Atari enjoyed a great deal of success with the launch of RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch on mobile back in February and fortunately they didn’t stop there. Goon Squad is one of at least two new mobile games the company has been working on and today I have the pleasure of sharing my impressions based on an early version of the game.

Set in the era when the Mafia was running the show, Goon Squad challenges you to become the most feared mob boss in the world. You’ll have a lot of fun trying to get there, since the road is simple: defeat as many enemy Capos as possible and let them know who the real boos is.

In terms of gameplay, things will be pretty familiar: Atari’s Goon Squad looks, feels and plays a lot like Clash Royale. This means that you collect cards using various methods, upgrade them and create decks that you use against your enemies in battle. You’re playing in real time against other human opponents, with one goal in mind: to destroy their headquarters by any means possible.

So yes, apart from a completely different art style, the game does look like a Clash Royale clone at first. But then you get the chance to delve deeper into the options and you see that it’s actually Clash Royale on steroids. Yum!

What makes Goon Squad so enjoyable and innovative is the introduction of two extra game modes: Co-Op and Rumble. These manage to make the difference and are, in my opinion, the main selling point of the game as they double or even quadruple the fun.

Rumble is by far my favorite. Intense, fast paced, insane and absolutely amazing, this game mode pits four players against each other, and there can be only one winner. You have to strategize intensely in order to end up winning the Rumble, but it’s oh so fun! With players sending troops from their corner and trying to outsmart the competition, this game mode really makes you feel the intensity of a multiplayer card brawler. This is the type of game mode that will be copied by other games in the future, mark my words! This is the evolution of the genre, when nobody thought it was possible (or at least I didn’t)!

Co-op is fun as well, even though not as intense as Rumble. As the name suggests, this time you team up with another player in an ultimate brawl for supremacy. The co-op mode, the Rumble and the traditional versus mode have different leaderboards, and it will be an extra challenge for you to compete in all areas and be the top player everywhere. Although I’ll be honest and say that I’m only focusing on the Rumble right now. Yes, it’s that addictive!

You only get 32 cards to collect and use for your deck right now, but they seem to be fairly balanced at the moment. I didn’t have the chance to extensively test them all, but it seems that air units and, as always, buildings that constantly spawn units are a bit overpowered, but there’s nothing a bit of strategy or, most likely, a balance patch won’t fix in the future.

It’s overall style – from the graphics to the gameplay, from the extras that it offers and the “risk it all for the jackpot” that does make you think about the Mafia times of the past – is charming and of high quality.

Goon Squad is a great game and I am sure it will only get better as it gets closer to its global launch. But even in its current stage, Goon Squad is an enjoyable romp, an adrenaline-fueled experience thanks to the innovative game modes that make it so much more than just another game like Clash Royale. So make sure you play it when you have the chance.

Keep an eye on the App Store and Google Play Store for this one.

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