App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
I've always found the "evil genius" profession to be fascinating. The seemingly endless funds, thousands of faceless drones to do biddings, bringing all manner of ridiculous world domination plans to fruition and those glorious pseudo-60s and 70s aesthetics... If it weren't for the sheer impossibility of it all (and the constant do-gooder thwarting) I'd say it's the life for me.
Thankfully I can live a reasonable facsimile of that life through Plan X. On the surface it's similar to many other social media style free-to-play games with location-based check-ins and friend indoctrination. In addition to all the land-grabbing and empire building, there's also a card game. Henchmen, weapons, personas and more are all represented by cards, which are essential to success. They'll add stat bonuses to help in PvP or with Evil Plans, restore energy or health and can even be traded up to create more powerful cards.
In all honesty, I think Plan X is the most interesting and compelling free-to-play game involving building up stats in order to beat down other players I've ever played on my iPhone. There are a lot of cards to collect and a virtually unlimited amount of locations to contest. Owned locations will yield varying amounts of cash depending on what's been built on them, and can also be used to buy special cards for less than they go for in the store. Really, there are just a whole lot of smaller elements that come together to make this game awesome, and extremely compelling to play.
This isn't to say that it couldn't stand to get a few tweaks here and there. The initial tutorial is generally helpful, but there's an awful lot of minutiae that isn't covered. I've also experienced a fair amount of crashing at various points. Restarting the game always put me right back where I was, but it can get annoying. On top of that, I've found that there's some kind of glitch when manually depositing specific amounts of cash. Specifically, the keypad won't go away after I make a deposit and I can't back out of the window. Restarting fixes this, too, but again, it's annoying.
I'll admit that there's a lot about Plan X that appeals specifically to me, and that it might not be quite as amazing to someone with a different set of preferences. Even so, it's still a great freemium game that makes the location-based check-ins feel natural and doesn't overly punish lower level players as many others tend to do. I really hope extrafeet (dynamite name, by the way) continues to update and support this game, because it's really something special.