Popular indie game Skullgirls is now a free-to-play mobile fighting RPG for iOS and Android. And while it does feature some of the annoying free-to-play stuff found in other games in the genre, it's got a surprisingly complex fighting game to back it up.
In many ways Hidden Variable Studios' mobile side-story to Lab Zero Games' [Correction 3:10pm — This piece initially misstated the developers as Project Zero Labs] quirky console and PC fighter is a lot like Kabam's popular Contest of Champions. Players spend gems to score random Skullgirls characters from gatcha-style loot relics. Special moves for each character are collected in the same fashion.
Each character features an elemental affinity that makes them stronger or weaker against the opposing elements. Fire is weak to water but strong against wind. Light and darkness are weak to each other. Pretty standard stuff.
Once a team is assembled, players can journey through story chapters held together via a loose narrative. Chapters follow a branching path structure, with some paths offering greater challenge and bigger rewards.
As characters level up they gain skill points, which can be applied to a talent tree-style progression system. I am a sucker for talent trees.
But it's the actual fighting where Skullgirls mobile really comes together. The game features a system that's initially very similar to most games in the genre, albeit with the added ability to tag in up to two additional partners in battle. Tap for light attacks, swipe for medium attacks, hold both sides of the screen to block. But then they start layering in advanced mechanics like air juggling, throws, throw counters and leg sweeps. It's a level of complexity that most mobile fighting games shy away from, and it's quite refreshing.
Check out the video up top to see the fighting in action.
So yeah, while there are a lot of little free-to-play annoyances to be had in Skullgirls mobile, it's still got the fighting spirit of the console and PC original. Give it a download and see for yourself!