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G.I. Joe fans no doubt remember their collection of action figures and the fun times they spent going on imaginary missions against Cobra’s army of evil. It's no surprise, then, that the action card game G.I. Joe: Battleground rekindles some of those memories as you assemble your squad and recruit your favorite soldiers for combat. It may not always be the most exciting experience, but it’s a quality card game that doesn’t require much effort to enjoy.
Battleground’s missions play out like a board game, and find you traveling to different areas and clearing them of Cobra control. Your troops move about these maps on a predetermined path, but you can sometimes choose different routes to take that reward you with more money, experience, or the occasional player-vs.-player fight. During an actual battle, you won’t have any say as to what your characters do, as their stats and abilities determine their chances of success. And because attacks are performed at random, you might start feeling like you’re not doing anything except tapping the screen to continue.
The real strategy to winning battles lies in how you prepare your deck before starting a mission. You can focus on leveling up your favorite characters, or otherwise capturing stronger enemies and using them on your team. And since there are so many recognizable Joe and Cobra cards to choose from, you'll have plenty of options when it comes to making your decks. You can also purchase recovery items, boosts, and more cards through in-app purchases, but these aren’t necessary as the free-to-play game offers you essentially everything you need as you play along.
While its customization options are rather impressive, the game’s presentation is bland and boring. Most cards feature cool artwork reminiscent of the G.I. Joe comics, but every environment you visit looks generic and leaves you wanting more. Even the short dialogue sequences that occur between missions don’t really draw you into the game’s paltry attempt at a plot.
The bottom line. Despite being a little bland around the edges, G.I. Joe Battleground is a fun card game and a nice trip down memory lane.
iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone running iOS 4.3 or later
Impressive array of cards to collect and assemble. Battles are accessible and don’t require much effort to win. Lots of missions to play and PvP battles to fight.
Don't have direct control over battles or which attacks your characters unleash. Environments are boring.