About This Place

First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

KMGR of "Metal Gear Acid"

From top to bottom, Big Boss, Liquid Snake and...Image via Wikipedia

Metal Gear Acid is a weird game... It features Snake as normal, as it IS a Metal Gear game, but the game mechanics is TURN-based. Yes, you read right... turn-based, and is based on a deck of cards. Yes, cards. However, it does work, and the result is a turn-based tactical stealth game that is, well, very interesting.

At the beginning of the story, terrorists have hijacked a plane with some very important VIPs. They demand release of a secret project at a base nobody knew existed. Snake has been ordered to infiltrate the base that allegedly house this project and figure out what's going on.

Throughout the game, Snake will chat with his "handler" at regular trigger points to further expand the plot. I haven't gotten too far into the story (first 3 chapters) so I can't tell you too mcuh about it, but I expect the normal twists and turns.

You can choose to do the tutorial to familiarize yourself with the game concepts, and it's a novel one. Each turn has four phases... Your phase 1 and 2, then enemy phase 1 and 2. You have a deck of 30 cards. Inside are weapons, health / armor and such, special skills, and other items. Each card has a movement value. You start with 6 cards out of a deck of 30, randomly drawn. You play 1 card per phase. At the beginning of next turn, you drawn enough to go back to 6 cards, and the process repeats. If you ran out of cards, the deck is reshuffled and the process repeats.

(There are additional cards scattered throughout the level you can go after if you wish to)

Each card can be either used for its own purpose, or movement. Some "equipment" cards can be placed in the 2 equipment slots for later use. As the cards you draw are random, you must remain flexible with your plans. However, your "deck" remains fixed.

For example, say you want to move, then shoot the camera with your silenced pistol. You pick a card you don't really need to use its movement value (about 3, which means Snake can move 3 squares) as phase 1. Then in phase two, you use the Pistol-SD card, select a target (the camera), and choose "use" instead of "move", and you'll pop the camera. This of course assume you are in range, and the camera is within your line of sight.

And there are lots of options. You can change facing between phases. You can face the wall then flatten, which means you will automatically turn 180 and flatten against the wall, making you almost invisible. While flattened, you can "knock", which is a standard distraction ploy. Nearby guard will investigate, and you can use that momentary distraction to move past him. You can also crawl instead of regular "walk".

How you get through the level is up to you, but basically, the usual objective is to retrieve either a key or some sort of info, and make it to the exit square without attracting too much attention (none is preferred).

In your way are human guards, cameras, robot guard dogs, and more. Cameras can be shot. Guards can be killed or distracted. Robot guard dog can be avoided or fed a chaff grenade (which stuns it for 1 turn). There are nastier bad guys later. To plan your route, you can engage "camera mode", which shows you the viewing area of each and every camera or guard on the level. Again, avoid them if you can, quietly dispose of them if you can't.

On some levels, you can use a disguise, such as a box, which obviously, don't move under its own power. So as long as no guard or camera see your box move, they will ignore it.

All in all, Metal Gear Acid is a weird game. It manages to retain the flavor of Metal Gear series, but made it turn-based with a deck of cards serving as play mechanism. It takes a bit of getting used to, but the end result is one fun game that's almost perfectly suited for mobile market.

Score: 7.5 out of 10
Pros: still Snake and Metal Gear stuff
Cons: card-based combat resolution and play mechanism takes a bit of getting used to, turn-based may be too slow for some

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