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    Grow fighting power with gems, cards in Call of Challenger


    Call of Challenger is an action/adventure game for iOS that uses the power of cards - for champions and powers - to build your fighting team, while still being fully interactive. The storyline is virtually the same one we've all heard before: a brave summoner (you) must embark on a journey to save a goddess and claim a treasure at the very end. Along the way, the summoner must win battles and unlock champions and various new powers to upgrade his fighting power. The game is free to play, but has many in-app purchase options. The game runs on all iOS devices running iOS version 4.3 or later.

    The beginning of Call of Challenger starts off a bit slow and confusing, but don't let this discourage you from playing because it improves after the first few battles. The summoner is placed on a grid-based map and you only get to see a small portion of it. Light illuminates the path you've traveled already, while everything that still needs exploring remains in the dark - a very clever design choice. Moving along this path introduces you to new people that will help along your travels, as well as enemies to battle. The game typically awards you cards after a victorious battle, but they don't play much of a role until a little ways in.

    Call to Challenger screenshot

    Eventually you'll unlock Teemo, the first new champion. This is when cards start to come into play. A navigation menu will appear at the top of the game that lets you essentially pause the adventure to start using your cards and arranging your champions. If you tap a champion, buttons appear to evolve or upgrade the character. The champion card also displays a number of details like level, class and star ranking.

    The Arrange feature allows you to assemble a team of up to five different champions to fight at once. It's totally customizable, even letting you drag and drop champions into emphasized or deemphasized positions.

    Tapping "Upgrade" for any one champion shows you all the cards you've collected along the way to then apply to that champion. This becomes important for advancing in the game as giving champions new skills increases its ability to win battles when they become harder. However, adding cards to a champion costs gems, the game's form of currency.

    While gems are easy enough to earn to move forward in the game, it's even easier if you take advantage of the in-app purchases Call of Challenger offers. There are packages of gems ranging from $0.99 for 60 to a whopping $99.99 for 6,200. The fact that the $99.99 in-app purchase is more popular than the $9.99 one is pretty revealing about the addictive nature of this game.

    Graphics and performance are both solid. I experienced pretty much no lag or pauses performing variation actions in the game. The graphics are far from intensive, but they're pleasantly old-school. One small issue I had is the persistent border on the top and bottom of the iPhone version of the game. It seems to serve no other purpose than to fill in the gap that the larger-screened iPhone 5 created in 2012, but given how much time has gone by I'd prefer if the developers took better advantage of the bigger display by now.

    Call of Challenger is a fun action/adventure with seriously addictive properties. The more battles you win, the more cards you earn, the more gems you use up and ultimately the more gems you'll want to earn or buy. It's available for free in the App Store.

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