Gears Pop is a new mobile game released August 22nd for IOS and Android devices. All my experices were from an Android version of the game.
To start, I am going to give some context. Gears of War is an action adventure shooter for Xbox and Windows 10, set on a different planet where there is a war going on between the COG or the human military, and the locust. Next Pop figures are a real life item that are essentially figures of characters from video games and other media, they always have a very large head and small body. So these two things teamed up to make Gears Pop, a gears of war phone game with Pop style characters, an interesting premise to say the least.
So in Gears Pop you play as yourself in Pop figure form and you command a squad of characters. You choose your own squad and strategy and you fight against other players randomly found online, in a one-on-one deathmatch. There is also a small challenge mode, a training mode and horde, where two people fight cooperatively with their own custom squad to take on the armies of General Raam, the locust commander and overall bad guy of this game. For all these modes you get rewarded by chests of cards, or just cards straight up. These cards are how you unlock and upgrade your squad members. The squad consists of 8 characters from the Gears of War series, and an ultimate ability. You start with a base deck then have to unlock the rest of the characters. For example you get a locust drone in a box, then you can put him in your deck, if you get ten locust drones, then you can make it a level two and enhance his abilities. Some cards have special abilities themselves, like Clayton Carmine, a starting card, who can do heavy damage to anything directly in front of him when activated. For the ultimate ability you only sadly have two options Emergence hole, which spawns small creatures called wretches at any point on the map, then a Seeder who can shoot long distances. So with all of this in mind you make a squad made of of COG and Locust and make your own strategy and get to fighting.
Versus mode is the main highlight of the game, you fight a random opponent and if you win you get cogs, when you get enough cogs you get to the next arena, which makes it so you can unlock new cards. Winning also grants you a winning streak bonus and a gear pack to open and get more cards. Right now there are only five arenas to fight in and it would really be nice to see more maps. The gameplay itself if fairly simple, three minutes. The opponent is at the top of the screen, you are the bottom. There is a bar at the bottom which tells you how much power you have, it is constantly filling. Power tells you what cards you can play, if a card is three power, you must spend three to put him on the field. You can have a max of ten power at any time, and once there is one minute left, you gain double the power. Some cards have a little cover icon on them which means they can capture cover points, there are 8 cover points, four per lane. If you capture two on the same level you get more ground where you can deploy troops. The objective is to destroy the opponents three outposts, two of them have sentry turrets guarding them, the final bigger outpost has the person themself there to protect it. There is a degree of strategy involved and it can make a game very tense, making it a very fun way to spend 3 minutes. Horde mode works the same, but with a computer controlled opponent, and just one outpost to destroy. The gameplay is simple, but effective.
The Graphics and sound design are solid and work well to fit the style. The characters have very high pitched voices and screams that are mostly just humorous. The graphics are good for a smaller mobile game, but they aren't blowing anybody's mind. Overall graphics and sound design get a pass.
The game has two forms of currency, coins or the standard used to upgrade and purchase cards from the shop, and gold, the premium currency that can be used to speed up pack openings (which usually take 3-6 hours) It can also be used to buy gear packs. The store is used here and refreshed daily, giving you a chance to snag some rare cards. The game also has a club or guild feature which lets you play with and compare with your friends. The clan is also how you find partners for horde. You get the basic guild options, but it adds to the overall experience. Also note that you can earn achievements if you sign into your Microsoft account, which is only a good thing!
The only big problem with this game for me is the lack of content. There are 5 maps, 38 character cards, 2 ultimate abilities, and little to no customization for your own character you make. There is lots of room for more content, and it will need to be pumped out fast if this game wants to keep up with the insane demands of time.
Overall this game is a fun way to spend a few minutes of your day, but can’t really be played for more than half an hour if you push it. However, being free and easy to access is a great boon for it and hopefully the game will be supported and new content will be introduced. This game is especially great for Gears of War fans getting stoked for the release of Gears 5, but this won’t replace your hunger, just make you hungrier.