Aspiring Gundam pilots unite! Namco Bandai has just released a freemium mobile game where you can build your dream “Gunpla” model robot and battle your way through a single-player story mode, or pit your skills against other live pilots in the arena.
Everything begins with designing the perfect Gunpla robot. A robot consists of a head, body, arms, legs, rocket backpack, melee weapon, ranged weapon and a pilot. The art to crafting an effective fighting machine is to choose complementary parts with good stats for the play-style you feel comfortable with.
For example, if you want focus on long-range combat, choose the parts with the “Long Shooter” trait for better performance, and use a pilot whose special abilities include accurate shots with a sniper-type weapon.
You get all these different parts and pilots from a random “gacha” slot-machine, which requires Haro chips to play. As it’s a freemium game, this premium currency is doled out at a slow pace during the story – or you can pay real money for them if you want to progress faster. This is not recommended, however, as with a bit of diligence, you can level up your mechas at a decent pace with just normal gameplay.
But for those Gundam fanatics who want to collect a complete set of their favourite Gundam model from the classic anime series, it will take an incredible amount of money and luck, as the superior parts drop at a less-than-1 per cent chance from the slot machine.
The graphics are pretty amazing for a mobile game, with the models of iconic Gundam robots rendered faithfully on the smartphone screen. Controls are simplified for a good portable experience as well. Movement is done by simply swiping in the desired direction, melee combat is largely automated, and ranged weapon and special skills are mapped to simple single button presses.
There’s also a workshop where you can view your beautiful collection of Gundam robots, and you can paint them in your favourite colours as well.
If there’s one gripe about the game, it’s that the single player story campaign is somewhat cliché as you are cast into the role of a rookie ‘Gunpla’ model pilot who must take your school’s team to the national championships. It’s not particularly exciting, but at least it teaches you the basics of piloting your mini mecha.
If you’re a huge Gundam fan or love the idea of mechanised robot warfare (and who doesn’t), you need to try this freemium title.