex chains, systems, and macro-management.
- Call of Dragons has a greater focus on PVP battles against other players. PVE content in Rise of Kingdoms is more prominent.
Neither game is necessarily better – it comes down to which gameplay style you prefer. Call of Dragons offers tighter, more compact empire management coupled with exciting dragon battles. Rise of Kingdoms provides a deeper economic and political experience with epic clashes of armies and civilizations.
Graphics and Visuals
Call of Dragons
The graphic style of Call of Dragons has a bright, vibrant color palette. Environments pop with color, from lush green forests to glittering ice caves. Characters and creatures have a stylized, almost cartoon-like design. This gives the game a lively, magical fantasy feeling.
Some stand-out visual elements include:
- Detailed Dragons: The dragons are clearly the stars of the game. Each one has beautiful, distinctive designs and animations. You can zoom in to admire details like scales, spikes, wings and more.
- Environmental Effects: Magic spells, weather effects like rain and snow, and other particle effects help scenes come alive. The world feels interactive.
- Character Models: Vikings and other human characters use exaggerated proportions and expressions. This adds to the fantastical tone and makes emotions clear during battles and cutscenes.
- Fluid Animation: Whether it’s galloping dragons or swarms of arrows in battle, the real-time action has very smooth, dynamic animation.
Overall, the vibrant stylized graphics help make Call of Dragons very accessible and immersive. The visuals reinforce the fantastical tone.
Rise of Kingdoms
Compared to the more fantastical visuals of Call of Dragons, Rise of Kingdoms has a more realistic, historical art style. Environments use realistic proportions, perspective, and lighting. Characters and structures appear authentic to the various civilizations.
Some aspects that stand out include:
- Environments: Battlefields, cities, farms, and other environments look grounded in realism. Beautiful lighting and weather effects help scenes come to life.
- Attention to Detail: Structures, units, natural features, and other elements have intricate details and textures. This brings out the nuances of different cultures and eras.
- Character Faces: In cutscenes and dialog sequences, unique character faces are expressive with emotions like anger, joy, and determination.
- Scale: Watching massive armies, fleets, and siege weapons clash conveys an epic sense of scale. You truly feel like a ruler overseeing great nations at war.
- Smooth Animations: Despite highly detailed models and environments, units move fluidly in battle and characters animate naturally in cutscenes.
The visuals of Rise of Kingdoms ground the game in realism and history. Every element feels carefully crafted to be part of a living world. This adds greater immersion and depth.
The graphics styles of the two games clearly reflect their different settings and tones:
- Call of Dragons uses bright, stylized visuals to bring its fantasy world to life in a lively, lighthearted way. Rise of Kingdoms opts for realism to increase immersion in its historical setting.
- Dragons in Call of Dragons have more exaggerated, fantastical designs. Troops in Rise of Kingdoms appear more grounded and practical.
- Call of Dragons emphasizes vivid magical effects, while Rise of Kingdoms focuses more on practical weather and environmental effects.
- Character faces and cutscenes have more exaggerated expressions in Call of Dragons compared to the more naturalistic style of Rise of Kingdoms.
- Rise of Kingdoms conveys a vaster sense of scale with sweeping landscapes and massive armies. Call of Dragons has smaller, more intimate scopes.
Neither visual approach is objectively better. Call of Dragons’ stylized graphics magnify the fantastical elements. Rise of Kingdom’s realism deepens historical immersion. Pick the art style that appeals to you more.
Player progression and growth is core to these empire-building strategy games. Let’s compare how the two games approach advancing your nation and characters.
Call of Dragons
In Call of Dragons, you advance your capital village by upgrading structures, researching technologies, training troops, and evolving dragons. Here are some key progression elements:
- Building upgrades – Use resources to upgrade headquarters, barracks, farms, lumber mills, quarries, and other buildings. Higher levels increase output and unlock abilities.
- Tech tree – Research advancements that boost resource generation, battle stats, and unlock new units. Multiple branching paths let you customize your playstyle.
