It's no secret that more and more people are gaming on their phones. In fact 33% of all smartphone users are gaming on their phones thanks to Iphone and Android. In years past, the quality of games you could get on these devices really hasn't been up to par with mobile gaming platforms like the PSP or Nintendo DS. Recently; however, there seems to be an influx of console/PC developers porting their games to cell phones with mixed results. We also have seen some relatively unknown developers start to produce some quality titles. Allow me to share with you one such game, Blood Brothers for Android.
Blood Brothers is as derivative as it gets. Clearly a combination of collectible card battle games, Pokemon and rudimentary RPG (or Dungeons and Dragons if you prefer) mechanics. That fact doesn't; however, make it unfun. While the combat itself is incredibly simple, if you've played Culdcept Saga you will be used to static models making bad sound effects while moving across the screen to do damage. The basic hook for the game is the collection of a bunch of familiars (read: monsters) that you level up to do battle with more monsters as you travel along a static path. There's a bit more depth to the development of your familiars as you have to decide to either level up some for up to three "Bands" (read: parties) or sacrifice them to improve the stats or skills of familiars you wish to continue to use. There are some items involved as well along with stat bonuses for completing objectives but that's the general idea.
Also notable, is this is a free-to-play game so unlocking more characters is either done by capturing new creatures upon defeating them, collecting coins and redeeming them for a random familiar or of course, paying Mobage for a better chance at a Rare or Epic familiar. The familiars come in tiers and preference is given to familiars purchased with real money.
After a certain amount of progression, the game will start spawning somewhat randomized player vs player battles in your path. These are nearly indentical to the battles against the CPU but seem several times harder than any previous engagement you've had. Luckily, there really isn't a downside to the PvP battles as you still get experience win or lose.
One thankful addition is the ability to quickly register an account without the use of Facebook. Mobage has a social system that contains a friends list and the ability to post to your friends profiles but not much else in the way of useful functionality. I think I'm either missing something here that wasn't readily apparent or perhaps they just wanted my email address for marketing purposes.
This game can by no means stack up against a full Pokemon release but as a cell phone game, for free that can be played in short bursts it has certainly held my attention the last 24 hours. If you are looking for something to hold your attention for those times when you have 5 minutes to spare or just enjoy the grind of an RPG with rather nice art, I would recommend Blood Brothers.