Saturday, April 13, 2013
I'm playing quite a bit of NAMCO Bandai Games's Tekken Card Tournament on Android (from developer C4M, also available for play online, on iOS, and Amazon Kindle Fire).
It's a competitive / combative card game treatment of the long-standing console and upright arcade fighting franchise -- but whereas card games are pretty common on mobile and tablet devices now, Tekken is what I'd call an "upper-tier offering".
Besides being "just" a card game (with a 15 card deck, specials, and power cards), it has great mobile versions of fight moves (focus, attack, block, etc.) as payoff.
Those three moves make the game approachable, and add decent strategic depth, since you see your and your opponent's drawn cards (with the exception of character Yoshimitsu, who can hide cards from opponents). That's the on-deck (drawn) cards -- you can't see the the full 15-card deck they're playing against you.
"Focus" is basically your "draw card" move, but leaves you open to attacks.
"Block" blocks up to 2 of your opponents attack cards, so if your able to Focus/draw 3 to 5 cards (the on-deck max), you're effectively breaking the block, and able to attack with cards 3 through 5. Block while your oponent is focusing, and you've wasted a move.
"Attack" ... attacks.
The game is surprisingly robust, and a good (read: non-cast-off) freemium license treatment (and face it -- these things monetize well for developers and publishers).
The game has a slickly implemented in-line tutorial system (also available on-demand), intelligent unlockables, Arcade, Versus, and Champion (ladders) modes, and a bunch of replayability.
The online versus mode is pretty playable, and in addition to finding people and adding them as "friends" to battle immediately (or later), there's a quick-battle options that finds closely matching contenders, and drops you into a versus match almost instantly. I do wish the non-quick mode showed the other players levels in the playlist, though (starting out, I ended up needing to click through a number of Level 11 players before I found people at my starting level).
It is a freemium game, which means free to play, and conceivably, you can play for free and unlock enough Gold and Credits (to the two forms of in-game currencies) to play the entire game. Or, you can purchase Gold or Credits packs for as little as 99-cents to $99.99 (hey, people are obviously buying these). You also have a certain amount of "stamina", which limits the number of consecutive games you can play before your stamina recharges (or, you can spend in-game currency -- if you have it -- to refill stamina immediately).
Right now is a good time to play, too -- Namco Bandai is celebrating an alleged 1 million aggregate downloads by putting all in-game booster packs for 30-percent off (using in-game currency). So, you can play for probably at least a day more in the promotion to earn enough credits to spend on the on-sale boosters, or get down to the wire tomorrow, and purchase the remaining credits you need to take advantage of the sale.
Overall, a very slick, fun, replayable new expression of the Tekken license, and well worth the hefty download and accessible investment time.
Note: I haven't had a chance to successfully install the game on multiple platforms, but I'm hopeful that when I do, I can play with the same account across platforms, and it will keep track of my progression leveling. (The delay in trying it is the game didn't require a password on my phone, but does on iOS and Web; since I didn't set one up on my phone when I installed, I had to request a password reset for the other platforms, and that notice hasn't shown up yet.)