Rivals at War 2084 (iPad)

RIVALS_BOXThis is a free-to-play game for iOS and Android devices (iPad version reviewed here). It’s a card battle game with a futuristic war theme. Select soldier cards, equip them with armor cards and other attribute cards to beef up their stats, and pick a few boost cards to help your team for good measure. Then view how your strategy plays out in 3-D action sci-fi war scenes.

Most of the gameplay happens before you even battle an opponent. Before a match, pick your best soldier cards to make a team. If you have any armor cards and other ones that boost attributes, equip them to your soldier cards to improve their stats. You can also bring along up to three kinds of cards that will improve your battle skills for the whole round, and include improved offense, defense, shields, and many more.

Once you are ready to be pitted into battle, you can view how the action will play out in a space infantry war scene. The goal is to occupy a certain area with your soldiers for a given length of time. If you can occupy that space until a meter reaches 100 percent, you win. But if the enemy stays there longer first, you lose. You can also skip these battle scenes if you like.

If you win a match, you’ll earn coins to buy new card booster packs, experience points to level up so you can use better cards, and maybe even more card packs, too! If you lose, you’ll still get some coins and experience, but not as much. Choose to tackle missions on a star chart, or go online to battle in different modes like Quick Match and Campaign.

The rules are pretty easy to figure out; even I could get the hang of it. But since it’s a free to play game, you’ll be bombarded with messages asking you to use real money to buy better cards. And you always have to be online to play. But if you like easy to learn card games about space warfare, this is worth a shot.


Kid Factor:

While there are lots of scenes of space marines shooting one another, defeated soldiers just fall on their backs. So if you’re OK with your kids watching stuff like Star Wars, they’ll be OK with this game. Reading skill is needed for the text, and parental supervision is recommended for the micro-transactions.

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