This is a mobile spin-off for the Gears of War franchise, taking a more accessible approach using the popular Funko Pop! characters instead of the traditional mature models. This allows the game to be something that anyone, at any age could check out. There are a few areas of the game, and to start off this is a free to play title. The core of this experience is the versus mode. This area has you facing off with another player in a straight up head to head battle.
There are ranking tiers and you earn higher placements by winning matches, losing will subtract ranking points. There’s also the Horde mode, where you work with another player. This one is hard to get into as you have to get someone from your clan to play, it’s very inaccessible. You also need special horde tokens, basically consider this locked out unless you find a random clan or have dedicated friends.
Here you’ll play in set waves for points against an AI enemy. Two players against one basically, and it can be grueling and Raam is intense. Side modes are more for learning in this with a Boot Camp section and a Practice area. It is worth noting that the game does support Xbox Achievements and cross-play between IOS, Android, Windows 10 PC with cross-progression as well.
The game is actually rather appealing visually, it looks great on my PC and on my iPhone XS. It features a charming sort of look taking the Funko characters and placing them here with animations. It’s still the intense Gears characters you know, just more fun looking. When they die they pop into a little tiny cap item, so it’s not at all violent. It has many iconic characters and creatures from the franchise, more so of historic legacy ones which is neat.
I do imagine we’ll see more added over time. You collect these from loot crates within the game, that’s also how you upgrade them. For a long time, this aspect works well and it’s really fun to play. As you get into those higher tier levels it does become very difficult as upgrading takes forever. You can only upgrade by winning, and you feel a need to pay to get those items upgraded. I haven’t yet, but do feel I’m getting steam rolled at the high thousand tier area of the ranking system.
Moving past that, gameplay is straight forward. There are three lanes, the two outer ones have barricaded positions. You send out characters, they either capture, support or just advance. Taking higher level positions advance your spawning area which is helpful, you also have an ultimate that can occasionally be placed. This can feel really tense, and for the most part definitely came across as balanced where the tide could turn at any point. There’s a placement balance to be had which is random, characters appear in a small storage area and you need time based recharged energy to release them onto the field of play.
Gears Pop! is a lot of fun to play, there’s a decent balance to the competitive versus yet at the same time it can feel too microtransaction focused in the high ranks. It really does feel ridiculous at times when you get to the higher ranks, and it feels like an edge is there for those that have gotten upgrades for their soldiers. It becomes really difficult to upgrade the essential troops, and that makes it somewhat frustrating quite honestly.
That aside, it really is a great time. I feel very strategic throwing down my favorite Gears characters for a battle. It’s nice that I can enjoy it on my PC, or on my phone when I’m out somewhere or just chilling in another room. It’s easy to play, accessible and has authentic to the series environments. The Horde mode is also neat, but too hard to access.
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Gears Pop! Review on Windows 10 PC & iPhone XS