- Dragon evolution – As dragons gain XP and levels, you can evolve them into more advanced forms with new skills and higher stats.
- Gear and skills – Craft gear pieces and equip them on your dragons and Vikings to boost stats. Also learn new active and passive skills.
- Prestige ranks – Your account earns prestige for achievements. Raise your prestige rank to unlock perks that boost your entire account.
Progression focuses on vertical advancement of your central capital, commanders, troops, and dragons. Unlocking new forms and powers for your key units is a core motivator.
Rise of Kingdoms
Progression in Rise of Kingdoms has a greater emphasis on horizontal expansion across the world map and advancing your entire civilization. Key elements include:
- Technology eras – Advance your civilization across different historical eras by researching technologies to unlock new buildings, troop types, and resources.
- Resource diversity – Gather large varieties of resources like food, wood, stone, and rare materials to upgrade structures, research, train troops, and more.
- City development – Construct multiple specialized cities focused on producing different resources, defending your territory, or boosting research.
- Commander leveling – Level up legendary and epic commanders by gaining XP in combat. Upgrade skills and assign skill trees.
- Alliance rank – Earn higher ranks within your alliance by donating resources, helping allies, and participating in events and battles. Unlock perks.
- Kingdom map – Expand your kingdom outwards, occupy passes and mines, capture holy sites, and build transport infrastructure.
Your entire civilization grows in power over time. You have more cities, bigger armies, and greater influence across the world map. Expanding your empire is very gratifying.
The two games take substantially different approaches to long-term advancement:
- In Call of Dragons progression is more vertically focused, centered on levels, gear, and evolutions for your main village, troops, and dragons. Rise of Kingdoms takes a broader horizontal approach across maps, resources, and cities.
- Call of Dragons introduces more major milestones in the form of building unlocks, new technologies, and dragon evolutions. Rise of Kingdoms progression is more incremental with steady outputs.
- Gear and commander development is key in Call of Dragons. In Rise of Kingdoms, tech research and civilization eras bring the biggest steps forward.
- Call of Dragons progression rewards specializing and upgrading your ideal units. Rise of Kingdoms encourages building up diverse armies and settlements.
Neither approach is objectively superior. Call of Dragons brings more exciting major milestones. Rise of Kingdoms provides gratification from steady expansion in all directions. Choose the path that sounds most appealing to you.
World and Lore
The setting of a strategy game greatly impacts immersion and aesthetics. Let’s examine how the worlds and lore of these two games compare.
Call of Dragons World
Call of Dragons brings together Vikings and dragons in a lightly fantastical setting inspired by Norse mythology. The world features icy mountains, forests rich in natural resources, and villages of hearty Vikings. Magic exists subtly through dragons and runestones.
Here are some key elements that bring this world to life:
- Viking Culture – Villagers have distinct Scandinavian names, clothing, architecture, and values centered on self-reliance and glory in battle.
- Fantastical Biomes – Environments like glittering ice caves and floating islands provide wonder and fantasy beyond realism.
- Mystical Creatures – Dragons and magical beasts add fantasy flavor without becoming over-the-top. Creatures feel connected to Norse legends.
- Gods and Magic – Subtle magical elements like gods granting favors nod to Norse myths without overriding realism. Runestones enhance troops without being overtly magical.
- Epic Scale – A vast world with rival lords gives an epic sense of adventure and conquest. But villages still feel grounded and intimate.
The world strikes an excellent balance between Vikings grounded in real history and fantastical yet subtle mythological elements. This sets an engaging backdrop for gameplay.
Rise of Kingdoms World
Rise of Kingdoms constructs a vast world inspired by real history across Medieval and Classical eras. Different civilizations including Rome, Britain, China, and more clash and trade in a dynamic world.
Here are aspects that help this expansive world feel alive:
- Historically Inspired Maps – Environments closely mirror forests, mountains, rivers, and other features from real ancient maps and records.
