After launching in several territories around the world, Bandai Namco finally launched Tekken Mobile in the U.S. — two days ahead of schedule. Whether you should actually download the free-to-play title is another matter.
If you have played mobile fighting games like Injustice 2 and Transformers: Forged to Fight, you mostly know how to play Tekken Mobile. Tap and hold on the left part of the screen to guard, while consecutive taps on the right lead to a combo. Tap and hold on the right side to execute a more powerful attack that can break an opponent’s block. Swipe left or right to shift your character across the screen in that direction.
It is a system that works well on Tekken Mobile, but it’s hardly original.
The big twist is the cards system. Cards represent your special moves and show up on the bottom right of your screen. You can combo together these special strikes to inflict significant damage on your opponent. For example, you can use a guard break, followed by a juggle attack and an uppercut attack.
This introduces an appreciated layer of complexity, though overall the system is still rather simple.
It also helps when the game looks and runs as good as Tekken Mobile does. I encountered very few issues when running the game on my Moto X4 and its Snapdragon 630 processor, with slowdown through some menus the only knock against the performance.
The biggest issue some people will have with Tekken Mobile, is how it’s monetized. Everything from loot boxes and healing items to resources for upgrading your characters can be purchased with real-world money. You can also spend money to buy gems, which are also used to get loot.
The pay system isn’t in your face, but you get reminders every now and then that it exists. Your fighters take permanent damage in the story mode, so you must use healing items to mitigate that. You are limited to a certain number of healing items, which are inconsistently doled out in loot boxes and when you finish different chapters.
You can forgo that limit if you have a certain number of gems, which, as previously stated, cost real-world money.
Also, you get new characters by collecting the necessary number of fragments. These fragments come either from completing story chapters or, you guessed it, buying loot boxes.
To Tekken Mobile’s credit, the game throws in-game coins and resource items seemingly from every corner. Just keep in mind it is not afraid to dangle some carrots, hoping you’ll drop some real-world cash.
I could nitpick other weird things I found, such as the inability to use characters in more than one game mode at the same time or the inability to level up fighters when they are “locked up” in a game mode. Even so, I found Tekken Mobile to be a surprisingly enjoyable mobile fighting game worth the download.
You can download Tekken Mobile at the link below.