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The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Combat Monsters

Rubicon Developments built a stellar foundation with their turn-based strategy title Great Big War Game, and now they've built on that foundation with their newest title Combat Monsters [Free]. On top of the hex-based, turn-based strategy system is an entire collectible card system that sees you building up decks and acquiring new monsters to send out into the field and help you do battle. There are more than 130 different monsters in the game, not to mention tons and tons of different weapons, shields, potions and more to augment your style of play. It's a deep system, but not so overly-complex that it's hard to grasp for those that don't typically play card battle or strategy games.

While there's a brief single-player campaign to play through, as well as unlimited skirmishes against the AI, Combat Monsters is strongest as a multiplayer title. It works cross-platform with the Android and PC versions, so the online community should always be plentiful when putting your skills to the test. Currently the online multiplayer is in real-time only, though an asynchronous mode is being discussed and I think would suit this game particularly well.

combatmonsters

One other really interesting aspect to Combat Monsters is its pay model. It's free-to-play, and typically when a game goes that route some gamers question whether the developer deliberately messes with the balance in order to nudge you towards making an IAP purchase. Well, Rubicon is pretty up-front in saying that yes, if you choose to play entirely for free then your progression will be slower. That's the penalty you'll have to endure for choosing to play the game without paying, however, at least you are able to play entirely without limits without ever spending a dime. You'll just earn the (single) in-game currency much more slowly.

You can speed up that process by grabbing a coin pack here and there if you choose, but a much better idea is to buy the Coin Tripler (yes, tripler!) for $2.99. This essentially puts you at the normal progression rate intended for the game, and while you'll still have to actually play to earn coins and new cards to flesh out your deck, there won't be any needless grinding in order to do so. It effectively turns Combat Monsters into a $2.99 premium game, if you want to look at it like that. I actually really like the system and bought the Coin Tripler right away, and you'd be smart to do that too if you know early on you're going to enjoy the game, as you'll earn significantly more gold just through the campaign which you'd miss out on if you purchase it later in the game.

The only problem with this system is that it will give those who choose to buy a lot of IAP coins right off the bat an advantage early on, but it's only temporary. Through playing you'll be able to upgrade your deck as well, and eventually everyone will be on an even playing field anyway. This might rub you the wrong way, it might not, but the core mechanics of the game are so well done that I'll be playing long enough that even the pay-to-win players won't have an advantage for long.

At any rate, it's a very interesting pay model that's worth checking out, and of course the game built around it is excellent too. For free, you really need to check out Combat Monsters if you're into strategy games in any way, and for those reasons we've picked it as our Game of the Week this week.

  • Lazer Kat

    Thankfully this week saved me some money.
    I will need it Nov. 1st and 7th.

  • Lazer Kat

    Thankfully this week saved me some money
    I'll need it 11-1 & 11-7

  • Jake7905

    It's hard to argue with this choice for GOTW, though the game's focus on multiplayer over single isn't for me, Rubicon's handling of it's first free-to-play effort has to be respected. This isn't a freemium money grab, but a free-to-play model that other developers can learn from.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      I read all the negaitve comments, 'Oh no it's Freemium' and "Oh no, you need an internet connection". All the whining without actually investigating/playing is annoying -- so I played it.
      And damn, was I surprised how fun this game is. It's got elements of MTG, elements of chess, elements of 'star wars chess' (from movie, not any real game), and it's fun.
      Actually, I wouldn't mind shutting off the graphics & animations & just playing -- not an option (yet -- hello Dev's!).
      The strategy part is great.
      I never buy stuff in 'free to play' games, but I bought the coin tripler -- kind of late, near end of 'hard campaign' part -- because I was having such a good time I figured I could give them $3.
      I'm happy to have 3x rewards, but I was surprised how abundant the coins came without the tripler.
      And there IS a lot of strategy to be had here -- Orks are amazingly nasty, and I really like Werewolves, Zombies, & so on. (I'd like Lizardmen, Dwarves, Elementals, & Elves more -- if I had more!!)
      *RECOMMND THIS GAME*

      • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

        Well, I coughed up the $3 and bought the tripler. Just before doing that, I read my in-game stats -- I'd played 97 games. Whoa!!
        Yeah, it's THAT fun.

  • Nathan

    Buying the tripler isn't a better idea than buying coins. You buy the tripler, then you buy coins if you wish. One isn't better than the other. Great to see it scoop GotW !

    • JJE McManus

      The issue is that CCGs are inherently pay to win in one form or the other. Sure you can drop a wad of cash, get all the cards but still be a scrub. However, at least in the early going, a better loaded deck will generally beat a deck with more limited choices.
      We're going to see the same thing happen when Hearthstone comes to iOS. Although in that case, with all the help sites out there it will be more obviously pay to win.
      Part of me still wants to give CCGs a pass on all this because that's what they are RW as well.

      • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

        read a player who said he bought tripler & his friend bought tripler and a bunch of coins. He said he made the game pretty even in the long run, b/c you do win coins a lot.

        You won't win battles w/the default deck. It's worth it figuring out the deck designer.

  • alex98909

    the game is bad

    • Jake7905

      This statement is pointless

      • LordOfLetterbox

        That guy has been trolling in almost every post today, so it's impossible to talk reason to a person like that but applaud u none the less.

      • Suji

        His statement is pointless.
        It's a good game, with a pay wall right in your face type.

      • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

        Not a paywall at all.
        More of an 'advancement limiter' which barely limits a player.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      It's not bad.
      Your post is bad.

    • joaquin_ondamoon

      Congratulations, Alex! You've won this week's 'Insipid & Pointless Post Award'! An outstanding achievement considering you've only used 4 words and it's only monday!

