I AM MT: Card Battle (or I AM MT) is a mobile collectible card game adapted from the animated movie “I AM MT”, which draws inspiration from the most popular online game “World of Warcraft. The game was firstly released in the Chinese APP Store and made a tremendous success. In April, the game was ported to Android, available in Chinese Google Play Store.
The international version of “I AM MT” was officially released in May 7, 2013.
Gameplay of “I AM MT: Card Battle” is essentially the same with what Blood Brothers (RPG) offers. You build your battle team, learn and sharpen skills and upgrade card characters to explore dungeons or engage in PVP battle.
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Locojoy has just released its I AM MT: Card Battle worldwide. This game has been out for a while in Asia and it has been wildly successful, boasting over six million active players on a monthly basis. It is a card collecting game based on the popular Chinese web cartoon “I am MT”, a show about World of Warcraft players. The game consists of taking small groups of heroes (up to six) through dungeons and into battle against monsters, bosses, and even other players.
At its core, I AM MT: Card Battle is a card collecting strategy game where each card represents a different monster or hero and has stats and abilities to represent each hero’s combat abilities. Cards can be found, leveled up, and evolved. There are over 500 unique cards to collect and they all feature great artwork of epic heroes and fearsome beasts.
When you start up the game, you are shown a short story about a group of Tauren (cow-people) that got split up when their camp was destroyed. You are then given the opportunity to choose between three Tauren heroes: MT the Warrior, a Shaman, or a Druid. For those of you not in the know, “MT” is MMORPG lingo for “main tank”. Accordingly, MT is the toughest of the starting heroes and can take physical hits especially well. Following down the line, the Shaman deals high magical damage and the druid deals high physical damage. Whoever you choose, you will also be given a Warrior for defense and a Priest for healing.
A simple tutorial guides you through your first dungeon dive. The game asks you to set up your party’s formation and then combat happens automatically once you confirm your selection. The tutorial is short and to the point, but makes everything very understandable. Each trip to the dungeons consists of three waves of enemies. Once the third wave has been dispatched, the tutorial will walk you through some of the basics of card management and then it will give you full control of the game.
The automatic combat is really disappointing. The artwork, sound effects, and animation are all great – it is surprising how much you can feel the battles despite the fact that the warriors are static 2D artwork on cards. That said, the amount of strategy needed for this game is just too little to be satisfying. You simply put your defensive heroes on the front line and your healers and spell casters on the back line. The game gives you an opportunity to rearrange your party between each wave of combat, but unless a defensive hero died and left a particularly fragile hero exposed on the back line, there is never any reason to change your party’s formation in the middle of a dungeon. Even in the event of death, a hero can be revived at a relatively insignificant cost of 1,000 gold, though each subsequent revival in the same dungeon will double in price. The combat often drags on, sometimes lasting over 30 seconds per wave and the battle animations cannot be skipped. Fortunately, once you reach level 15 (about 2 hours of play), the game provides an option to double the combat animation speed.
Before entering a dungeon, you are shown a list of heroes owned by other players and you may select one to borrow as the sixth member of your party. This is a really cool mechanic that lets you preview a bunch of heroes you don’t have yet as well as keeps the game a little social before you reach level 35 and have access to the PVP arena.
There are several ways you can make your party stronger. You can trade out existing members of your party with new ones you fine as your progress through dungeons. You can also spend a small amount of gold to consume unwanted cards into experience points to level up your favorite heroes. A fully leveled hero can be evolved into the next “quality” of card where it will be reset to level 1 but move up to the next tier of card power. Some cards cannot be evolved at all and some cards can be evolved many times. Boss monsters will only drop card fragments. If you collect enough of these, you can combine them into complete cards and use the boss monsters in your own party. It’s really cool that any enemy card you encounter could eventually be unlocked for your own use.
Runes are a secondary in-game currency that allows you to summon new cards. They are far more valuable than gold, as they are earned only through special events and in-app purchase. Special events that provide runes include completing in-game achievements, purchasing the game before May 12, and commenting on the I am MT Facebook page with your game ID.
The PVP Arena is divided into the four smaller arenas representing the four different tiers (or “qualities”) of card power. When you enter an arena, your entire party must comprise only cards that match the quality of that arena. A player will be defending the arena and you must defeat his or her team to seize it. Once you have control of the arena, other players will be able to challenge you. In this way, the PVP mechanic works a lot like “King of the Hill”. Successfully seizing or defending an arena will earn you reputation that helps you rank up in the Arena.
Overall, the game is incredibly grindy. Success in dungeons and PVP is going to rely almost entirely on time or money spent on the game instead of being dependent on player strategy. Still, the card collection and management are fun and the presentation is great. Each card is reminiscent of the heroes and monsters of Warcraft and has flavor text that is full of MMORPG in-jokes. The music fits into the medieval RPG setting perfectly and the art quality is great. I wish the combat required more strategy and decision-making on the part of its players, but if you are looking to get lost in a game with a grind, I AM MT: Battle Cards is among the best grindfests I’ve played on iOS.
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