- Distinct Civilizations – Unique architecture, clothing, names, and culture for civilizations like Japan, France, Korea, and more ground them in history.
- Evolving Eras – Advancement through Medieval, Classical, and more eras shows how kingdoms historically progressed and changed over centuries.
- Cohesive Ecosystem – Features like wild game, mines, shared seas, and trade routes illustrate an interconnected world.
- Sense of Warfare – Mighty armies and massive castles reinforce the massive scale of ancient warfare between great civilizations.
By staying faithful to details and continuity from real history, Rise of Kingdoms crafts a highly immersive world that transports you to the past.
The worlds showcase the different tones and intents of the two games:
- Call of Dragons builds a fantastical Norse-inspired setting that feels both magical and grounded. Rise of Kingdoms recreates a historically accurate ancient world.
- Call of Dragons uses magic subtly with creatures and gods. Rise of Kingdoms portrays magical elements rarely, focusing on realism.
- The living, breathing world of Rise of Kingdoms emphasizes historical authenticity. Call of Dragons prioritizes tone, adventure, and connection to Vikings.
- Both worlds succeed at being highly immersive and consistent for their respective themes and genres.
Ultimately the world comes down to personal preference. Do you prefer magic and fantasy or meticulous historical accuracy? Both games craft worlds that excel at achieving their aims.
Social and Multiplayer Elements
For online empire builders, interacting with other players is key. Let’s examine how social systems and multiplayer dynamics differ between the games.
Call of Dragons Social Systems
Call of Dragons encourages teaming up with other dragon lords in the following ways:
- Clans – Join forces in permanent clans with shared chat, donations, and clan-wide upgrades. Bond with consistent allies.
- Alliances – Team up temporarily in alliances with other clans to raid camps and take on challenging bosses.
- Player Trade – Trade resources and items directly with other players to help each other progress.
- Leaderboards – Compare your prowess to other lords by climbing the leaderboards for power rating, arena wins, and other metrics.
- Romantic Partners – Certain Vikings can select each other as partners to unlock relationship upgrades.
Call of Dragons has deep social features that make other players feel like invaluable allies rather than just enemies. You band together against challenges.
Rise of Kingdoms Social Systems
Rise of Kingdoms enables coordination and politics between players through:
- Alliances – Join enduring alliances where dozens of players share resources, plan strategies, and fight together in wars.
- Alliance Titles – Take on specialized roles within your alliance like diplomat, general, scout and more.
- Chat – Chat with alliance members in real-time using Alliance and Kingdom chat channels.
- Council Positions – When a kingdom is formed, players can be elected to lead councils that coordinate economies, technology, and tactics kingdom-wide.
- Diplomacy – Send direct diplomatic messages to negotiate trades, non-aggression pacts, and military coordination between alliances.
- Civil Wars – When alliances clash, civil wars erupt across kingdoms. This forces tough choices between loyalty to an alliance versus your kingdom.
Rise of Kingdoms delivers a strategic meta-game where alliances closely coordinate like real historical civilizations. Politics and deal-making come into play.
The two games highlight different philosophies for multiplayer interactions:
- Call of Dragons focuses on close bonds between individual players formed through consistent clans and direct cooperation.
- Rise of Kingdoms enables larger-scale coordination at the alliance and kingdom levels through roles, governance, and mass diplomacy.
- Romantic partner mechanics in Call of Dragons encourage smaller intimate connections. Rise of Kingdoms lacks one-on-one relationship mechanics.
- Call of Dragons has more personal forms of chat and exchange like player trading. Rise of Kingdoms prioritizes group chat and pooled alliance resources.
- Rise of Kingdoms introduces more complex elements like civil wars that enhance large-scale political gameplay.
Both approaches have merits. Call of Dragons emphasizes close friendships while Rise of Kingdoms facilitates coordination at a mass political level. Different philosophies for community.
Pay to Play Elements
Like most free mobile games today, these two titles use microtransactions and gacha-style monetization. Let’s look at how their approaches compare.
