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When cards are weapons

Games & Gadgets

GAME: South Park: Phone Destroyer by Ubisoft

GENRE: PvP action fighting game

PLATFORM: Android, iOS

This new game for mobile devices looks like a Clash Royale version of South Park, but the unique story and flavour make it a much more fun experience, not just for fans of the series but for anyone who enjoys a good action game.

You play as the new kid who Cartman wants in his gang for a mobile game that he has taken to. It starts off as a simple kids' game of two teams fighting each other using cards, but as time progresses - knowing the shenanigans that Cartman, Kyle and the gang usually get up to - it gets completely blown out of proportion into an all-out neighbourhood war. As a player, you are on Cartman's team and you have to use cards to fight. These cards are all avatars of characters from the American animated sitcom, South Park, and each has a special power. The game mechanic is similar to Clash Royale, where each card costs energy to use. This energy re-generates over time. The more powerful the card, the more energy it requires. For example, Sheriff Cartman, who has a lot of health and can shoot with his guns, costs four energy while Smuggler Ike with high speed and low health costs only two energy.

The strategy part comes in while building your deck, which consists of 12 cards. You have to choose these well - as each card has its pros and cons - before taking it into battle. This keeps the game fresh even after playing it multiple times. The game has two modes, Story mode and PvP mode. The story mode follows the story of Cartman versus his friends and each fight gives you coins, cards and parts. All of these are required to upgrade your card or to get new cards. In the PvP mode, you battle it out with other real players, using your deck of cards. Both these modes are fun in their own way. The Story mode engages you with a funny and completely over-the-top story and introduces you to new cards, each with its quirky personality and unique powers. The PvP mode is all about strategising with the cards at your disposal in order to build the ultimate unbeatable deck.

The game also has a strong personalisation element. There are multiple ways to change the look and costume of your character. There are many places where you can spend money in the game. At the end of every Story mode match, you get to open 3 out of 10 lockers, each of which has a reward. You can open the rest by paying cash. You can also use cash to buy packs directly from the store. However, there is no guarantee that you will get the card that you need in these packs.

VERDICT: The luck factor of getting cards is definitely a let-down. This, however, seems to be a trend in almost every free game. The PvP matchmaking, especially in the early stages, definitely seems unfair. The action-packed matches and staying true to the quirky source material makes South Park: Phone Destroyer an enjoyable experience. I would give it an 8 out of 10 rating.

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