Visually, Missile Cards features a retro 16-bit aesthetic that serves as a great homage to classic games, including Missile Command, which this is based on. The game makes use of a bright and vibrant color palette, and all of the icons on the cards makes it easy to tell what they do from a single glance. The text is also pixelated like back in the day, but still easy-to-read. Missile Cards also takes place on various planets, so you can expect to see some beautiful landscapes in the backdrop of the grid you’ll be playing on. The animations in Missile Cards are smooth and fluid, and I had no issues at all on my iPhone 7. There’s also a fantastic chiptune soundtrack to go along with it all, so it feels like the finishing touch on the vintage design. For the developer’s first release on the App Store, Missile Cards is an excellent title in terms of visual and audio design.
Before you get started with Missile Cards, it’s important to go through the tutorial so you know how to play the game. Essentially, you have a deck of cards that contains hazards, defenses, and specials. These cards pass by on a conveyor belt, and you must drag cards into one of the four equip slots at the top if you want to make use of them. When a hazard reaches the end of the conveyor belt, it will then appear on the grid, and a countdown starts, where you must destroy it before it reaches your base and sub-bases. Each action you take will cost a certain amount of Action Points (AP), which you can see in the upper right corner. Your sub-bases can take damage and recover, but if your main base takes too much damage, then it’s game over, so defend it as best as you can!
You can only make one move per turn, and the belt moves after you decide what you want to do. Each equipped card needs a certain number of turns before it’s charged and ready to use, indicated by the number on the card. There’s battery cards that you can drag on top of equipment cards to charge them quicker, and once they’re ready to deploy, they’ll have a glowing outline on them, and all you need to do is tap on them to use.
Special cards like the tractor beam can collect debris from destroyed hazards, and these can be used to unlock more special cards to modify your deck with. If you can’t do anything, you can skip your turn at the cost of one AP, or you can discard a card and use up no AP.
While there are different planets to venture to, you must clear out the core missions on each world before the next one becomes available to you. These goals include things like reaching a certain number of points, winning three games, destroying hazards, and more. If you’re itching for a real challenge, there’s also bonus objectives to test your skills.
The debris that you collect can be spent in the game’s shop to purchase powerful new cards for your deck. These special cards include stronger missiles, shields, multipliers, barrages, and much more. Eventually, as you begin to build up your card collection, it will be easier to get more debris to spend. You also get some experience points for each success, and once you level up, you’ll be able to upgrade your base’s stats, which include health, laser damage, shields, and recovery.
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