Call of Dragons Monetization
Call of Dragons monetizes through the following methods:
- Progression Accelerators – Purchase premium currency to speed up building times, research, troop training, and resource generation.
- Cosmetics – Directly buy skins for your headquarters, dragons, and troops without relying on chance.
- Battle Pass – This monthly subscription provides bonus resources, speed-ups, materials, and other perks at certain progression milestones.
- Dragon Eggs – Purchase dragon eggs containing random dragon hatchlings and a chance at rarer breeds. Hatch eggs instantly.
- Arena Energy – Replenish your energy to keep battling in PvP arenas using premium currency.
- Daily Resource Packs – Purchase packages containing set amounts of resources, speed-ups, materials, and gear items.
- Seasonal Bundles – Timed exclusive bundles containing special rewards themed around in-game events and holidays.
Overall, Call of Dragons monetization focuses on selling time and convenience rather than pure power. The game also avoids complex gambling mechanics, with most purchases guaranteed to deliver specific rewards.
Rise of Kingdoms Monetization
Rise of Kingdoms monetizes through these main avenues:
- Progression Bundles – Purchase bundles of speed-ups, boosts, and rare items to accelerate base building and advancement.
- Troop Packs – Directly purchase bundles containing precise amounts of resources and speed-ups used for training troops.
- Commander Loot Boxes – Gamble for a chance to unlock legendary and epic hero commanders via random loot boxes.
- Civilization Packs – Unlock specific civilizations instantly rather than through natural gameplay progression.
- VIP Levels – Spending money increases your VIP rank which unlocks convenience perks and bonuses empire-wide.
- Daily Deals – Special discounted random packs that provide guaranteed amounts of common resources and boosts.
- Battle Passes – Unlock the ability to earn exclusive commanders and rewards by progressing seasonal battle pass levels.
Rise of Kingdoms monetization relies more on selling power directly and through gambling mechanics like commander loot boxes. Obtaining the best heroes is randomized.
We can contrast the two monetization approaches:
- Call of Dragons focuses on selling time shortcuts, cosmetics, and defined resource packs. Rise of Kingdoms directly sells power, troops, and randomized commanders.
- Cosmetic-only purchases are available in Call of Dragons. Rise of Kingdoms does not offer cosmetics.
- Call of Dragons uses less predatory gambling mechanics overall. Rise of Kingdoms relies heavily on loot boxes.
- Rise of Kingdoms incentives spending more money by tying it to permanent account-wide VIP perks. Call of Dragons does not.
- Both games feature occasional discounted bundles, battle passes, and seasonal promotions.
Call of Dragons has a more player-friendly approach avoiding loot boxes and pure power purchases. Rise of Kingdoms embraces more aggressive monetization and random chance mechanics.
Major Differences Summary
Now that we’ve compared major elements of Call of Dragons and Rise of Kingdoms, let’s quickly recap key differences:
- Tactical dragon battles vs large-scale strategic warfare – Call of Dragons focuses on small squad tactics and individual dragon abilities. Rise of Kingdoms offers sprawling battles determined by army composition, terrain, technology, and strategic decisions.
- Fantastical vs realistic art style – Call of Dragons uses stylized, vibrant art while Rise of Kingdoms opts for meticulous realism.
- Focused progression vs broad expansion – Leveling up key dragons and buildings is core in Call of Dragons. Rise of Kingdoms emphasizes steady horizontal growth across map territories and resources.
- Norse fantasy world vs historical ancient world – Call of Dragons constructs a magical Norse setting. Rise of Kingdoms recreates real ancient civilizations accurately.
- Friend partnerships vs large alliances – Call of Dragons encourages building close player bonds and 1-on-1 connections. Rise of Kingdoms focuses on coordinating massive 100+ player alliances.
- Defined purchases vs loot boxes – Call of Dragons sells guaranteed resources and accelerators directly. Rise of Kingdoms relies heavily on random loot box commanders.
