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Battle Camp Review

Battle Camp Review

One quote on the App Store page for Battle Camp, the free-to-play MMO title from PennyPop, describes the game as 'Pokemon and World of Warcraft's love child'.It's a bold comparison, but unfortunately a heavy reliance on microtransactions and Facebook spam prevent this surprisingly ambitious title from reaching its potential.

The premise is pretty simple: you join a summer camp in which kids collect monsters and battle each other. You pick a team of five monsters from a large roster of 230 monsters, each of which is based on one of five different elements: water, fire, wind, leaf and rock. Naturally, certain elements are more effective against others - you might struggle to beat a group of water enemies using an all-fire team, and it's usually best to keep one monster of each element in your team at all times.

Battle Camp

Battle Camp features a cute and cartoony art style that belies its depth: PennyPop have incorporated many MMORPG systems including quests, raids, avatar customisation, world events, troops (the game's version of guilds), in-game chat, pets and PvP. All these mechanics ensure that Battle Camp is a game with much longevity, far beyond what you might expect from a mobile game.

As you progress through the game you encounter rarer and more powerful monsters. Defeating these colourful creatures in battle gives you a chance of gaining them for your own collection. While beating one of the low-level foes will usually result in them immediately joining your team, obtaining a better monster involves collecting several unique puzzle pieces which infrequently drop after defeating said monster type. Alternatively, these fragments can be collected by using the slot machine, although this uses up gold - which costs real money - and even then it's extremely unlikely that you'll get what you wanted. It would be nice if you were given the option to just buy the item you're looking for instead of doing a lucky dip.

The game's battles are performed through a Bejeweled-esque minigame, albeit one with a bit more depth than your average match-three puzzler. As the game's tutorial points out, we're not crushing candy here - although the game features the same energy/life recharging system as that hugely popular puzzle title - instead of being limited to simply swapping a tile with an adjacent one, you can now move a piece anywhere across the grid. This enables you to move other tiles as you pass them, allowing you to set up huge chains of matches in one fell swoop.

Battle Camp

The 6x5 puzzle grids are made up of different coloured gems, with each of the five colours representing an elemental power. This brings some more strategy to the proceedings, as often the key to defeating harder enemies is matching the colour that they are weakest to. It's a fun mechanic, and helps to keep the game interesting through periods of grinding.

However, despite Battle Camp's successes, it still manages to fall for the same traps that make so many free-to-play games so annoying. In-game gold is far from cheap, with one spin of the top-tier slot machine costing £5. Also, in order to collect rewards and XP from completed quests you first have to share this event to your Facebook wall. Fortunately, you can prevent these notifications from appearing on your friends' news feed by changing the app settings on Facebook, but the fact that the game forces you to do this for every single quest in order to properly progress is, quite frankly, shocking.

While Battle Camp brings a lot of exciting new elements to the mobile puzzle genre, it also includes many irritating pay-to-win systems which leave a sour taste in the mouth. I can't help but think the game would be much easier to recommend if it did away with these aspects and instead required a one-off payment to get the whole game. But ultimately thanks to deep multiplayer ties, entertaining gameplay and the fact that it's free to download Battle Camp is definitely worth checking out.

7.00/10 7

Battle Camp (Reviewed on iOS)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

One quote on the App Store page for Battle Camp, the free-to-play MMO title from PennyPop, describes the game as 'Pokemon and World of Warcraft's love child'.It's a bold comparison, but unfortunately a heavy reliance on microtransactions and Facebook spam prevent this surprisingly ambitious title from reaching its potential.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Matt Girdler

Matt Girdler

Staff Writer

When he's not hunched over a computer programming, Matt can be found hunched over a computer playing and writing about video games.

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COMMENTS

Kaostic
Kaostic - 11:36pm, 3rd April 2015

I do actually quite like the look of this. Might give it a try when it comes to Android.

Reply
The Griddler
The Griddler - 11:36pm, 3rd April 2015 Author

I recommend checking it out. The developers are consistently holding new events which have kept me playing after finishing the review.

Reply