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Konami is announcing today that it is publishing the Star Wars: Force Collection card battle game for iOS and Android the devices.
The game will be available simultaneously on both mobile platforms on Sept. 4. The title reflects the strategy of the new owner of the Star Wars franchise, Disney, which has been much more open to licensing other game companies to make Star Wars titles. Japan’s Konami, a console publisher that wants to break into new digital markets such as tablets, is one of the beneficiaries of that strategy.
Star Wars: Force Collection joins a long list of card battle games that are popular on iPads and other tablets. In the game, you replay the experience of the six Star Wars movies in one continuous story. You can collect cards, build combat devices such as spacecraft, and battle in asynchronous multiplayer combat.
The free-to-play game will have more than 230 heroes, villains, and vehicles from Star Wars Episodes I-VI. The characters are rendered in a realistic style — not animated like most card battle games. I played a couple of rounds of the game, and its mechanics are pretty standard. You collect character cards such as Luke Skywalker that you keep on a permanent basis. But you also collect “stack” cards that represent combatants that you can actually lose in card battles. You go on quests, explore areas, battle creatures such as Sand people, and collect the spoils. You can upgrade your cards. As you play, you can decide on the fly if you want to fight on the light or the dark side of the Force.
“We saw great potential in the story to delight fans around the world with a deep game experience on mobile devices,” said Tomoyuki Tsuboi, president of Konami Digital Entertainment, in a statement. “Konami’s proven capabilities in mobile game development and publishing, particularly in the card battle genre, are the perfect fit for Star Wars, and we’re very pleased to bring this new experience to players around the globe.”
The title has authentic scenes from the movies and sound effects as well. It uses memorable quotes to keep you entertained. The free-to-play mechanic is based on energy. If you run out of crystal energy points, you can no longer fight. So you can either wait or purchase them in micro-transactions. You can win energy in your battles, so you’re never forced to make purchases.
In the card battles, you can arrange your heroes in formation on a grid and set up their order of attack or defense. Some characters fight at long range, others at short range. They have varying levels of attack and defense points, as well as costs and sale prices. You’ll have six planets to explore. I didn’t see much here that impressed me, as it seemed like a standard card battle game. But there’s no arguing that it has the right brand to attract the attention of tablet and smartphone gamers.
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