WarGames Revitalizes The Well Worn Match-3 Mechanic
WarGames: WOPR ($0.99) by Be-Rad Entertainment LLC is a battle oriented match-3 game that happens to be based on the movie, WarGames, from the 1980s, and also features an awesome upgrade/unlock system.
Judging by the screenshots, you would probably think that this is just another standard match-3 game. Sure, the gameplay mechanics are very similar to other games (namely Dungeon Raid), but there is a lot more here than is apparent from the surface.
The game follows the basic storyline of the movie. If you haven’t seen it, all you need to know is that a missile control system (the WOPR) is hacked into by a dude who thinks he is just playing a game. The guy then inadvertently uses the WOPR to set the world stage for World War III.
While the storyline does add nicely to the overall experience, it is the battle oriented gameplay that truly defines the game. Over the course of over 40 levels, you battle against characters from the movie who are trying to shut down the WOPR. Similar to the gameplay in Dungeon Raid, you use a line drawing mechanic to match three or more tiles and clear them from the screen.
At any one time there are four different tiles on the screen; nuke, health, money, and radar. Basically, matching nukes damages your opponent, health tiles restore your health, money tiles give you money, and radar tiles fill up your special meter. At the same time, there may also be enemy tiles on your screen. If you don’t get rid of these before their turn limit runs out, they essentially blow up in your face.
The basic gameplay mode is the battle mode, but there is also a form of poker that comes up every once in a while. In the poker mode, matching tiles earns you money, but you need to get all of the enemy tiles to the bottom of the screen before they blow up.
Completing levels earns you “RAM” which acts as a form of in-game currency. Use this RAM to purchase or unlock tactics and mods in the store. Tactics are essentially your active skills in an RPG game. They can be used at any time in battle, but they cost money to use. Mods are your passive skills, which affect the gameplay at all times.
There 12 tactics and 12 mods available, each of which can be unlocked by defeating opponents. If you don’t want to wait, you can also choose to unlock them with a large amount of RAM. The effects of tactics and mods range from instantly damaging your opponent, to increasing the amount of money that you earn per turn.
With its simple gameplay, engaging storyline, and neat visual style, WarGames is a blast to play. It even features three difficulty levels, and Game Center achievements and leaderboards. In future updates, Be-Rad Entertainment plans to add an endless mode. I think that would be the perfect addition to this already great game.