The thing that got me interested in even checking out this game is that it is free and while it does us a model that makes you pay real money, it seems to be for only for content that can be deemed extra (additional copies of robots you own).
This game is okay, but this is just a first impression because I haven’t played it for that long. But at this first glance the game plays a lot like Pokemon in that you and your opponent take turns choose attacks and dealing damage to each other, some of which can have special effects.
Some interesting twists to the formula though is an energy management system. Unlike Pokemon where each move can only be used a certain amount of time, in this game each attack drains a certain amount of energy which slowly replenishes each turn. You can take your turn to gain an extra boost as well.
This game also removes the rock-paper-scissors aspect of Pokemon and instead focuses more on the head games, but I also think that this is a dumbing down of something that really could have been expanded on. There are different kinds of weapons that you can equip like machine guns, snipers, and rockets, but it doesn’t seem to matter so much what kind of robot your are fighting. It is still pretty fun, but when I have to call in a robot, I really couldn’t care less about which one. The head games however keep the game about strategy though, mainly because you get a defensive shield that costs no energy, reflects damage, and has the only downside of taking several turns to recharge. So you basically want to attack when they are recharging, shield when they are attack, and recharge when they are shielding. So I guess it still does keep some of the rock-paper-scissors, but with a lot more emphasis on rock.
One of the most frivolous mechanics though is the “aiming” system. It’s basically that moving bar minigame where the closer you get the moving bar to the center of the target, the more likely you are to hit or deal more damage. To me, it seems like a way to remove blame from the game for misses, like what happens in Pokemon, but it is just kind of annoying do that everytime I want to attack.
Also, rhetoric is way out the window. The backstory is that the police of the galaxy can no longer pursue criminals in the same fashion, so now bounty hunters catch those criminals and everyone uses these giant robots…they also use them one at a time? One at a time…?
What makes this work for Pokemon is that they are under the guise of friendly competitions and rules established by a league. This is what makes these arbitrary limits make sense and while for both of these games offer a lot of strategy, Pokemon has a lot more strategy and technical limitations probably limited to how they could present their game. Also note, that one of the problems with having each Pokemon game use criminal organizations as the main antagonist is the fact that they follow these rules. A more realistic representation of criminals going against established rules is the anime Medabots, where the villains constantly attack in hordes (in usually 1v1 matches), illegal modifications, and sometimes just outright cheat. Now I’m just basing this surprisingly longish rant off of like, 30 minutes of playing it but if something I said here is changed in the next hour (I’m only really discussing core mechanics that should be presented early on, like at the beginning) I’ll make a note of it.
Overall, since the game is free to play, if you own an IoS device check it out. It will at the very least, provide a wonderful leisurely distraction.