G.I. JOE BATTLEGROUND is a turn-based strategy game where players are able to collect characters from the G.I. JOE universe, form their own Cobra forces, explore battle maps and crush all the enemies in the way. G.I. JOE BATTLEGROUND is not a bad game, but it is a low-budget and unsatisfactory one that conforms to the same formula of Blood Brothers, yet under the disguise of a line of G.I. JOE action figures.
The game starts in the bootcamp where you will learn some basic rules of how the game work and what you can do. You will advance through a path guarded by various enemies and its followers. When you encountered an enemy, the battle will be triggered and your leader unit and other units in the squad will engage in the turn-based battle against enemies, which are basically composed of a couple of units. Battle is executed automatically when you confirm to tap the “Engage” button. After you win a battle, all of your units engaged in the battle will gain XP that can be used to level up your characters and restore energy.
Despite the military theme, G.I. JOE BATTLEGROUND bears a strong resemblance to Blood Brothers and I’m MT. Even though there is not a single card in the game, the character purchasing, collecting, upgrading and fighting work in the same way as those in some recent collectible card games Blood Brothers and I’m MT. Players just move their squad along predetermined paths and battle any enemy they encounter.
G.I. JOE BATTLEGROUND differs from I’m MT and Blood Brothers in some other respects. Characters gain experience through battles as long as they survive those battles and each mission contains tens of waves of enemies instead of 3 or just a few as in I’m MT and other recent CCG titles. Players don’t spend energy upon entering a mission map. They consume it while leaping along the path in the map. The characters collected, or captured to be specific, are not randomly dropped by the enemies in the missions. Instead, they appear randomly after players eliminate a wave of enemies and can be dealt with only by using consumable items.
Naturally, the consumable items players get through adventures wouldn’t be enough to inflict damage on every promising captive they encounter. Players can either give up chances to obtain more characters or just pay real money to purchase more consumables. In that way, G.I. JOE BATTLEGROUND tricks players into spending real money to some extent never seen before in similar CCG titles. The game also features multiple paths in battle maps. Players don’t necessarily follow the only one main path. They can also leap down the side paths and collect more drops and battle more enemies along the way.
But not every difference is welcomed. For example, the expanded size of enemies in a mission map makes the missions even more challenging. Players can only bring a few characters into battles, and a character won’t be healed or resurrected until the current mission is finished. In that case, the deceasing of any of them is an irreparable loss for players in the mission and they would often end up being alive with only one character when they clear the mission map. This keeps most characters from gaining experience on the one hand, (after all they are killed and could not obtain experience), and leaves players prone to loss and defeat on the other .