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As someone who pretends to have refined tastes, Gears Pop is a nightmare. A free-to-play mobile version of Gears featuring Funko Pop versions of the characters and enemies? I would not want my friends at the art gallery to see me playing that!

And yet, I am playing it, and it’s fine. I’m not going to pretend that I’m going to continue playing it, though.

Gears Pop is just Clash Royale. You face off against another player in a real-time battle by placing tokens onto a play field. Those tokens spawn Funko versions of Gears characters that then rush toward your enemy. The goal is to take out your opponents two defensive towers and then their home base before they do the same to you.

The twist is that, of course, Gears Pop has cover mechanics. Certain units take cover points along the way to the enemy, and as you capture the cover points, they provide defensive buffs.


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But cover doesn’t really change what Gears Pop is relative to Clash Royale. And I’ve played enough of that game and the nearly identical Star Wars: Force Arena to know that I’m done with the genre.

A lot of Gears fans probably aren’t over Clash Royale-style games, though. And the good news for them is Gears Pop has everything you would want.

Matches are fast and intense. They feel strategic even when you know you are on the treadmill toward spending money on microtransactions. And upgrading characters by collecting multiple tokens is a really satisfying Skinner-box progression.

And hey, if none of this sounds appealing to you, ignore it. It’s not like you will miss out on some important Gears lore. And you don’t need to get your Gears tattoo removed if you’d rather just wait for Gears 5.

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