When Japan’s DeNA initially teamed up with Hasbro to bring the Transformers franchise to mobile games, I was pretty pleased. Like most kids of the 80s, I’m a big fan . Transformers Legends has been out on Android for a while now, and the title was just released for iOS as well, so I’ve been testing it out over the past few days.
The game comes from DeNA subsidiary ngmoco, but like most games from the card battle genre, Western audiences might need a little more hand holding than folks in Japan — especially casual mobile gamers. Thankfully, the folks over at Kotaku have published a brief guide on the basic principles of Legends, so I encourage you to check it out.
As for me, I enjoyed the familiar characters, as well as the act of collecting and upgrading cards. Finding new cards using the ‘space bridge’ is sort of fun, as is enlisting the help of other gamers in your battles. Legends also features real-time events which last (from what I can tell) for several days, and if you do well during those events, you’ll be rewarded with a variety of items.
Given that DeNA has already managed to pull off a card battle hit in the US market with Rage of Bahamut (we previously talked with them and developer Cygames about it here), ostensibly they know what it takes for Legends to become a hit as well.
But unlike Bahamut, there’s not a referral code system for Legends, so I’m quite not sure how the game will be promoted. The Transformers brand is certainly strong and should attract a number of fans like me. And so far it seems to be performing respectably on the app charts in English-speaking markets like the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and Singapore.
I have a short demo video of the game above if you’d like to learn more. Again, as with many card battle games, it may take a little bit of time to grow on you. But I’m looking forward to playing some more, and digging a little deeper.
If DeNA wants a big marketing push for Legends, the company certainly has the cash to do so. It was just announced that the company’s revenue for the fiscal year 2012 amounted to over $2 billion, with $775 million in operating profit.