Jackie Chan: Martial Arts Legend review

Jackie Chan: Martial Arts Legend is a new Facebook game developed and published by 6waves. The game launched recently and tasks players with working alongside Chan to build a successful martial arts academy.

Basic gameplay in Jackie Chan: Martial Arts Legend is extremely conventional for the building sim genre. Players click on garbage items to “clear” them and harvest resources; purchase new items using acquired soft currency;¬†click on new items to “construct” them; and click on items which are ready to dispense currency. From very early in the game, content is friend-gated, requiring players to either invite friends or expend hard currency in order to progress beyond a school with a single classroom. Players also have a “popularity” rating that corresponds to the amount of decorations they have placed in their school — leveling up popularity attracts more students to the school, which is required to progress through many of the game’s quests.

Where the slight twist on the basic formula comes is in the martial arts battle element. At various points throughout the game, the player must battle against various “masters” in order to prove their worth. Players will only prove successful in these battles as they unlock various skills through acquiring items — otherwise the battle will be over very quickly. The items required to unlock skills are picked up by delivering courses to the various students of the school, all of which take varying amounts of real time to complete — and which may be, as usual, hurried along by using hard currency.

Jackie Chan: Martial Arts Legend is reasonably well-presented, with unobtrusive if repetitive background music and decent-quality graphics. The visuals make use of a peculiar “big head” art style, with semi-realistic faces atop tiny cartoon bodies. Chan himself puts in an occasional appearance, but does not actually play a particularly active role in the game beyond the initial tutorial.

The trouble with the game is that we’ve seen it all many times before. The base gameplay is essentially FrontierVille/Pioneer Trail, and hasn’t evolved significantly from that point. The martial arts battles are a nice touch, but there is relatively little strategy to them beyond collecting as many skills as possible to bash the Master into submission. It’s a very grind-heavy game with little narrative incentive to progress, and the main selling point — Jackie Chan himself — is underused, making it questionable as to why he even has his name on this game in the first place.

Alongside the game’s lack of creativity comes a significant number of technical issues. Several early quests in the game don’t update correctly even when the player collects the correct items, and the game is blighted by long loading breaks, particularly when visiting friends. Altogether, the entire game is an immensely disappointing package that doesn’t move social gaming forward at all, and completely squanders the presence of Jackie Chan.

Jackie Chan: Martial Arts Legend currently has 140,000 monthly active users and 10,000 daily active users. Follow its progress with AppData, our traffic tracking service for social games and developers.

Skip

A total lack of creativity and a complete waste of Chan’s endorsement add up to a disappointing game that can be safely skipped by everyone.