Square Enix have truly mastered the ‘throw as many games as you can at the wall and hope one of them sticks’ App Store release technique, as it feels like there isn’t a week where at least one game from the Japanese development behemoth doesn’t roll out on iPhone. While some are unreserved successes, such as the GO series of games and the majority of Final Fantasy spin-offs, there are some other releases that simply don’t cut it for reasons that are normally related to ridiculous free-to-play models that simply don’t work in practice. Guardian Cross (Free) was one such game, and even though its freemium mechanics were lambasted in our review back in 2012, the game went on to garner an impressive international fanbase through an interesting amalgamation of RPG and FPS elements with the card collecting genre. Today, Square have launched the newest game in the Guardian series titled Guardian Codex (Free), and while still retaining the obligatory timers you’d expect from such a release, it appears the gameplay has transitioned to a more traditional style of play, and hopefully will be a marked improvement on the original title.
Four player multiplayer is perhaps Guardian Codex‘s trump card, as being able to play with friends online, and using online chat to coordinate your attack on bosses with your guardians should greatly appeal to the millions who enjoyed the original card-based iteration. Characters, settings and lore should be relatively consistent between the two games, however Codex has a new story which details how the protagonist, as part of the resistance, is sent into the virtual reality codex to find the legendary guardians and bring down the evil empire to ‘save the world’. While the plot is the epitome of derivative, with over 100 attack options, hundreds of different 3D guardians to capture and level up, as well as a whole host of quests, Guardian Codex has a lot to keep fans of similar games interested, and as it is only free, anyone with an interest in Dragon Quest type games should at the very least give it a look, regardless of how aggressive the free-to-play aspects may be. Whether you’re impressed by Square’s newest title, or have any suggestions for how the game could improve, head down to our forum thread and let us know your views on Guardian Codex.