In South Park: Phone Destroyer, you control a New Kid – just like in other South Park games, such as Stick of Truth – that is the best at using his phone in Cowboys and Indians, a pseudo card game played by the kids of South Park. Straight away on the Cowboy’s side, you use famous South Park characters (plus a few no-name filler ones) to fight in small levels to reach the boss.
Each card can be summoned using energy that is generated over time, with each card either being a Tank, a ranged damage dealer, a fighter or an assassin. You need to manage your energy gain throughout the level, as well as protect yourself as you summon more cards to eventually beat the boss.
South Park is firmly a cartoon about making fun of things in the real world and, in classic South Park style, even the music manages to make fun of its contemporary – the music manages to beautifully mimic Gwent’s (another CCG) musical style, but mixed with a healthy dose of cowboy music. Considering this is a South Park game, you wouldn’t expect it to have such sophisticated musical mixing.[sc name=”quote” text=”Considering this is a South Park game, you wouldn’t expect it to have such sophisticated musical mixing.”]
In-between story missions you get little group messages from the South Park gang, usually insulting one another or, more commonly, you. All the humour and style of the cartoon is present in South Park: Phone Destroyer, although made just a little bit more PG. You can buy new and better cards through Cartman’s store or even fight in PvP matches using a very racist caricature of a Chinese fight organiser, played by Butters.
The introductory story feels like a complete game that manages to tie you into the simple plot and actually want to win. Considering this is a simple little CCG with South Park tie-ins, this is really impressive. The entire purpose of the starting story is, of course, to ease you into PvP where the meat of the game is. The gameplay is slightly different from the single-player versions, wherein you have a timer and need to specifically beat down the enemy player.
South Park: Phone Destroyer utilises quite well the necessary variety of cards needed to create a well-balanced meta. There are a plethora of cards and combinations thereof, allowing you to customize your deck as you see fit to create the most powerful combinations according to your strategy.[sc name=”quote” text=”There are a plethora of cards and combinations thereof, allowing you to customize your deck as you see fit to create the most powerful combinations according to your strategy.”]
An issue with many CCGs, and indeed with South Park: Phone Destroyer, is the seeming arbitrariness of the loot system; on winning the match you can pick from a variety of doors that hold loot, looking for the three best ones. This you just hope you get the good items, or you’re out of luck and get something mediocre. The lack of a decent system of reward will leave you feeling like you’ve got nothing useful out of that awesome battle.
However, despite this confusing system of rewards, South Park: Phone Destroyer manages to be a fun, free-to-play CCG strategy card game that ties together the inherent humour of South Park with the great gameplay of any well-made CCG. Assuming CCGs are a genre that you enjoy, there’s no reason not to venture into South Park and try it for yourself.
[review pros=”Well made and varying card selection. Great balance in game design. Surprisingly good story and enagement.” cons=”A somewhat arbitrary loot system that leaves you feeling left out.” score=10]
[appbox appstore id1106442030]
[appbox googleplay com.ubisoft.dragonfire]