Developer: Mob In Life
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 2.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

IMG_0432[1]These days people can’t go anywhere without their mobile phones. At this point it’s really only a matter of time before they just rise up and destroy us all. However, if Phone Fight is to be believed, before our phones become our new overlords they’ll be our battling virtual pets. It’s a charming, creative distraction but soon players will just be waiting for the overlord phase to get here already.

Gangs of nasty viruses are attacking the digital world and the only way to stop them is to train cell phones to be a mighty online warriors. The Saturday morning cartoon take on a high-concept cyber-thriller calls to mind Digimon more than anything else. Strengthening that comparison is Phone Fight’s even split between RPG and virtual pet gameplay. To train their phones players must battle other phones online or against their friends as well as take on the dozens of missions and boss fights from the game’s story mode. The turn-based battles themselves are mostly automated and actually kind of boring. However, players can occasionally pop bubbles onscreen to gather coins or unleash bombs while the phones are pummeling each other. Also, the various collectable weapons like swords, stakes, and water guns each have charming little attack animations.

In between battles though, players spend time taking care of their phones’ more personal needs. Since Phone Fight is a freemium game phones can only spend so much battery power at a time so in the meantime customization will have to tide players over. They can change their phone’s hairstyle, rub its nose, and give it snacks to eat. Keeping morale high is important too because a happy phone is an effective phone. Helping sell the illusion are the vibrant visuals, including the phone’s big, screen-filling, expressive face, as well as the peppy, whistling soundtrack.

However, for all of its crazy sentient phone plotlines and different systems culled from different genres, Phone Fight just ends up feeling like another energy suck. Once the charm of watching phones emote wears off all that’s let are pretty basic, unremarkable turn-based battles and pet sim flourishes. Phone Fight is like a phone that looks great in the store but quickly loses much of its luster long before the contract is up.

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