Skylanders Battlecast (Android) Review

By Drew Hurley 03.07.2016

Review for Skylanders Battlecast on Android

Skylanders has gone through plenty of different incarnations, introducing and experimenting with a range of gameplay mechanics, but this is certainly one of the most drastically divergent. The franchise lends itself well to a Trading Card Game (TGC) thanks to its huge cast of characters with unique powers, not to mention the balancing of physical and digital presence by adding a physical card game with augmented reality functionality, too. Skylanders Battlecast is available for free on iOS and Android now.

TCGs like Magic the Gathering, Weis Schwarz and Cardfight Vanguard are insanely popular all over the world and Hearthstone showed that the same sort of game would translate to the digital realm. Considering Activision now owns Blizzard, it seems obvious that it would bring the huge success of Hearthstone to one of its biggest franchises.

Taking its cue from some of these most popular series, Battlecast is filled with familiar and effective mechanics. Each player gathers a team of three Skylanders and a deck of cards and then face-off against each other. The goal is simple: kill all three of the opposing Skylanders. Damage can be dealt by direct attacks from the Skylanders or from different cards. Playing cards requires crystals, and each player starts with one crystal, and then at the end of each turn a random amount of crystals from a pool of either 0, 0, 1, 1, 1 ,1, 1, 2 or 2. This method of adding a resource based on a random factor works really well as it can completely alter the entire flow of a battle in a match.

Screenshot for Skylanders Battlecast on Android

There are 24 different Skylanders, each with their own special powers, along with their own set amount of Health and Attack power. Each can also level up over the course of a match and unlocking abilities after they have levelled up, and then increasing their health and attack as they continue to level up. The range of abilities is diverse and it's worth playing with all the Skylanders unlocked to try them all out.

The other cards are Gear, Relic, or Spell cards. Gear cards are attached to Skylanders and buff them with stats or abilities. Relics stay in play with their own health and confer bonuses to friendly Skylanders or debuffs to enemies. These come with their own health and can be attacked independently to remove them from play. Finally, there are the spell cards, which have a huge variety of attacks, buffs and debuffs to experiment with deck-building.

Screenshot for Skylanders Battlecast on Android

The game is available as a free download on Android and iOS devices, and it's perfectly possible to play through the entire of it without spending a penny on the physical side of the game. The main focus is on competitive play against other players but there is a story mode of sorts to play through that contains 60 stages, and each has rewards for those who can complete it without losing any of their team, extending the lifespan somewhat.

Make sure there's plenty of space on those SD cards, though, as this takes up a whopping 455MB, and older devices will find big delays between matches, although during play itself there are rarely any issues. There is one other issue for phone gamers instead of tablet owners in that after 30 or so minutes of play, the phone temperature rises exponentially until it reaches just about the same temperature as the surface of the sun.

Screenshot for Skylanders Battlecast on Android

On the physical side, there are 300 cards to collect in total and these can be bought in Battle Packs and Booster Packs. The Battle Pack costs £9.99/$9.99 and contains 22 cards, three characters - Spyro, Snap Shot, and Stormblade in Pack A, Trigger Happy, Hex, and Smash Hit in Pack B - along with three fixed spell cards and 16 random cards, along with a Deck Box to hold them in, a Trading Shield to protect the uniqueness of cards online, and a Beginner's Guide to get started with. The Booster Packs cost £4.99/$4.99 and contain eight random cards. While it's possible to play all the way through without spending, there are some cards that can only be acquired through buying physical packs. Scanning these cards using the device's scanner adds them to the account's deck and also allows for Augmented Reality for physical games.

Screenshot for Skylanders Battlecast on Android

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

The solid fundamentals and mechanics of Skylanders Battlecast make for a highly enjoyable game. The breadth of teams and decks that can be made means there is plenty of viability in doing well without spending a ton of money. The only real let downs are the technical problems currently being experienced, but as this is a very new release they may soon be ironed out. With it being free, too, there's nothing to lose in giving this a shot!

Developer

Activision

Publisher

Activision

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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