Battle Bay Review

I’m not much of a mobile gamer, mainly due to the fact that most touchscreen games have terrible controls and that I’d rather game on my desktop instead of my phone. The best mobile games for me have been quick and simple puzzle games that don’t take a long time to load and play. Games you want to play while waiting in line for something or while taking a shit (though I’d much rather read books or reddit these days). In the past, I scratched the itch with games like Hoplite and Pixel Dungeon. Recently I’ve gotten back in 2048. It’s such a fun and simple game. Not a lot of thinking, but satisfying to make progress in. Easy to drop in and out of.

For the past week I’ve also been playing a game called Battle Bay and I think it’s pretty good. Firstly, hats off to Rovio for getting its free to play model right. Unless you want bonuses in this game – you can play the game completely ad-free. Most of the time you want the bonuses because they do give you quite a lot of extra resources, but if you don’t want them you’re not forced to sit through ads.

Battle Bay is a 5v5 online team shooter where you control a ship and win by eliminating your opponents or capturing a spot on the map. Ships, items and tech (to boost your stats/damage) can be upgraded by grinding or purchasing items/resources. The game is in 3rd person view and uses onscreen joysticks to move and aim. It’s very simple but well executed, and since it’s so popular, it’s quick and easy to find opponents to play against.

The great thing about the game is that it’s quite skill and teamwork reliant. Just because you have a pimped out ship, doesn’t mean you’re going to win. I’ve seen a ships fitted with high level items being taken apart by less equipped ships just because they played better together. Generally, the game will try to match you with people of similar Infamy (your skill level/rank) so if you’re new, people around the same level won’t be equipped weapons much higher than your own (and if they are, they’re terrible for still being at the same low rank as you).

But just like every team-based game out there, you’ll encounter the occasional AFK-ers who just sit around and die instead of contributing to the battles. Since it’s 5v5 without any respawns, it’s quite difficult to win when you’re down a ship.

Games last a maximum of five minutes and can end in draws, but that isn’t the case most of the time. Paying to upgrade your items will accelerate your progression, but isn’t necessary (at least I don’t think it is, at the Infamy I’m at).

Overall, the game is fun to play and there’s probably elements of strategy I haven’t discovered yet (right now all I do is look for the enemies, shoot them, and try to avoid their shots) but team composition definitely plays a role in the game. However, there’s no way to find pub matches based on team composition (would probably make matchmaking longer) unless you’re partying with a friend/guildmate. Another thing I wish the game had would be gamepad support, it would make it a lot more fun (I’m terrible with onscreen joysticks) but probably ruin its balancing.

If you’re looking for a competitive multiplayer game that isn’t pay to win, Battle Bay is worth checking out. The game is available now for Android or iOS.

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