Mighty Smighties by Herotrainment is, at first glance, an extremely colorful game that is obviously designed for children to enjoy something simple on a mobile device. It takes the concept of a trading card game and puts it into such simplicity that it is equal to playing five-choice rock paper scissors. The core of the gameplay goes like this:
Player 1 puts a card down. Player 2 puts a card down. Player 1 had Darkness. Player 2 had Light. Player 1 wins round 1.
Mighty Smighties - Simplicity Itself
If you face other players, it doesn’t change from that ever. You pick a card from the five you have, your opponent picks a card from the five he has, and you see if you won the rock paper scissors--Or rather, if your element beats his. The game keeps it very easy to remember at the top of the screen what beats what if you are ever confused. Darkness beats Light and Water, Light beats Water and Wind, Water beats Wind and Forest, Wind beats Forest and Darkness, Forest beats Darkness and Light. Win with three different elements, or three of the same element to win the match.
The only part that makes it a bit different from a basic rock paper scissors is that each card has a number value. If you each play the same element, whoever has a higher value wins. Ultimately after several hours of playing this has happened only a handful of times, meaning having a card that has a 1 value versus spending money to get all of your cards to well into the hundreds usually does not matter.
Unless you enjoy mini-games. When upgrading a card, you play a remove the blocks mini-game for 45 seconds. If three or more of the same color are matching and you tap it, they disappear. Higher the score the stronger the card gets afterwards. It does help in breaking up the tedium, and make it feel as if you did something extra.
Mighty Smighties - Monetization
That’s where the free-to-play model comes in. If you would like to power up your cards, you need to sacrifice another card. You always need 13 cards to actually play the game, so you have to get new cards. It costs 1500 in-game coins for 1 card or 4000 for a pack of 3. Alternatively, you could give them about 2 dollars for a pack. It isn’t very expensive, and after playing for a day, it is quite feasible to be able to get 4000 coins.
The issue is that it also isn’t very necessary. In normal gameplay, the number does not matter almost ever. The only game mode where it does come in handy is during the single-player. In the single-player, each level has three modes-- Normal, Power, Epic. In normal everything plays exactly as before, in power however the game decides the winner based on which is the higher-valued card after you do a spinner to see if you (and the AI) gets a bonus to the card value. In Epic it gives you the deck and does the same thing as Power.
Mighty Smighties - Singleplayer
Power in single-player is the only time where the higher value cards are actually needed. The issue is that even though as long as you have decent timing with the spinner, it isn’t needed. The question has to be asked to why this is a trading card game in the first place. It does not require drawing new cards or thought into which card you want to play. The gameplay would be unchanged if you gave each player five choices and in case of a tie, no one wins.
To conclude, there was an experiment done in the game for a few hours. After 30 seconds of not picking a card, it will randomly pick one for you. While doing other things, the random number generator managed to win 50% of the games, when actually playing the game the win ratio did not change.
While it is undeniably a game designed for children - likely between the ages of 3-6 it seems to miss the point of making a game for children. It keeps the gameplay very simple and easy to understand even when introducing mini-games. The issue is that there are other games that work for that age group that are free to play without feeling as if it is simply picking a random card. Temple Run, Sushi Monster, and Dragon Coins all prove that games that are simple to understand and play do not have to be completely random nor throw mechanics that don’t work for it’s own game to try and keep the player occupied at all costs. For that reason, this game feels like it has no purpose - a time waster that doesn't do it's job very well.
TechRaptor reviewed Mighty Smarties on Android. It's also available on iOS. This review was originally published on 01-20-2015. While care has been taken to update the piece to reflect our modern style guidelines, some of the information may be out of date. We've left pieces like this as they were to reflect the original authors' opinions and for historical context.