We covered Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Xenodrome when it first came out several months ago, but since I had no access to a tablet (the game is out for iOS and Android-based devices) at that time, we were unable to post a proper review, and instead provided basic info about the game based on promotional materials and video demonstrations.
However, I now have access to an el cheapo generic Android tablet, and since I discovered that it’s good enough to run Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Xenodrome, I figured I might as well post a review.
Good news first: it’s a beautiful game that takes advantage of cel-shading techniques to provide 3D visuals that look like they were taken straight out of the cartoon. And it’s not resource-intensive, as evidenced by the fact that I can run it on my cheap tablet (which only had a 1 Ghz dual core processor and a Mali GPU.)
But for the bad news, it seems to be available only for the Asia-Pacific region so if you’re from the US or another country that’s not in APAC, you won’t be able to play the game (I don’t have any way of testing if this is still applicable now, but if you can’t access the game, this may be the reason.)
As for the game itself, it looks like a 2D, Street Fighter-like fighting game at first glance, due to the layout of the screen – with 2 combatants facing each other under a HUD that contains the various bars (such as the health and super), but it’s not exactly a Street Fighter clone as it features turn-based mechanics instead of letting you fight in real time.
Every round plays out the same: you have access to three kinds of moves – Attack, Block, and Breaks (which lets you break an opponent’s block). The game relies on a rock, paper, scissors mechanic, which is complemented by the specialties of the alien forms and an extra powerful attack that can only be unleashed when you fill up the super bar (which gradually fills during a battle).
The character selection is decent, as it gives you access to 10 of Ben’s alien forms, as well as several enemies from the series, but there’s a catch: the game is freemium, which means a large chunk of the game content is locked when you first play the game. In order to unlock all the characters, missions, and upgrades, you have to spend in-game coins.
The in-game coins are earned by playing the game and winning fights, but accumulating enough points to buy even the most inexpensive alien (3000 coins) will take quite a bit of time, and may try the patience of most gamers – and this is what the app is banking on: people that are short on patience but not on cash can opt to purchase coins via the in-app purchasing system.
Now, since the game is aimed towards children and teens, who don’t really have much in the way of disposable income outside of what their parents provide, we won’t mention the prices or whether it’s good value for money, as this is something that differs from person to person. In any case, purchasing all the aliens will run you a little over 90,000 coins. This means Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: Xenodrome is either a free app that is severely crippled until you spend a really long time playing and earning in-game coins, or a paid fighting game that could run you a little over $10.
For more details, you can check out the promo video below: