Like many of you I love my Star Wars, and like some of you I am trying to get into the world of card gaming but I have been finding the genre either impenetrable or otherwise dull. I previously reviewed Star Wars: Force Collection which combined both of these elements but sadly this turned out to be a bit of a bust, so you can imagine my wariness when Star Wars: Assault Team sneaked up on me, a game that also combines cards and the Star Wars universe.
“Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting cards, boy!”
Unlike the previous effort, Star Wars: Assault Team comes from Disney-LucasArts and not from Konami which fooled me into expecting big things from Force Collection, I mean, Konami gave us Castlevania, Contra, and long-time favourite Ganbare Goemon: Yukihime Kyuushutsu Emaki on the SNES. However, I am more than happy to say that Assault Team isn’t half bad, in fact, it’s pretty good…
Players start the game as Han Solo trying to escape from the Star Destroyer Devastator, as he does, he picks up allies including sidekick Chewbacca, and everyone’s favourite Astromech R2D2, as well as fight enemies such as Stormtroopers, Imperial Officers, and, monsters such as the Rancor which just happens to be locked up on the ship… Just go with it and maybe make a note to remember that this game isn’t part of the canon.
“Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise.”
Engaging in a battle is easy, hand and his buddies are represented as cards along the bottom of the screen, when a certain card is ready to fight (it’s turn based) you simply tap on an enemy (who aren’t represented by cards but who are actual animated figures) to shoot or alternatively tap on the card to activate that particular character’s special powers (which need to be charged over time). For example, Han Solo has a “Lucky Shot” power move while Chewbacca has a Wookiee Rage power which causes enemies to concentrate on attacking him rather than any of your allies. Good guy Chewie.
As you auto-navigate through the corridors and rooms of the Star Destroyer (this ain’t no free-roamer) you get to pick up allies (which aren’t always Rebels, I currently have a team that has Gamorrean Guards in it and an IT-O Mark 1 Interrogator Droid ) and also other goodies such as points cards which can be used to train up your characters.
As you progress through the game, which admittedly can be a frustratingly tough at times, you can unlock levels which take place on a number of Star Wars planets such as Kashyyyk, Ord Mantell, Tatooine, and Coruscant.
Adding further to the game are Special Missions which are designed to build up your cards, and, if you become powerful enough, you can play against real players for more goodies. For a freebie, the developers have certainly thrown in a Sandcrawler’s worth of things to do.
Stack this game up against Star Wars: Force Collection and you’ll find that Assault Team stands out a mile in terms of looks and execution, it is simply more fun than Force Collection can ever dream of. However, it is, at times, infuriatingly frustrating beyond all belief, being that the going can get particularly tough.
It’s a game you’ll play in short bursts rather than allocate a whole session to it but it should keep Star Wars and CCG fans happy.