All hobby couch potatoes will agree that playing computer or console games can be a blast. Since the dawn of the smartphone, many games have migrated into the mobile arena. Blood Brothers (RPG) is a good example of a popular game that is also available as an app for Android—but has its transition been a success? Read on for our take.
Features & Use
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Android version: 4.1.1
Modifications: Yes / Popcorn Kernel 11.5
Runs as of: Android 2.0
Apps2SD: Could not be detected on the Galaxy Nexus
Size: Ca. 26 MB
Optimised for ICS or Jelly Bean: No
Mobage provides a page with information regarding the required permissions, which we appreciate. That said, they tell us that the reason the “calls” permission is required is to gather information related to the device for analyses purposes. We're not quite sure why this is necessary...
Role playing games are all about interesting narratives that unfold as you play, and I usually get drawn into a game's story. Bad guys, heroes, weird creatures—what's not to love? Couple this with a great imaginary setting and you've got a winner in my eyes.
Bringing the same kind of atmosphere to the scaled down display of a smartphone is a challenge and our expectations are not as high as when we're sitting in front of our bigger screens. Our attitude towards playing games on smartphones is different—and Blood Brothers is thus to be seen as a sort of “lite” version of a role playing game.
The narrative is about the betrayal of fallen heroes turned vampires. Select one of the characters to help you bring about the downfall of the now-corrupt kingdom.
The first requirement is to login to the multiplayer service Mobage, either via Facebook or your own account, which takes a while to load.
Once this is taken care of you can choose your alter ego: knight, samurai, high elf, dark elf, ape, lizardman, dwarf or goblin.
Battles are a big part of Blood Brothers (RPG). Once you've liberated your hero from his coffin he is ready to face his enemies with the help of a friend who provides hints and helps you get settled into the gameplay. The goal is to scout out new territories and fight monsters and other baddies. The setting looks like a board game and the characters move like pieces in a board game. Along the way you will dins gold, treasure and items as well as monsters galore. Fights against monsters are fully automated, meaning you can and must kind of lean back and twiddle your thumbs, seeing as there's not much else for you to do (you can't control the fighters or select attacks). Some players will enjoy this passive approach, others may find it to be somewhat dull.
However, you can compose your party of fighter using coins collected along the way and then selecting from five levels of characters in the graveyard. The characters all have different trademarks and some are rarer than others.
Another means for gathering characters to join one's posse is using the elixirs or by turning an enemy into an ally once you have defeated them in battle and used the elixir on them. The standard elixir's success rate of turning an enemy to an ally is not 100%, so best to use the rarer elixir with which I always had more success.
As mentioned, it isn't directly possible to influence battles whilst they're taking place, but building a strong party is key and requires strategic thinking.
My favourite aspects to the game are the option to create parties of fighters and the blood brothers rites. The latter consists of a special act in which the leader takes on his posse in order to acquire their abilities. Two fighters become one, making the game more interesting.
Blood Brothers is an interesting RPG. I'm on the fence about whether I would really recommend it and would say that it's certainly not a good match for gamers who enjoy active battle scenes. However, it's a good fit for people who like the board game variety of action game.
Screen & Controls
To sum up this category one could say: okay, but there's still room for improvement.
The featured characters aren't animated and while we can live with that we found the levels dull and uninspired overall.
The menu us muddled and not as user friendly as we would like it to be. That said, the help texts are plentiful and easy to understand.
At the bottom of the screen a large Blood Brothers (RPG) banner is always switched on. We don't really see the point in this, seeing as we're already playing the game and don't need an incentive to, erm play the game...
Speed & Stability
This is where Blood Brothers (RPG) really falls short. In order to play the game an active internet connection is an absolute requirement. All in-game elements – be they monsters or bags of money – are loaded via the internet. Not only is this annoying, it sucks up a lot of battery power, too!
Worse: despite the very stabile WiFi connection I was tapping into throughout my test runs I kept encountering connection issues. The game loads too slowly as well and monsters can take up to five seconds to actually start doing something. I found these waiting times to be a nuisance.
Blood Brothers (RPG) is free and can be downloaded directly from the AndroidPIT App Center or via Google Play. Some of the things that will help you get ahead in the game can be bought with coins which, in turn, can be purchased with real money.