Not quite epic
There aren’t many tactical options during a game of Rock ‘em Sock ‘em robots. The game is, after all, entirely made of plastic. Epic Mech Wars reminds me a bit of Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots, but because it is a video game there is ample opportunity to add dynamic elements that simply could not exist in a physical game. I wish that I could say Epic Mech Wars takes advantage of the creative freedom of its media, but even a brief play session is enough to realize that this isn’t the case.
Epic Mech Wars is entirely focused on slamming two mechs together in combat. There are some nice visual touches during battle, but the dynamism afforded by its electronic nature is not reflected in the combat mechanics. Mechs stand on their respective end of the arena, and players tap the screen to attack the opponent mech. Epic Mech Wars plays out like the most simplistic of Japanese Role Playing Games set in the perspective of a fighting game. Players don’t have direct control over the mech’s movement, so the fact that Epic Mech Wars is structured to appear at a glance to be a game in the vein of Street Fighter is purely for looks. The whole experience ends up feeling rather limited.
Upgrading and leveling mechs feels hollow when they are only to be used in the games ‘tap or be tapped’ battle system. There are plenty of weapons and upgrades to be had, but they don’t add a layer of depth. Fighting with a gun equipped doesn’t feel any different than fighting with claws. Each round of battle feels nearly predetermined, with the only differentiator being how many health packs you have purchased before a fight. I also found it hard to partake in upgrades when I was spending the majority of my coins on health.
Also frustrating is that the game is entirely geared towards pushing players to buy coins via in app purchases. Of course, being free, it is difficult to fault the game for asking for your money, but the IAP can force the player into playing a waiting game.
There isn’t much of a game to be had with Epic Mech Wars. The characters and art style don’t reflect a deeper story, and there is little reason to continue other than to watch progress bars progress. I am usually a sucker for mech customization games, but Epic Mech Wars shows that some giant mech suits are only skin deep.
Epic Mech Wars is available for free as a Universal app.