Another AAA release, another tie-in mobile app. Yes, like Injustice and Evolve before it, Mortal Kombat X has a bite-sized cousin available to play on your mobile device. I’m trying to work out the logic behind these things and it’s just not coming to me. Is the hope that you’ll be so consumed with Mortal Kombat fever that you can’t bear to be away from the game for even a second? One hopes it’ll be that good…anyway, let’s take a look at Mortal Kombat X on mobile (iOS version reviewed, but expect an Android version to come).
Unlike Evolve’s match-3-based companion app, Mortal Kombat X on mobile is a fighting game. Admittedly, the match-3 thing would have been hilarious, but c’est la vie. It’s team-based, with each 3-person team running on their own individual stamina meter per the modern mobile game paradigm. Also per that paradigm, you can refuel your meters with Souls, which are available both in-game and through cash money grip and can also be used for buying new card-based characters and so on. The other currencies…er, “kurrencies”, include AP, spent on new cards (kards?), and Koins, spent on slightly better new cards. AP cards tend to be no-name losers, while if you want the iconic badasses from the series you’ll need to use Koins.
Naturally IAPs are readily available for your whaling pleasure, so if you want to make serious progress you should get that wallet out. The game is fairly generous with Souls early on, but as you progress that tide stems to a trickle. For what it’s worth, given how the stamina meters are separate for each team, you can actually play for some time if that’s all you want to do. You can dump Souls on the best available cards, but that’s pretty pricey and not really worth it.
The actual combat is a little unusual in that it’s entirely touch-based. I guess it kind of has to be, huh? You fight by tippity-tapping the screen to chain punch, making dramatic slashing motions for specials and so on. Also, you can only perform fatalities on bosses as far as I can tell, which is a tiny bit of a disgrace. Death like this should be spread around! As a whole, though, the game is a little awkward and weird (as these games tend to be) but it’s certainly workable and looks very nice given the format. The game ran well enough on my iPad Air, though I would expect earlier devices are going to run into trouble.
As mobile games go, Mortal Kombat X on mobile is perfectly acceptable, though it’s not going to change your world and it’s probably not going to earn itself a permanent home on your device. Still, it was actually a nice diversion and I didn’t hate life every second while I was playing it, which is more than can be said for a lot of other mobile tie-ins, and the allure of unlocking outfits for the Konsole version is a nice treat. Still, when the real thing comes out, I can’t imagine you’ll want to keep going with Mortal Kombat X on mobile instead of switching over to the big leagues.