Truth be told, I’m not much of a mobile gamer. However, I am a huge Star Wars fan. Disney’s been lagging behind on the interactive side of both the Marvel and Star Wars IPs over the last couple of years, so if you’re a fan of either, you’ve likely had to dabble into its mobile offerings. Back in September, I checked out Kabam’s Star Wars: Uprising, which was an impressive, albeit somewhat shallow, title.
Recently, I decided to try out EA’s Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, a new Star Wars mobile game out on Android and iOS. For whatever reason, EA marketed this one as a collectible card game, which has led to some confusion, but this game is more comparable to a game like Marvel: Avengers Alliance. There aren’t any cards to be had here or decks to be made.
In Galaxy of Heroes, players collect many Star Wars characters from both the Light and Dark sides of the spectrum and battle against AI in a turn-based classic JRPG affair. I’m a real sucker for turn-based games, so the notion of playing a turn-based Star Wars RPG certainly piqued my interest.
I haven’t dug too deeply into the game just yet, but so far it seems to progress exactly like Avengers Alliance, where you go from mission to mission (split into chapters) and do battle with a team you assemble yourself from the characters you’ve collected. There is both a Light Side and Dark Side campaign, though the latter can only be unlocked once you’ve reached level 12 and collected at least three Dark Side characters. The game starts you off on the Light Side with a Jedi Consular, Clone Wars Chewbacca, and a Clone Wars Trooper. You’ll soon collect a Jawa and an Ewok Scout to round out your initial party.
Each character has up to four different abilities, though they will always start off with two active abilities (one basic, one special) that can be used in battle. Some characters have passive abilities, including a Leader ability that provides a team-wide buff to your squad. For example, Chewbacca can unlock Wookiee Resolve as a Leader ability and this grants your entire squad +10 defense.
All your typical RPG trappings can be found in Galaxy of Heroes. The roster progression resembles many other mobile games in that you collect characters of various star levels, with the ability to train up those characters and promote them to higher star levels for even greater levels of power. Missions also reward loot which can be equipped to your characters to develop and tailor them further.
Galaxy of Heroes also features PvP, though I’m not high enough level to sample it just yet. Like most mobile games, the PvP involves you playing against the AI version of your opponent’s setup, so those of you hoping for some live (or even asynchronous) turn-based PvP can be as disappointed as I am.
So far, nothing seems to be locked behind a paywall, but the game does use an energy system, which is one of the main reasons I abhor gaming on mobile. That said, you don’t need to try to game the energy system to avoid earning wasted energy, as you’ll be able to utilize energy collected above your maximum. The microtransactions are a bit friendlier in price as well. 10 bucks will get you a pack of four Data Cards, which is one way you can collect characters (the other is through finding specific character shards along your adventures). Energy refills cost around 50 cents if you don’t feel like waiting out the recharge time. You can also earn Bronzium Cards through the game’s Allies system, which can reward you with up to two star characters, credits, gear, and other materials. I’m still waiting for the typical “Ah ha! This is how they get you!” moment I inevitably run into with every mobile game, but things have been OK so far aside from the energy.
I don’t know if this one will hook me into logging in every day, but I’m really enjoying the turn-based take on Star Wars for the moment and at the low price of free*, I would encourage you to check it out for yourself if you’re looking for a fun Star Wars experience on the go. Galaxy of Heroes is easy to jump in and out of and the varied characters (over 50!) and abilities offer at least the promise of depth. Right now, I’m looking forward to hitting level 12 so I can assemble my Dark Side squad.