Urban Rivals: Bagpipes, Pillz, and Rock & Roll
by Mitch Baylosis-Benesa (Syllica)
Urban Rivals is a browser-based trading card game set in a fictional world called Clint City, a place where dark figures stalk every dark alley. The card battle rules are simple and easy to follow, and animations are fluid and entertaining. The game can be easily accessed by logging on using your Facebook account or via iPhone, giving this game much more accessibility than most any other MMO on the market.
Urban Rivals left me with high expectations upon seeing its edgy and eye-catching graphics. The game's art is especially nice. It is unique and the art screams "urban" at first sight. The deck is not totally cartoony and some folks are downright creepy looking. The cards' elements are properly laid out and formatted so it is easy to identify the name of your character, level, the attack and damage points, the logo of the character's clan, and the card's unique ability-all of which are pretty straightforward.
Urban Rivals presents simple yet engaging gameplay, plus other interesting elements. Each new player is given eight free characters. Each character belongs to a specific clan and if the player gets a character that belongs to the same clan during a battle, there is an appropriate buff for them. The clans-all 21 of them-carry witty and dark descriptions that further paint the urban reality of this game. Collecting characters of the same clan can grant advantages in battle that encourage themed gang decks. I was especially fond of the character evolution system that allows cards to comically evolve as they level up in battle.
It's Time to Duel!
Fighting other players in Urban Rivals is totally random, which prevents match fixes within the game. Each player starts off with four cards, with a total of 12 Life Points. Each card carries a set number of Attack Points representing how much damage the card deals in battle. Damage Points represent how much damage the player receives from an attack; this damage can be magnified by activating Fury which automatically costs 3 Pillz, a special power-up item. These pills can also be used to grant additional power to a character card.
Leader cards represent the prime strength of your deck. These cards are characters that do not belong to any of the 21 clans and instead bring unique power-ups to cards placed around them. When used properly, they can really turn a fight into a one sided beat down.
At the end of the fourth round of combat, the duelist with the lowest remaining life points loses the match. The winner earns experience points so that your character cards can levels up, as well as battle points which can be used to improve your level as an Urban Rivals duelist. Reaching certain levels will earn you perks and advantages in battle. Unlocking higher levels allows you to gain access to more challenging opponents and worthwhile guilds.
Urban Rivals has daily tournaments for players who want to rise up the ladder of Clint City. Various match types are available for player versus player as well including ELO battles, deathmatches, and survivor modes. If you are still learning or wish to test out uncertain deck builds, there exists a practice mode that grants a smaller amount of experience than normal matches. Special story driven missions are also available to offer the full spectrum of MMO gaming modes.
Fate is in the Cards
Urban Rivals is focused in its gameplay and delivers what it promises, fast and furious card battle action. The game mechanics are simple, but it still provides enough nuances to create a challenging player versus player experience. The game is eye-catching, entertaining and has just the right amount of fun factor to make it a great game to play while taking a break from more traditional MMORPGs. The only real downside is the occasional slowdowns in battle response times that can really ruin the mood of an otherwise intense duel.