Version Reviewed: 1.1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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The Assassin's Creed franchise has achieved tremendous success on PCs and consoles over the last few years. Understandably so given their keen mix of sneaking and platforming alongside a fascinating historical storyline. For iOS, there's been a similar level of success with numerous games such as Assassin's Creed - Altair's Chronicles, Assassin's Creed Rearmed and Assassin's Creed II Discovery. This time round, it's an entirely different kind of experience with Assassin's Creed Recollection focusing on a mixture of a board game and card game with Real Time Strategy elements. It's an intriguing mix, one that takes some getting used to but it's worth taking that time.
Gameplay is a little complex to explain. Essentially, the player fights against the AI (or a friend) in order to gain territories. This is done through placing appropriate cards to gain points. Different cards mean different points and they also each offer different abilities that can be used to attack more effectively or provide boosts for friendly cards. Throughout all this, gameplay is slowed down by a timer that scrolls across the screen affecting when cards can come into play, similar to a system used in Lumines in the past.
This description is incredibly simplistic though. As the comprehensive tutorial explains, there's a lot of depth to explore here. To the point that once the tutorials are completed, it's a little overwhelming at times. There's so much to keep track of! While the steady stream of time isn't fast, there's seemingly no way of pausing action so the player has to have their wits about them at all times. Keeping track of point values and how the opposing player is doing is plenty to do without taking into account the different abilities some cards can offer.
It is very enjoyable once it all begins to click though. I'm not a huge card game player but I enjoyed figuring it all out and wanted to keep playing in order to collect more cards and progress through the story. As an Assassin's Creed fan, the fan service is exceptional with the artwork of every card oozing the quality I've come to expect from other games. There's a real touch of class to the general presentation with the likes of an art gallery section added for those wanting to browse what they've collected from previous games, as well as this one. There's also the addition of an animated short film Assassin's Creed Embers which provides the final chapter of Ezio Auditore's journey.
Put together, it's a great package for card game fans and Assassin's Creed fans alike. The story mode within Assassin's Creed Recollection promises 8-10 hours of fun and the online multiplayer will no doubt extend that. Throw in the time it'll take to collect all 280 cards/memories and there's a lot of gameplay to be had for fans of the franchise.