In retrospect, a game like Transformers: Forged to Fight was kind of inevitable. Giant robots fighting each other never seems to get old, and Transformers are a tributary of the 80s nostalgia river flowing through pop culture these days. This free-to-play one-on-one fighting game takes cues from Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, but it features our favorite brawling bots of the Transformers franchise instead of Ryu, Ken, or Sub-Zero. However, while the game's combat can be satisfyingly crunchy, the trappings of the free-to-play app economy might turn you off.
Consistently engaging combat: When your guy lands a punch or kick, there's a real sense of impact, and the touch controls (tap the enemy for a light attack, swipe right for a medium attack, long tap for a heavy attack) are intuitive and responsive. There's no jumping mechanism, but you can dodge to the side by swiping up or down on your fighter, and block by long tapping. When you hit or get hit, a gauge at the bottom of the screen gradually fills up, and when it turns green, you tap on it to unload a particularly damaging combo. You can also hang back and fire projectiles, and then dash forward to close the distance.
The game looks good: There's a lot of visual detail, animation, and vivid color going on, thanks to the Unreal engine. The engine has been used to make some very fancy computer games, and it can now scale down to mobile devices.
The variety of currencies can be hard to track: You have gold, used to upgrade your characters (giving them more hit points, abilities, and damage output); energon cubes, which you use to buy crystals; crystals, for purchasing a variety of disparate things, from repair packs to additional Transformers; loyalty points, which you spend on Alliance Crystals; and Mission Energy, which you expend to travel through a mission area, akin to movement points. This collection of resources may be familiar to strategy game players, but if you want to just dive in and be a huge brawling robot, the economy of the game can be difficult to keep sorted and efficiently participate in.
Unclear picture of the game's eventual price tag: As is typical with free-to-play or "freemium" games, there isn't anything that you can buy in-game with real money that will just unlock all the available content, and no season pass either. You obtain everything piecemeal. The game delivers virtual currency on a scheduled basis for free, but it's slowly paced. And it would be nice to be able to demo some of the premium content, at least. This would help give the player a better idea of what's worth buying.
No in-app way to turn off or adjust notifications: The game will notify you every time your scheduled free currency becomes available, and it sends frequent notes encouraging you to try different activities. And there's no in-app setting to stop this trickle of updates from clogging up your notifications queue. On Android, you have to go to your device's settings, then the App (or Applications) section, find the game, and tap the slider next to "Block all." This could be easier.
While the economy of the game has some annoyances, they are at least familiar to the free-to-play crowd. And it is possible to disable the app's frequent notifications, if you dig around your Android settings. Ultimately, the fun factor of combat and the nostalgic appeal of Transformers manage to elevate Forged to Fight above its issues.
Calling all Autobots, Decepticons, Predacons and Maximals!
Join Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee, Waspinator, Rhinox, Grimlock, Soundwave and many more of your favorite bots in the battle for supremacy where Transformers universes collide. This exciting action-fighting RPG brings the heroic storytelling and spectacular action from over 30 years of Transformers history to your mobile device!