E3 2013: Konami Mobile Showcase (Hands-On)

by: Matt -
     Like it or not, mobile gaming is a growing market that millions of people access on a daily basis. It only makes sense that Konami would want to get in on some of that action. This year on the E3 show floor they had four titles available for just about every device under the sun, and surprisingly these were all titles that were fairly engrossing and offered just the right amount of bite-sized gameplay that works great for a gamer on the go. Though I guess we could expect nothing less from a company that gets a large chunk of its money from making slot machine games.

    First up was Domo Jump, now I know what you're thinking already, 'oh great, a Doodle Jump clone', and you wouldn't be too far off. Domo Jump stars the iconic Domo-kun and your goal is to keep him fed while he climbs higher and higher in an endless runner styled game. There's also a lot of collectibles to pick up that allows Domo-kun to change in to a bunch of different outfits to customize your experience, or if you're impatient you can use the microtransactions in the game. Domo Jump will be free to play and will be launching this summer on IOS devices.

     Next we have MLB Challenge, for IOS devices and Facebook. MLB Challenge is a light Fantasy Sports title coupled with card collecting. If this happened with the NBA I'd be all over the concept, get packs of cards that take the stats of players and adjusts them in real time depending on their performances. Cards can also be powered up by sacrificing and doubles you might have, giving your players extra strength when you put them out there to simulate games against other players. There are also 'Key Moment' plays that allow you to be the hero or hobo of a game, say it's the bottom of the 9th, you've got 2 outs, 2 guys on base and the game is on the line. If you somehow flub this 'Key Moment' it's possible to re-do it and get a major stat boost for your player. The concept sounds interesting, but there isn't a whole lot of player interaction when it comes to simulating games. Expect MLB Challenge later this year.

    Casino League: Texas Hold 'Em is exactly what it sounds like. Take a dash of Zynga Poker, add in a dash of proper skill based matchmaking, and put it out for every mobile device (including the Kindle), and you've got one massive game of poker going. Player skill is apparently the major focus of this title, as awards are given based on skilled play, and these can be checked out on each individual player's championship belt, decorations can't just be purchased via mictrotransactions, which means they actually have to be earned. Though you can purchase tickets to tournaments or buy more chips if you happen to run out. The poker is rather fast paced which was great for me because if there's one thing I dislike, it's waiting for someone to play their hand in Zynga poker, though it felt like there was more than enough time to actually think about how to play a hand. Players of Casino League: Texas Hold 'Em can also form clubs and earn guild rewards, for those that like to keep things social when the game comes out later this summer for IOS, Android, and the Kindle.

     Lastly we have Slot Revolution which is probably the most interesting title out of the bunch. Take RPG elements and combine them with the addictive nature of a slot machines and social gaming to make one of the more interesting takes on mobile RPGs. Players will be able to choose between Warrior, Ranger, or a Wizard class and embark on a quest of life, loot, and hopefully a good story. The slot based gameplay looks like it has elements of both luck and skill, allowing players to manipulate reels and cast powerful spells, unleash devastating attacks, and earn some extra loot. There's also a crafting system to make better weapons and armor for yourself. Combat was where this game really got my attention thought. When it comes time to fight a monster you'll spin the reels every turn, and depending on the symbols that appear you can deal damage to enemies, or be attacked by them or heal yourself. Slot Revolution will be free to play and is slated to come out later this summer for IOS, Android, and Kindle devices.
 

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