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Review

Assassin's Creed Recollection Review (iPad)

Assassins stacking up.

I’ve never been a fan of collectible card games but I am a big fan of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series so the task of reviewing this iPad strategy title was an interesting and welcome one. Would the endless intricacies of a CCG counterbalance my love for the Assassin’s Creed universe or could Ezio’s mates make me understand what makes these card games so appealing to so many?

Recollection is covered with the now-familiar Assassin’s Creed visual styling; multiple shades of pale greys and the odd dash of red and black let you know that this is closely related to your previous animus-induced adventures. The gameplay style couldn’t be more different, though. There’s no action here, aside from that which we can imagine from the images and descriptions listed on the cards. There are no voice overs or acting either, exposition is achieved through little written interludes before missions.

The game's launch trailer.
In truth, Ubisoft could have easily released this game without any of the Assassin’s Creed trappings, so superfluous to the style of game as they are. But the inclusion of the stylings and terminology will no doubt increase the profile of Recollections and perhaps make it appeal outside of the particular niche that usually enjoys CCGs. It’s the only iPad CCG we’ve given a full review to on this website, for instance.

Fortunately, beneath the renaissance setting and misty romance of those sneaky assassini, we have an extremely well balanced game. It was a genuine surprise to me just how engaging, accessible and entertaining this game was.

You draw from a deck of cards (referred to as “memories”) which feature different agents, actions and sites and place them within one of three staging areas. The aim is to increase your influence in each area until you fully control two of the three. Each card has a cost to playing it and measure of how effective it will be to your total influence. Your opponent, which is either AI in the decent single player mode or human in the well-populated online mode, can counteract your cards with their own.

Each card usually takes half a day to play in game time, with a constantly progressing line sweeping through the level to indicate the passage of time. Some cards can be combined or played as surprises and they charge almost instantly. Of course, there’s an in-game store where you can pay your way to better decks of “memories” but there is a slower upgrade route available by simply playing the game.

The only part of the game which wasn’t easily described to a newcomer like me was the building of your deck of cards. You purchase them using earned or paid for credit and receive a random selection of “memories” but you’re supposed to tune and tweak the hand of cards, called “sequences” you take into missions with you. This is a complicated process that really could have benefitted from some extra tutorial explanation. I’m still not entirely sure I’m using my cards as effectively as I could be because it’s never properly explained.

Pros:

  • Extremely well balanced and involving.
  • The real time aspect adds a degree of urgency.
  • Succeeds at making a niche genre hugely more accessible.

Cons:

  • Tutorials could go a little further.
  • Some of the written exposition is a little boring.

In short, this is a great introduction into the CCG genre and one which I found immensely enjoyable, even as a complete novice. The Assassin’s Creed Styling is superfluous, for sure, but it is no doubt helping to raise the profile of the game and that keeps the opportunity for online opposition plentiful. Highly recommended.

Score: 8/10

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9 Comments
  1. MayContainEvil
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    I used to love playing Pokemon: Trading Card Game on the gameboy, and there was a good YuGiOh one on the PS2 called Duelists Of The Roses or something. Any chance of this being ported to PC or PS3?

    Comment posted on 20/12/2011 at 13:48.
    • Sympozium
      Member
      Since: Aug 2009

      I’ve actually bought that game again; Yu-gi-oh…. weeks ago and now I have no idea how I’ve beated a few people, evil game but a nice card game.

      Comment posted on 20/12/2011 at 14:22.
      • MayContainEvil
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        That game was really hard at the start, the default decks were absolutely horrible. After you’ve beaten a few people and built a cohesive deck it gets much fairer… Although dueling Pegasus is still an absolute bitch ;)

        All good fun though, I’ve still got my copy around here somewhere.

        Comment posted on 20/12/2011 at 14:29.
  2. KeRaSh
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    “I used to love playing Pokemon: Trading Card Game on the gameboy”

    I seriously expected you to say “but then I took an arrow to the knee…”. I spend too much time on Memebase…

    I had a demo of that YuGiOh card game. I quite enjoyed that one!

    Comment posted on 20/12/2011 at 14:02.
  3. JoshHood
    Small briefcase w*nker
    Since: Forever

    Sounds great, hope to see it come elsewhere from iOS sometime soon.

    Comment posted on 20/12/2011 at 14:08.
  4. Sympozium
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    Could be nice game to consider for the Touch.. if its avaiable

    Comment posted on 20/12/2011 at 14:35.
    • colossalblue
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      Unfortunately, I think this is just iPad at the moment and it seems like it would be tricky to get the play area to fit on an iPod Touch/iPhone screen… It would be cool though, hopefully they can find a way.

      Comment posted on 20/12/2011 at 14:48.
  5. Murdo
    In no way connected to TSA. No way.
    Since: Sep 2008

    I hate to be picky but could you not have linked to the app or listed the price?
    Sounds good though.

    Comment posted on 20/12/2011 at 16:48.
  6. Kevatron400
    Drake, baby.
    Since: Dec 2008

    Interesting. I’ve got Ascension: Chronicles of the Godslayer on the iPad which is pretty good, and my first experience of CCGs on the iPad. Real-time sounds pretty tense though – I need time to think about my moves!

    Comment posted on 20/12/2011 at 22:19.

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