DOTA Underlords

Posted by Pinch July 5, 2019 in GAMINGGaming Reviews

We recently talked about Auto-chess, a game that quickly swept the casual scene back in June.  Today, we are diving into DOTA’s iteration of the game: DOTA Underlords.

DOTA Underlords (or UL) is the official DOTA auto-chess game.  Free to play, and in early access, UL brings known DOTA characters, to our Auto-chess loving world.  As you may remember, the auto-chess mod was originally designed to run in DOTA 2.  

Here is what I have learned about DOTA UL.

Most of the game plays like auto-chess.  Some subtle changes are the gear options are not as intricate.  In Auto-Chess, you could upgrade gear much like upgrading units.  In UL, you don’t upgrade gear at all. Instead, you have a chance to get a “global” item that affects multiple units or makes future units cheaper.  These global items do things like “savage units add a bleed effect”, while items like the blink dagger do things like “teleport the user to behind the enemies”.

On the subject of upgrading, Auto-Chess upgrade system felt clunky and slow. You had to own all three units before upgrading to the next level.  DOTA UL changed the integration to auto-upgrade your units. That means if you don’t have room on your bench for that third unit, it’s ok. It will upgrade to the next level when you buy the unit.  I am all about those quality of life improvements. Auto-upgrading units did cause me a minor issue. I kept forgetting to add a new unit to the board, but I quickly got the timing and playstyle down. 

Then, there is the best part about DOTA UL.  Cross-platform. Well, Cross platform-ish. Mobile players can play against PC players and vice versa.  Since the game is offered on iOS, Android, and PC (via Steam), players on mobile and pc can pit their units against each other.  Which expands the playability of the game. The flexibility of the game also allows your progress to be saved between the two platforms easily by logging into your steam account.  Which means that once they release a battle pass style program, you can grind the levels at home or on the go.

Overall, DOTA Underlords feels like a streamlined, cleaned up, and faster version of Auto-chess.  

What do you think?  What iteration of Auto-Chess is your favorite?