Monday, October 14, 2013

Review: Gang Lords

For the last few weeks, I have been digging. I have been digging through the mountain of free trash on the iOS app store. I have been looking for a gem, hidden in the pile of rotten, fortunately free, turds. I haven't found that gem yet, but I have found quite a few games that are both free and decent. I'm still looking for that gem, though. I will not give up. I will find a free game that is both good and not trying to push me to spend actual cash on its super rare diamond gold currency. You may think this is impossible. It probably is, but, hey, I'm going to keep on trying. I need more things to review, anyway.

Today we will talk about a card-based game by Glu Games Inc, titled Gang Lords. I'm glad to say that this game is actually pretty fun, and pretty damn addictive. Unlike every other virtual card game on the market, it isn't based around medieval fantasy, but is themed around crime and gangs! Quite a change of pace. The card designs are pretty nice, and acquiring cards is pretty easy, as you (usually) 'conquer' one random card each wave during combat. Unfortunately, the game usually gives you uncommon cards, which pushes you to, well, yes, buy elite cards. The game gives you one free elite card, and gives you a special offer for your first time purchase, slicing the price of 60 gold whatevers to 20 gold whatevers. Luckily, you do receive gold when you conquer a 'district', so you can actually get two elite cards without spending much, and perhaps even another after conquering a few districts.
Wait, districts, elite cards, waves? Lets go onto the combat, since that is what matters. Is the combat well displayed? Is the combat fun? IS THE COMBAT BALANCED? Give me a moment, and I'll answer all of these questions. First off, the combat is well displayed. It doesn't even look like a card game, as it is actually 3D rendered. Its not pretty, but its different. It is easy to navigate and, well, very simplistic, which is a norm of this game.

Oh, also, the combat seems to be player versus enemy, and not player versus player, which is a weird choice. Why not both? Its wave-based, too.

The combat is a tad tactical. Each card has a timer, which counts down each turn until it can attack. Alternatively, you can have other cards support that card, and for each supporter that card receives, the timer goes down by one. The maximum timer I have seen so far is four, which means you can use it to attack if all of your other cards are alive, as you can have all of your cards support him and allow him to attack. The cards with longer timers usually do higher damage. You can exploit support, though, and easily just support your biggest, most powerful card each turn, dealing massive damage. You'll only attack one card a turn, but it will be an instant kill, most of the time.

A lot of the special skills that cards have are, well, reused. Like, really reused, to the point where it feels INCREDIBLY lazy. When most cards have the same skills, it feels as if cards aren't unique. Plus, most skills are simplistic. Heals, shields, grenades, etc. It feels like the least time was put into the 'skills'.

You'll find yourself frequenting two to three cards each game, mainly due to their sheer power. You'll usually have a deck with two elite or powerful cards and two supporting cards, along with one random 'ally' card. Ally cards are the boss cards of other players, which is very, well, bouncy. One game, you get an incredibly overpowered elite card with 456 health, 225 attack points, and you simply keep supporting it and using its high damage to pick off your generally weak opponents. The next game, you get a card that is the equivalent of a supporting goon, with only 40 health points and 16 attack points. I'd rather have the option to use your own card or an Ally card.

The combat is fun, but gets dull a tad fast. There is an auto-resolve option, which is handy, as the combat does take a bit. You'll play a few rounds, get bored of it, and then after a while jump back into it, and, yet again, play a few rounds, get bored of it, and the loop will resume. It gets stale after a while, especially when it isn't that difficult.

The game uses a faction-based system for cards. Certain factions are vulnerable to other factions, you get the deal. It pushes you to have a more diverse deck.

Its an okay, free card-based, crime themed game that you can grab off the App store and try for yourself. It may be worth your time, if you are into this kind of stuff. If you like what you just, read, then go and download it for free off the App Store or Google Play.

Publisher/Developer: Glu Mobile


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