      Eli, tell him what's he's won!

  • heresandypandy

    Not a great week for games, but we've been spoiled over the last month. This is the best of an okay bunch.

  • ChaosProdigy

    I would like to add that multiplayer is really good right now, stable and always someone to fight. U get more in game currency in PvP than anywhere else.

    My referral code: JQ9PA28
    *If you buy in game Rubicons use my above code and you get 50% more of Rubicons! You only get this 50% bonus once total so make sure your first purchase with the above code is as big as you can afford so you get the most benefit. Your 2nd purchase and so on will have no bonus 50% as option will not be available for you to use a referral on subsequent purchases!

  • Xissoric

    If it wasn't online only this game would be good. There's a single player mode for god's sake, why would you have to be online for that?

    • ste86uk

      I feel your pain, the same for this and Dead Trigger 2 this week which is very annoying. Luckily I was saved by Echo Prime, no Internet needed.

  • Taclys

    I really don't enjoy turn-based games, so this one didn't grab my attention. I did enjoy Dead Trigger 2 far more than I thought though.

  • gmattergames

    Wanted to like it, but aside from cringing a little at the low-poly 3D aesthetic, I found the game tactically shallow. I wasn't able to execute anything more than a basic strategy due to the limited health of you and your opponents monsters. Perhaps I missed something, but it seemed to boil down down a simple tactic of ensuring your mojo production is high enough to replace losses faster than the opponent, a war of attrition. It also seemed (in the AI battles) that the opponent never started with any special spaces on their side of the field; a significant disadvantage for the AI, leaving to no other tactic but to focus on securing the special space near me, and again, outproduce the opponent. Is there more to this game?

    • Lazer Kat

      No

    • Nathan

      Yes, you need to play it for longer to appreciate the subtleties and levels of strategy

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      The AI makes a lot of mistakes, but if you play on Hard, the game board is *HEAVILY* stilted in their favor. A lot of wins are really close.

  • ste86uk

    This is my favourite of the week that you guys listed but I still haven't seen you mention Echo Prime which is my game of the week, wasn't it launched worldwide?

  • http://tokyodan.tumblr.com/ Tokyo Dan

    I am so surprised that so many people like this game. It only took me about 5 minutes to delete it from my iPad. I guess I have to give it another try.

    • tinkie277

      Absolute naffer, complete u turn from the LBWG!

      • ste86uk

        I do prefer the previous game to be honest and even with the coins being tripled progress seems slow to me. But I find myself being drawn back to play a game here and there, there are some tactics but considering most units can be killed in 1 hit you don't much need them apart from for the boss.

        Anyone else notice when you play a new card you can't move but when the computer plays a new card they attack right away with it??

      • lavenders2

        You can attack with a monster the turn it is played. You just can't move it.
        Now if the computer actually moved his monster on the turn he played it, then THAT is different, but I don't think they do this.

      • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

        You and computer can play a card & attack. No card I've seen can be played and moved and attacked on entry.
        Been learning that with my 1-heart guys that have no powers, sometimes I just keep 'em in the card-pack & drop them on a fist tile. Kabang! (And then they are arrow-magnets, sparing my hero from getting impaled.)

  • oooooomonkey

    I actually prefer this a lot more than GBWG and GLWG

  • Morgan01

    Sadly, this is a multi-player pay-to-win. That's the biggest problem with this style of game format, where the more money in IAP you spend, the better your performance in multi-player. It really deflates the multi-player experience when performance is dictated by money..

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      Perhaps if you got in there & spanked the pants off someone that spent $20, you'd feel a new elation...?

  • The kernel

    My only complaint about this title is that there isn't an Offline mode. Online status is always required.

  • junkyardheart

    I haven't been able to put the game down. I like playing with the Archer class best for their long range. The Deal of the Day helps build your deck fairly cheaply, with deeply discounted cards and Chests. The Coin Tripler is an insta-buy. Also, if you think you will really be into the game just get the Barrel of Coins; it's $39.99 but they now give you 120,000 coins (used to be 90,000). Plus if use another players code both you and that player get a bonus of 50% more coins! So that's 180,000 coins total. You'll be able to get nearly all the cards and heroes with that. Just be sure to make your first purchase the biggest you intend to make since you only get the bonus on your first purchase. My code is JUZYB87 if you need one.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      I hope you're not saying you paid $40 on this game.
      I'm fine with a little IAP (~$3 or $5), but $40?!?!? That's the damned Freemium 'pay-to-win' kicking in.
      Is there still challenge if you pay that much?
      Heck, I wish I could play you!!! Come challenge rekzkarz if you can -- I'd like to spank you and your $40+ decks!!! heh

  • Jared Plumb

    I think one of the important things is to always use a referral code when making a purchase. Every purchase needs a different referral code:

    ** QXNSBGF **

  • Carl

    Just a late 2 bits: The game is loads of fun but a trifle addictive, and potentially a money sink.

    First, the fun: As people have said, you get two points of pure pleasure. You get to create an army based on whatever theme floats your boat. Then you get to manage that army in a clever tactical combat game. Awesome.

    The bad part: While it's quite easy to play with relatively weak cards, the better cards are, well, a bit better. So you're tempted to spend money. If you play at all much, you should spend the $4 for the tripler, it pays for itself with bonus coins. Should you buy a bigger batch of coins? Well, I did and I was happy, but I worry I may want to buy more some day. Then again, how much do you spend on a video game, or even a night at the movies? As long as you're getting enjoyment from it…

    Oh, and if you do buy coins, use my code! It gets us both extra coins and I'd be ever so grateful! My referral code is: QKK948L