App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
There are an awful lot of multiplayer iOS games out there. While most of them involve some form of competitive mode, not that many are exclusively about it. Even those that are specifically designed with player-vs-player in mind tend to have a bit more to them. Often times it involves setting up defenses or building up offense, but either way there's usually a bit more to it than just straight-up fighting. Well, that's what Mamba Nation Battle is for.
Players start by setting up an avatar of sorts using a surprisingly robust amount of customization options. Seriously, along with the handful of face choices (with variations for different skin tones), there are a bunch of shoe, shirt, pants and full outfits to settle on. After that, all that's left is to pick a fight.
The bouts in Mamba Nation Battle are fast and easy to jump in and out of. Finding a potential victim is as simple as tapping the Fight button and choosing from the provided list of evenly-matched players (i.e. they have the same or +1 total wins) .There are a number of both offensive and defensive moves that can be queued up in an action bar, also by tapping. Once a player has their move list to where they want it, they just hit "go" and watch the outcome. In addition to bragging rights, wins (and adding Facebook friends) will earn more stuff like extra slots in the action bar or new apparel options.
Aside from the bevy of ads (which make sense seeing as it's a free game), my only real complaint about Mamba Nation Battle is that it's a fairly shallow experience overall. There's no direct interaction during fights and no real progression aside from leaderboards and a few minute unlockables. It's ideal for short bursts of simple fun and for checking out other peoples' creativity, but it doesn't take very long for interest to start waning.
All told, I enjoyed my time spent messing around with Mamba Nation Battle. I'm a sucker for character customization so I really liked messing around with the outfits (I settled on a kind of hipster office worker rendition of Jason Voorhees wielding a battle axe). The combat is a tad simple, but it's interesting to try and predict the other user's moves before the match even starts. And blocking a really nasty attack always satisfies. As does unlocking new gear.