From the country that brought you the original Power Rangers and Pokemon, comes IMAGIO Co. with GO! GO! Rangers!, an iPhone app that has aspects of both. You command the Rangers and journey throughout the land to battle Monsters, all on a 3×4 grid. Tapping on the blue wave on the map will take you to your first battle, or you can tap the white building in the center to read the instructions or change your options. You are given three Rangers to start with. Tapping on them will give you their stats, so you can choose which ones to send into battle, which you do by dragging them onto the grid on the right. Each Ranger has different strengths and weaknesses and specialties, which are affected by which square of a column they’re on (front, middle, or back). Once you’ve assembled your Rangers, it’s time to face the big bad Monster.
As a turn-based strategy game, there are two phases, the Tactical Phase and the Battle Phase. You can move your Rangers on the grid once, but moving them means that they will not be able to attack until the next Battle Phase (i.e., only stationary Rangers can attack). With every level, New Rangers will be unlocked (up to 12 Rangers) and Monsters will level-up; Monsters have 99 levels, so finishing this game will take a while. You can always go back and replay a level to give your Rangers a little boost.
From the beeping sounds when you tap to choose an option, to the repetitive attack animations, to the electronic background music, GO! GO! Rangers! has a very strong Gameboy feel to it. The excellent graphics, however, are a strong reminder that this is not your childhood game come to life, but instead evolved (the backgrounds and the splash page, especially; the characters in battle are still a bit 8-bit-esque). Where this game app completely falls apart is the writing. The instructions, the explanations, the descriptions: all are poorly written. What this means is that you, being in the dark about the entire game, have to experiment for quite a while in order to get the hang of it–a lot of blind tapping will be in your future. If you’re not the type to read the instructions anyway and like to figure out a game intuitively, then most likely you’ll be fine; but if you like to read up on a game beforehand, then this will only frustrate you, especially if you’re a complete stickler for grammar and syntax and moderately correctly used English. This is a shame, because this game has a lot of potential for being a long, involved festival of fun, particularly for long-time gamers.
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