We’ve known for some time now that Motorola and Verizon are in cahoots to make several variants of the new Motorola DROID RAZR, and in traditional Verizon fashion, they’ve released a game to mark the countdown to what is probably the release of their newly minted DROID RAZR phones: DROID Combat – Mission Alpha, developed by MunkyFun Inc.
The gameplay available in this game is two-fold: although it has been heavily marketed as an augmented reality (AR) game, Droid Combat also has a comprehensive single-player campaign which will allow you to destroy giant robots to your heart’s content. To start the game, you’ll name what is essentially your 50ft robot pet, who you’ll be able to customize the more your play and unlock. The customization in the game is quite extensive and you can modify both the appearance and performance of your robot quite dramatically. For example, your missiles will have varied speed and heat given off, which will affect how many of these you can fire before leaving you overheating and a sitting duck, but figuring out which ones will come with trial and error.
This matters the most, obviously, in combat. The actual droid combat occurs in a one-vs-one scenario where you’ll be duking it out with 50ft robots. These battles can occur as part of the single-player campaign, or as part of the multi-player, where you pinpoint someone using the AR system. During combat, you’ll be swiping the screen to launch missiles in a specific direction, and tapping the screen to destroy incoming payloads. It does require a little bit of cunning, but you’ll eventually figure out a good strategy of tricking your opponent with a cocktail of slow and fast moving missiles. That is, unless one of you is particularly ungifted with a touchscreen.
The combat is good fun, especially if you really absorb yourself in the strategy in beating people. And Verizon has hinted that at the conclusion of a 90-day countdown (which started when the game was released), whoever is at the top of the leaderboard may be eligible for something. And of course, the only way to do that is to beat as many people as possible. There are also IAPs in the game to aid your pursuit of DROID legend status, if you should so choose.
The AR component of the game is significantly less intensive, even a little gimmicky, however it does offer it’s own merits. The AR serves two main purposes, the first being scavenging, which allows you to find weapons, additional ammo and accessories in your surroundings to adorn and upgrade your robot with. The second is the ability to superimpose your robot onto the environment, making for some pretty cool (and some tragic) photos. While this does seem a little novel, there is currently a Tumblr contest going on which accepts your photos taken from the game. There is a winner each week who is award a prize. What is that prize you ask? A Verizon DROID DNA of course. The contest closes on July 25th, so if you haven’t already entered, perhaps you should.
DROID Combat – Mission Alpha, if nothing else, is a good effort at getting the attention of gamers prior to the launch of what is probably their DROID RAZR line of phones. But it’s a decent enough game in its own right, letting you customize and upgrade your robot, and even enables you to win a phone. Not many games can boast that. Unfortunately, I think some of this sheen may wear off after Verizon’s announcements are done, but it’s a game worth having a go at while it’s still relevant.
Game: DROID Combat – Mission Alpha