Urban Rivals Hands-On

If you’re like us, then you are sick of the unnecessary amount of friend code-spamming, money-gulping MMOs constantly plaguing the App Store. Recent pushes to innovate the genre and change this bad reputation (such as CozyQuest) have given us renewed hope. While it’s not a text-based game like its counterparts, Urban Rivals innovates iPhone MMOs even further with cross-platform integration and card battling. Even in its beta state, the game is showing potential.

Urban Rivals originated on the web. At its core, the premise of the game is that you use cards to battle other players. The game has tons of unique cards to collect and it caters to many play styles. For example, some characters bash through your opponent with brute force, while others are more risky but can reap higher rewards.

One of the interesting parts of this system is the ability to buy booster packs, much like those for card games such as Pokemon. For those not familiar, a card pack gives you a set number of random cards (in this case three, or eight for a special pack). In Urban Rivals, card pack themes are based around a selection of clans– a group of characters which, when together in a deck, gain special abilities. Like in a real world card game, certain cards are extremely rare. Players have the ability to trade online, which is a great feature when scouting out the card you need.

After a detailed tutorial, you are given a selection of servers to choose from, each with a different difficulty level and set of rules. As you gain levels, new servers are unlocked, which in turn opens up a bit more of the story. Servers are cross-platform, meaning that computer and iPhone players can go head-to-head against each other. This is a feature that, while proven to work effectively with games such as Anytime Pool, is still quite new to the device.

Urban Rivals is still in beta, so many features are still to be added to the iPhone version of the game before release. Boostr CEO and Urban Rivals developer Sebastien Flory told us that features still to come include an in-game shop (currently booster packs can only be bought through the website), an iPhone website, and more.

We were also informed that they will utilize the in-app purchases feature that was a part of OS 3.0. One thing Flory stated that we found interesting was ‘The game [is] entirely built using a soon to be public API. We expect developers to create more apps (Web, iPhone, you name it) using our platform and fit every conceivable need.’ Developers, take note! Urban Rivals has no set release date at the moment, but Flory hopes to get the game out this summer.

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