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WarGames: WOPR Review
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WarGames: WOPR, a Dungeon Raid-style Match-3 puzzler from Be-Rad Entertainment, is now available from the app store. Featuring the likenesses and voices of characters from the 1983 cult classic flick, as well as engaging gameplay, WarGames: WOPR creates an air of excitement thirty years in the making.

WarGames: WOPR Pros:

  • Old-school neon presentation with tactics and mods to enhance gameplay
  • Soundtrack mixes techno and chiptune to great effect
  • Controls use line-drawing mechanics and show good responsiveness
  • Engaging and addicting gameplay
  • GameCenter and Crystal integration for global leaderboards and achievements

WarGames: WOPR Cons:

  • Not quite as deep as Dungeon Raid
  • Some minor balancing issues regarding the use of enemy attacks

WarGames: WOPR provides over 40 levels of head-to-head battle between you (playing as the WOPR computer) and characters from the movie, challenging you to create chains of similar items in order to obtain money, increase your instant bonus meter, and defeat your opponent before he defeats you. You are presented with a 6 x 6 grid of icons (dollar signs, radar satellites, missiles, and health crosses) below images of yourself and your opponent, each with a specific health rating. To play, you must select an item type and drag your finger across 3 or more matching adjacent symbols. Dollar signs will add money to your total, which can be used to purchase equipped tactics on-the-fly. Health will restore some of your damage, satellites will increase your instant bonus counter, and missiles will deal damage to your opponent. Occasionally, your opponent launches attacks at you in the form of timebombs. A modified missile symbol appears on-screen with a possible damage figure and a turn timer. You must include this symbol in a match of missiles before the timer reaches zero, or the attack will be successful. The damage number can be significantly large, so you’ll want to eliminate the threat as quickly as possible. Similarly, there are enemy health symbols that work in the same way, but restore health to the enemy if you cannot clear them in time.

Each vanquished enemy will reward you with kB, a type of currency exchanged for tactics and mods that will become crucial to achieving victory. Mods are passive and always factor into the gameplay, while tactics are available for purchase during play. Tactics include things like bombers that deal instant damage to your opponent, missiles that damage enemy tiles, tanks that damage or destroy all tiles in a specific row, and more. Tactics are also upgradeable to increase their effectiveness. If you collect enough dollar symbols, you can purchase any equipped tactic during a level. Mods, which are also upgradeable, offer constant assistance by modifying aspects of the game, such as awarding health/damage points for all chains over a specific length, providing money on each turn, creating power-up tiles when certain criteria are met, and so on. Learning effective use of your tactics and mods is half the battle and it doubles the fun.

Graphically, WarGames: WOPR uses simplified graphics, static movie stills, and an old-school neon style that meshes to create a look that feels a bit dated, an appropriate choice for a 30-year-old movie tie-in. Connecting symbols creates a white line over the affected pieces, making it easy to follow your pathway. There isn’t a whole lot more to it. The soundtrack is a mix of techno beats and chiptune music, fitting for the style and theme of the game. It has a way of getting in your head and sticking there for a while. Controls are simply drag-based and intuitive enough not to require detailed explanation. Replay value is good, as the gameplay is wonderfully addicting; there are multiple difficulty levels; you are awarded with bronze, silver, or gold medals for each level; and the multitude of tactics and mods are fun to mix and match. There is even a quirky poker game that appears every so often, challenging you to drop enemy missiles to the bottom row for destruction, rather than the usual method. All other typical tiles are replaced by spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. GameCenter integration brings leaderboards and achievements for additional incentive to play on. A universal app for $0.99, WarGame: WOPR is a ridiculously fun 4.5-Dimple nostalgia blast.

WarGames: WOPR Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2012-06-19T20:09:23+00:00 rating 4.5 out of 5

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