Which game is better comes down to your personal preferences across these fundamental differences. Both deliver excellent strategic gameplay with very different philosophies and approaches.
Which Game Should You Play?
Now that you understand the major similarities and differences between the games, which title is right for you? Here are some factors to consider:
Play Call of Dragons If You Want:
- Tactical small-scale battles relying on unit abilities
- Bright, magical fantasy world
- Tighter progression focused on upgrading key units
- Deep social experience centered on partners and small clans
- Lower cost progression through defined purchases rather than loot boxes
Play Rise of Kingdoms If You Prefer:
- Sprawling strategic battles using terrain, troop composition, and tactics
- Realistic historical ancient world with meticulous details
- Broad progression across a map with cities, resources, and technologies
- Massive alliance coordination, politics, and diplomacy
- Collecting multiple legendary commanders through loot boxes
Play Both For:
- Variety when you want either tactical battles or strategic warfare
- Exploring both vibrant fantasy and realistic historical settings
- Trying defined purchases in one and loot boxes in the other
- A break from either small-scale or massive empire management
- Seeing which social experience you find more engaging long-term
Ultimately the choice between Call of Dragons and Rise of Kingdoms comes down to your preferences across many factors. Both deliver complex and rewarding strategic gameplay looped. Focus on the elements most important to your playstyle and genre tastes to decide where to devote your time. Neither game is objectively better across the board – find the one that excites you more!
FAQ Comparing Call of Dragons and Rise of Kingdoms
For more help deciding between the games, here are answers to frequently asked questions:
Which game is more free to play friendly?
Call of Dragons is generally more accessible for free players. Progression relies less on buying loot boxes and power. Cosmetics are the main purchases, not direct stats and units. Rise of Kingdoms heavily incentivizes spending to gain elite commanders.
Which game is newer?
Call of Dragons launched globally in 2022, so it is much newer. Rise of Kingdoms originally launched in 2018, giving it a 4 year head start on content and features.
Which game is less complex for beginners?
Call of Dragons is generally simpler to pick up and learn. Battles involve fewer unit types. Base building and progression have gentler learning curves. Rise of Kingdoms has steeper initial learning managing larger armies, cities, technologies, and civilizations.
Which game requires more strategy?
Experienced players will find more complex long-term strategy in Rise of Kingdoms. You manage entire civilizations, diplomatic relations, politics, and wars between massive alliances. Call of Dragons strategy involves smaller squad tactics and base optimization.
Which game has better graphics?
This comes down to art style preference. Rise of Kingdoms has objectively higher fidelity graphics with realistic style. But Call of Dragons has beautiful stylized graphics with magic effects. Both excel at their respective art directions.
Which game has better music?
Again this depends on taste. Call of Dragons has beautiful Nordic orchestral fantasy music. Rise of Kingdoms has culturally appropriate music for each civilization like Chinese strings or European classical. Both fit their worlds flawlessly.
Which game is updated more frequently?
As a newer game, Call of Dragons receives very frequent updates adding new content, features, and improvements. Rise of Kingdoms has a mature update cadence focused on balance and new commanders. Expect bigger updates less often compared to Call of Dragons.
Final Thoughts on Comparing Call of Dragons and Rise of Kingdoms
Whether you pick Call of Dragons, Rise of Kingdoms, or play both games, you have an immersive medieval strategy experience awaiting. Both deliver excellent empire-building gameplay loops with tactical battles and strategic decisions. One emphasizes close player bonds and tactical combat. The other enables managing entire civilizations at worldwide scales.
Focus on the world, art style, social systems, and pace of play that appeals to you rather than subjective notions of which game is “better”. Try both without spending money to determine which fits your preferences. Each game succeeds in different ways to create strategy epics on mobile.
Call of Dragons excels at grounded yet fantastical Norse style. Rise of Kingdoms meticulously brings ancient history to life. Pick your journey and start building your empire today! With knowledge of each game’s strengths, you can make an informed decision about where to devote your mobile gaming time.