I'm not sure if Gundam Battle: Gunpla Warfare was released early because it was just ready to go, or if they were feeling the heat with so many other great titles (like Super Mecha Champions) being released lately. But one thing is for certain, I've put about four hours into this mobile game at this point and I'm pretty happy with it.
The game itself leads players along a storyline (theoretically with some serious arena and competition modes coming later) through a unique plight of a high school's Gunpla club falling apart and what they do to save it (spoiler alert: they beat up a lot of other mechs).
But what interests me most in this title is the really simple portrait battle system that gives users the opportunity to play it quickly and easily with one hand. Most games in the action category require joysticks and heavy movement systems, but Gundam Battle Gunpla Warfare acts a lot more like something you'd see on an old console game -- where you can "target" and quickly flip targets -- and essentially move towards, away, or sidestep (even auto-run towards targets) based on quick singular swipes on the screen.
And actually laying on those complex combos? Most of it is built-in. A simple double-tap timed at the end of a few crisp slashes leads to a powerful finishing move. Long-range shooting? Since targeting happens automatically (and your damage is based on being the optimal distance away -- not too far and not too close) you just hit the fire button until you run out of bullets and then your Gunpla will auto-reload for you.
Special moves are also up right out the gate and they are pretty visually stunning, in addition to being a single tap away (with a cooldown period afterward). The combat is so simple but so elegant, it's surprising they were able to really keep the look and feel of a Gunpla fight together with such simplicity of controls.
Don't believe me? Check out the trailer below:
Beyond battling in the arena or in the story mode, Gundam Battle: Gunpla Warfare has a very unique customization system where items have both a rarity and a level. You can take a very common item (with a very stunning look from one franchise or another of the Gundam universe) and actually upgrade it to a rarer and rarer form with boosted stats. The upgraded gear does cost you a bit more to level up from there, but it makes every single piece you collect very interesting and potentially viable as an end game piece.
That being said, I quickly amassed the cap (200 Gunpla parts) in a short period of time and am now struggling to figure out what to sell, what's a duplicate, and what might not be useful in the future. In that respect, the game truly does function like many other gacha games -- supplying you with a lot of options for different "sets" to create and leaving you in some regards at the mercy of random number generators.
All in all Gundam Battle Gunpla Warfare is definitely worth a download. It's crisp, simple, visually pretty amazing, and should supply you with plenty of hours of fun. Now, if only they'd get around to making a console or PC game.
To download on iOS or Android, hit the links below.