I’ll admit that I’m new to the Free-to-Play games market. Sure I’ve played a few of the games on Facebook (such as Farmville, SimCity Social, etc) but haven’t really taken a dive into games available for iOS or Android. To be honest I haven’t had a device on either platform until now so that hasn’t really been an option.
But where do you start when there are literally thousands of games to look at? I thought I’d take a look at a free-to-play game from an established video game developer in Square Enix. The game in question was released in 2012 on iOS but was just released on Android just this passed May 2013. The game is Guardian Cross.
The game is a card-battle RPG, which doesn’t really sound all that exciting at first. But if there’s one thing that people love to do it’s collect things. Whether it be Pokémon, collector’s plates or good old fashioned trading cards, the game taps into that facet. The game is simple to play and a lot of the fun of the game involves collecting cards.
In Guardian Cross, players take on the role of “Tamers” who have the ability to capture, raise and control over 120 powerful beasts known as “Guardians”. Utilizing the game’s coliseum system, players can challenge others around the world with their guardians, playing in tournaments where you can win rare and powerful cards depending on where you rank.
You start off by hunting for guardians. This task is very easy as you will be brought to a field where you can look down through a scope. You need only to swipe your finger across the screen to get the guardian in your sights and then tap the fire button. Once you’ve drained its life bar the guardian (card) is yours. The only catch to this is that you have a 60 second time limit to catch as many as you can, and after five shots you’ll need to wait to reload.
Of course this is a free-to-play game so it’s not going to be free reign here. No, you’ll need to spend a “hunting ticket” in order to go on a hunt. If you don’t have one you won’t be able to do this and will have to do other things, like progress in the story missions and get social adding friends to score yourself some more. Rarer cards can be obtained by sharing invitation IDs with friends.
The story of the game is really inconsequential to the whole thing. You can go through the dialogue, click on the next area and then just battle all of the NPCs until you reach your final objective, collect any treasure (hunting tickets, coliseum tickets, recovery potion, etc), and then head back to hunt, battle and upgrade your guardians.
Yes, what would a monster-fighting card-battling-RPG be without upgrades?
Guardians are spread from 1 star to 5 stars, and also have unique attributes such as Brave, Intelligent, Sexy and more. Their attributes affect what their base HP, MP, Attack and such are at. While competing in battles will raise your own players level, battling these guardians won’t raise their stats. You’ll need to upgrade your guardians by sacrificing other guardians. Select the guardian you wish, choose which you will sacrifice and voila. Your guardian’s stats have been raised, level has increased and you’ll have a much more powerful guardian to head over to the coliseum with.
You’ll really rack up a lot of guardians over the course of the game and you really don’t need duplicates. You can only have ten guardians in your field or coliseum party anyway, so any that you aren’t going to use are better off being sacrificed or sold anyway. Selling guardians won’t get you real money but will give you Guardian Points (GP) which you need to spend to enhance your guardians.
One thing that I never like with free-to-play games is the limited amount of playing you can do in one sitting. It’s one of the things that bothered me about SimCity Social on Facebook. You have 50 units of energy when you start playing. Each battle you do, whether part of the story or coliseum, will take up five units of energy. Once you’ve used them all up you’ll have to come back later to play. The game restores one unit of energy every five minutes so you’ll have to wait it out OR use the previously mentioned recovery potion. You can get these in the game, purchase them with Friend Points from making and battling friends, or purchase them with real money.
Ah micro-transactions. Every free-to-play game has got them haven’t they?
You can purchase a recovery potion with 100 coins, which works out to $0.99. You don’t really need to do this but the option is there if you really NEED to play. You can also purchase a special hunting ticket for 100 coins as well, which allows you to hunt with an increased chance of finding rare guardians.
The battles are very easy to do as the game does all the work for you. Just set up your party, make sure they’re set in the order you want them and they’re upgraded to your liking and go. The battle system sims itself and you can sit back and watch the battle unfold. There is even a button for you to speed through the battle more quickly.
The only thing that I really didn’t like what the fact that this game requires an internet connection to play. Everything is handled remotely, even when you are just playing through the hunts. If you don’t have an internet connection the game won’t even load. So take that into consideration if you’re playing on a Wi-fi only device. Though if you play on more than one device the game will sync up nicely. The game gives you a code you can use to log in on another device.
The game is pretty fun and the fact that the micro-transactions aren’t pivotal to the enjoyment of the game is very nice. If you like trading card games and want a simple RPG to play then check this one out. And if you want to sign up for the game and score a rare card (shameless plug) you can enter my friend invite code GR51603.