Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
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There’s no getting around it: you’ve probably seen games similar to Compass Point: West before. It’s one of those “build a town, defense the town, and use misc. characters/soldiers to attack others” kind of deals. But while it’s easy to be dismissive, you might actually want to give this one a chance.
Compass Point: West isn’t just a “me too” town builder. Aside from the wild west theme, the underlying structure and pacing is also a bit different (and I think much improved).
The biggest change here is how attacking units (sidekicks) are handled. Rather than having to pay multiple times to churn out a bunch of fodder then wave goodbye to everyone you use in a fight and hire even more back, your sidekicks can be used over and over again so long as they don’t get wounded. And if they do get wounded, they’ll relax over at the Medicine Wagon for a little while to heal up.
Sidekicks also aren’t produced at something like a barracks, but are rather drawn from a small hand of cards at the saloon. A basic pack will give you two separate draws of three cards, and you get to pick one from each set (so one draw earns you two cards). What’s more, duplicate cards - both sidekicks and workers that can reduce wait times - may be combined in groups of four to create more powerful cards.
Compass Point: West is also a surprisingly pretty game. It looks like fairly typical town builder fare until you zoom in on a building and realize that the environments are actually in 3D, not just pre-rendered sprites. The animations on the characters are still fairly simplistic, but the buildings and stuff all look quite nice.
As for the other thing I imagine most of you are curious about: no, Compass Point: West isn’t completely breaking the mold with its monetization model. I find it to be far more agreeable than a lot of the other, similar games that I’ve played, though. Not losing sidekicks after a fight, being able to combine characters into stronger characters, a relatively decent rate of resource acquisition (at least in the beginning phases), and free card pack draws every two hours (with rewards and other cards that can severely lessen this time limit) all go a long way towards keeping me more interested that frustrated.
Whether or not Compass Point: West will replace other freemium town builders in a player’s heart depends on how deeply they’re invested in what they’re already playing, but I think it’s worth a mosey on over to the saloon even if it’s just to take a gander.