Battlejack (Free) by NEXON M is a unique social RPG card game that revolves around Blackjack. If you're a fan of other interesting hybrid games like Solitairica and Card Crawl, then you will love what Battlejack has to offer. It's similar to other games like Match Land.
I've been feeling a bit stressed out lately, so I've taken refuge in plenty of games, mostly on my iPhone. While I enjoy many different genres of games, lately I've taken great pleasure in various RPGs, such as Dice Mage 2. There's something about these luck-based games that keeps me coming back for more, and it feels like it's never enough. And while I don't do much gambling in real life, I still love a good game of Blackjack. So when I heard about Battlejack, which combines Blackjack with RPG battles, I knew that this was something I had to try, no doubt about it.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually, Battlejack is fun with a cute and cartoonish art style that's drawn well and is rather eye catching. The game is rendered completely in 2D, but the world map has a bit of a 3D feel to it, thanks to the shadows and depth of each world. Battlejack is full of bright and vibrant colors, and all character sprites are distinctive and appealing. While the menus feel a bit cluttered, it's still pretty easy to follow. Animations are smooth and fluid so I experienced no lag issues on my iPhone 7. There's a generic adventure soundtrack in the background, and delightful sound effects of shuffling cards and elemental attacks.
Similar to other social RPGs, Battlejack is level-based with different areas, and each has a handful of stages to go through in increasing difficulty. Each level features several waves of enemies that you must fight through, with a tougher boss fight at the end. Stages must be cleared in chronological order, and each one costs stamina to enter (unfortunately). If you're out of stamina, you'll have to wait for it to refill or spend gems (premium currency).
In battle, you'll face off against waves of enemies, which may have anywhere from two to four monsters in each wave. You can tap to select a target, and while it's not necessary, it's helpful when you need to eliminate the biggest threat. Otherwise, the game automatically picks targets for you. Enemies have a number on them — this represents the number of turns you can make before they'll attack you.
In the bottom left corner is a button that lets you deal cards. You'll want to deal until you get 21, or get as close as you can without going over. If you go over 21, then your turn ends and you won't be able to attack. Each card is colored, and allows a hero of the same color to attack. The damage they deal is determined by the value of the cards. And the more cards you get in one turn, the more your multiplier goes up, increasing damage dealt.
Each hero unit also has a special skill that can be activated once the gauge is full. To use it, just tap on the hero and select the skill you want. These range from powerful attacks, crippling enemies, and even healing your team.
Some hero units also work in synergy with each other. For example, early on in the game you'll discover fairy and druid types work well together, increasing their healing potential. When you have two units that work well, they both get another ability, becoming valuable assets in battle.
Players gain experience points by completing levels, and this increases the overall rank. However, heroes are leveled up separately, by fusing with other hero cards. You can earn cards by "capturing" them in battle (just defeat them), but only one can be captured on each wave. To keep them, you must defeat the boss.
For better heroes, you'll need Rare or Honor Summon Tokens, which may be found in chests or you can get them from in-app purchases. Otherwise, you must spend gems to get a summon, or honor (feathers) for Honor Summons. Honor is earned when people borrow your hero in battles or you accept friend requests.
The game also has potions that you can take with you in battle, with up to three able to be equipped at a time. You can use potions any time between card dealing, so if you need a heal before an enemy attack, use it!
As mentioned, there are guilds and you can add friends in this, after all, it's a social RPG. Guilds are useful for taking on raids and getting epic loot, and you can get help with experience points and fusing (it's beneficial for everyone). There's also arenas that you can participate in at rank 10 and above.
Blackjack meets RPG as you battle foes on your way to 21.
Battlejack is a unique RPG that I never thought I'd see, and now I'm wondering why it hasn't been done sooner. The art is cute and fun, and the gameplay itself is different and rather addictive. Even if you aren't a huge Blackjack fan, it's hard to put this down once you start. There's a lot of content available, and it's fun to go back and replay levels just to get more hero cards in order to level up your stronger ones.
Like with other social RPGs, since the game is free-to-play, there are timers involved. The timers are for stamina refills and even opening chests that you get from each completed stage. Plus, you can only hold so many chests at once, so if the slots are full, you'll be letting chests go to waste because you can't collect them. I also wish that it was possible to level up heroes without the need to fuse, because that means a lot of grinding's involved.
Despite the flaws, I'm seriously having a great time with Battlejack. I'm a big Blackjack and RPG fan, so this is a mashup that I fell in love with immediately. I'm enjoying the fun art style, and the game mechanics are easy enough for anyone to understand. The difficulty does pick up once you hit the third area, but that just adds to the challenge. I wish that the game menus weren't so cluttered, though, and I'm not the biggest fan about the timers, but I'm willing to put up with it for now.
If you enjoy hybrid games, then Battlejack is one you should check out. Battlejack is available on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for free with in-app purchases.