App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
User Interface Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Missile Cards takes the classic gameplay from Missile Command and turns it into a Solitaire game. The result is a quirky and fun turn-based game, but there are just a few things about it that hold it back a bit.
In Missile Cards, you are in charge of protecting a planetary base from incoming meteors and other threats. You have various weapons at your disposal to accomplish this task, but they need to be equipped and charged before being deployed.
All of this action is distilled into a Solitaire-like game, where you are drawing cards of various types–meteors, missiles, lasers–and deciding how best to use them to ensure that you can keep your base alive by the time you reach the end of the deck.
The core of Missile Cards revolves around strategically knowing how and when to use your weapons. There's nothing you can really do about meteors when you draw them except decide if you're going to destroy them when they start hurtling toward your base or not. Although it seems like you'd want to destroy all threats in every situation that you can, your base can actually sustain a limited amount of damage before being destroyed, and there are certain instances where taking a hit early lets you conserve resources and live longer.
This becomes increasingly important as players unlock new bases and environments. Additional hazards and power ups start emerging in decks that really force you to change up your strategies and consider each and every threat as it comes.
In good hands
The core idea of Missile Cards is great and it has some satisfying strategic layers, but there are times when playing the game that things just seem unfair. Since the order of weapons, meteors, and power ups is randomized in a deck of cards in each round, a bad opening hand can doom you to fail before you even begin. There are upgrade mechanics in Missile Cards that let you upgrade your base and make it more resilient no matter the situation, but you have to grind out points to earn these upgrades.
There are also some other small, but annoying, aspects to Missile Cards that make it a little less mobile-friendly than it could otherwise be. For starters, Missile Cards is a landscape-only game that sacrifices a lot of screen space to a red frame around all of the action. It seems totally conceivable to cut a lot of this framing out and stack the horizontal elements ontop of each other to make Missile Cards playable in portrait mode. Beyond this, the animations in the game are a little slow, which can make busting out a quick game on-the-go a little more cumbersome than it should be.
The bottom line
Missile Cards is a smart and clever mashup of Solitaire and Missile Command, but it has some very noticeable issues that hold it back. It doesn't always feel the most fair, and it's UI could use some work, but underneath those surface-level complaints is a pretty great solo card game.