IBM is famous for missing out on PCs because they made mainframes and didn’t want to compete with themselves. Supercell went the opposite way. After Clash was a success for them, they experimented with an entirely different clash-like, which turned out to be almost as influential. Some of the things Boom Beach did:
- The only goal of an attack is to kill the town hall. You get all the rewards for doing that, and nothing if you don’t. In Clash often the best plan is quick raids for easy gold with no chance of winning. That’s boring. In Boom Beach, every attack is real – study how to get to the HQ, against defenses made only to defend the HQ.
- Instead of Nexting through targets, you have a short list. You can attack only them until you win or Give Up. Either way, new players appear after about a day. It’s kind of fun to try a few things until you finally beat someone. It’s also nice to spend more time planning an attack then looking for someone weak and rich.
- Attack squads. Instead of training 40 archers and tapping 40 times to place them, you train 3 archer squads and place a squad at a time. You still have pretty good flexibility in what you select.
- Traps (1-shot bombs) are visible instead of hidden. That seems bad, since attackers can avoid them, but they act as deterrents. Overall, it’s better.
- Fun computer bases, that don’t run out. They’re these weird special things that break the rules. They might have only a few mega-weapons, or lots of machine guns, or huge minefields … . Most are pretty fun, and you’ll recognize tougher versions of them as you go. It’s a nice break from player-bases, but totally optional.
- Weekly mini-campaigns. One day a week a series of increasingly difficult computer bases opens up, resetting each time. There are cut-scenes about a mad scientist.
- Upgrades takes multiple types of resources at once – wood, stone, and iron. Getting enough of each can be a challenge.
- Spells use an energy system. You can cast any spell, all you want, as long as you have spell-energy for it. You get more energy for destroying buildings. That allows you you to cast plenty of spells, but not all at once. Repeating a spell also increases its cost. Even your least favorite spell eventually becomes worth casting.
- A beacon spell that makes all troops walk towards it for a short time. It gives a crude way to control troops during a fight — for example you can lead them around to a different side of the base.
- Enchantments. You can gradually acquire parts to make magic statues that give some special bonus. You can only have a few, and switching is slow, so you need to choose. There are a several that buff offense, or defense or how much you loot, or how fast you produce (or how fast you find new statue parts).
- You can’t drop your ranking to fight super-easy opponents. In most other clash-likes you’re always picking on weak people. You can easily lose on purpose to drop your ranking and face even weaker ones. In this game, you’re always fighting people your own size. It’s not perfect — it’s possible to get semi-stuck with opponents you can’t beat.
- More flexible base upgrade strategies. In Clash of Clans you were heavily penalized for not upgrading evenly. Everyone’s base had pretty much the same buildings. In Boom Beach it’s much easier to focus on only some, making your base a bit more unique.
- The “Resource Base”. When you conquer some special island bases, a limited number, you keep them. They produce extra wood or stone or whatever. But 1 other player can see it and take it from you. You can take it back, and so on. The base’s defenses, which you can arrange, get a little more powerful each time. Eventually one of you gives up. It usually lasts about a week, and is sort of a fun mini-rivalry. New opponents come after a few days. If you’re a slow player, fast-risers will tend to steal your Resource Bases, but after a while you’ll find one where the old owner doesn’t care.
- Only one builder, who works faster. You start to realize how annoying managing 5 builders can be.
Some clash-likes borrow only a few of these things, but they go together pretty well. You’ll general see the “Clan of Clans” model, or the “Boom Beach” one. Both original games coming from the same company.