Living up to its name, the Transformers franchise is more adaptable than most intellectual properties of its size. Optimus Prime and his crew have been through countless spin-offs like Beast Wars, hundreds of action figure lines and, of course, a trio of Michael Bay blockbusters. Now the robots in disguise, who first graced the gaming industry in the ancient days of the Commodore 64, are once again gearing up for uncharted territory: this time, a card-battling video game.
Transformers Battle is the brainchild of developer ngmoco, the studio that worked on the surprisingly successful Rage of Bahamut. Representing an evolution of the concepts established in that title, Transformers Battle will again challenge players to craft a nine-card deck and do battle with computer opponents or online competitors. As seen in the screenshot, players can choose from a variety of Generation 1 characters with varying skill levels in melee, ranged attacks and special moves. From what Hasbro and ngmoco have revealed so far, the most interesting feature appears to be the ability to combine characters with the vehicles they transform into — doing so treats the player to a massive score bonus and a nifty on-screen transformation. Naturally, players can use points to acquire new cards and keep battling.
While card-battle games are massively popular in Asia, the genre has struggled to captivate Western markets. But the most obvious thing that Transformers Battle has going for it may also be its greatest asset: it licenses an absolutely massive intellectual property. Considering that most successful card games in America share that simple trait (see: Metal Gear Acid, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Pokemon Trading Card Game), Transformers Battle should be in a good position to catch word of mouth when it rolls out onto iOS and Android devices this fall.