Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Extra! Extra! Espoire loses geek cred over discussing Facebook "MMORPGs"! Read all about it!

But seriously, there's nothing wrong with the format in and of itself, and despite the game's impressive simplicity, I find myself unable to tear my eyes away from Warstorm on Facebook. For those that have shunned Facebook games, or those who simply haven't had an opportunity to try any, you'll need a Facebook profile to play. Like many other FB games, Warstorm is more-or-less about building up your character's stats to take on a series of static quests as well as compete against the other players. Unlike other FB games, your choices and strategy in building and combining your character's squads is similarly important to how much money/time/friends you have. In fact, I would go so far as to say that, while helpful, having friends that play isn't really that important at all.

The gameplay is entirely focused on building squads, which are like mini-decks in a trading card game. Like real trading card games, there are several types of card, each with their own stats and a handful of special abilities. Once you've built your squads, you pick a number of them equal to the number your desired opponent has picked, and the AI plays for both of you. You can watch the battle as it unfolds, turn-by-turn if you want, but the only thing you'll gain from it is an understanding of why you're getting the outcome that you are.

Good cards, good strategy, and/or luckily having a foil strategy to your opponent can all help you win, and each is about as important as the others. Winning or losing battles give you experience and silver, which increase your daily silver income and can be used to buy booster packs, respectively. While both increase your power, it's not very direct. Having enough of a card to build the deck you want is definitely a prerequisite to building it, but more often it seems, players are limited by the ability to come up with a near-optimal deck anyway.

So far it seems fun enough. I worry that the game too-heavily favors those who pay for in-game items, but then, I've also walked all over established players with clearly better cards using my motley array of starter cards.

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