Do you still dream of bulls-eyeing womp rats in your T-16? Then you’re just the type of Star Wars superfan Konami is aiming for with its upcoming mobile card battling game, Star Wars: Force Collection.
Featuring 230 cards, the game takes you on a journey throughout the six films, as gamers battle storm troopers and fight boss battles against the likes of Boba Fett in hopes of winning character cards that will help improve their army featuring everyone from Kit Fisto to Lando Calrissian.
I had the chance to sit down and demo the game for about 30 minutes yesterday in San Francisco, and to me, it was like Madden Ultimate Team meets Jabba The Hutt (and that’s a good thing). When the game begins, you’re showed various cinematic sequences from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and princess Leia is once again looking for someone to save her from capture. From here, you’re given your first random card. I picked Yoda and was off to slay some bad guys. A slew of storm troopers instantly appeared on screen, and you simply tap them to watch Yoda slice and dice with his light saber. As you tap and kill the bad guys, you’re rewarded with a few common cards like rebel guards or various storm troopers to add to your collection for later. Continue to kill storm troopers to progress through the level, upgrade your fighters, and eventually face a boss battle.
Here’s where things get interesting (and obviously deviate greatly from the films), as you can choose which boss you want to fight, either a dark side boss like Boba Fett or a Jedi boss like Luke Skywalker. The decisions you make on who to fight then influence your light/dark side meter, so when I chose to use Yoda to fight Luke Skywalker, after I won, I was named a Sith Apprentice and rewarded with another card, this time acquiring Jabba’s right-hand man, Bib Fortuna. I also won my first blue print card needed in order to build a vehicle. There are about twelve blue print cards needed to complete each vehicle set, and when you collect every card, you can click the blueprint to send to your in-game engineers to finally build your X-Wing, AT-AT or Tie Fighter.
The better the cards you collect during single-player, the more powerful your army will become when you battle your friends at the game in multi-player, as Star Wars: Force Collection’s gameplay switches from tap-to-kill, to a more strategic card battling game where you arrange your fighters and vehicles on a grid based on range (Han Solo has medium range thanks to his blaster, while Darth Vader has short range due to his light saber), then watch as the cards fight it out based on how they were setup on screen, their hit/shield power, and how well they work together as a team (Han and Chewbacca work well together, but Mace Windu and Jango, not so much). As the cards fight, you’ll even see some cool sequences like when Obi Wan uses the Jedi mind trick to make opposing Storm Trooper cards leave the battle altogether.
To up the ante, when you battle opponents online, you’re not just playing for bragging rights (or the right to call each other nerf herder), as you can actually play games where the winner takes one of those all-important blueprint vehicle cards from the loser. Get defeated in one of these games and you’ll need to scramble to either win the card back in a rematch, or go play through the single player mission again in order to re-acquire the card you just lost.
Thanks to Konami, I was able to jump ahead and see what a battle is like when my army was juiced up to level 25 or so (complete with X-Wing), I lost a fight so severely, that I watched my vehicle get destroyed in battle, learning the hard way that once your ship is blown to bits on screen, it takes another 45 minutes to build you a new one before you can go and seek revenge on those nefarious thugs who destroyed everything you worked so hard to acquire. Even then, it was cool to see what a lineup of Darth Vader, Qui-Gonn Jinn, and Darth Maul could do together on screen.
And while Star Wars: Force Collection is free-to-play when it launches September 4 on iOS and Android, expect impatient fans to spend cash on card packs right out of the gate, speeding up the dominance of their Sith and Jedi decks as they seek to rule the PvP galaxy.
If only you could buy card packs at Toshi Station while picking up some power converters.