The new mobile game in the Assassin's Creed series is all about the choices you'd usually make on the fly while playing and focuses in on analyzing the thereof and looking for the best solution in any given situation. It takes a somewhat thoughtful stealth-action game and, by injecting a dash of Fallout Shelter and making everything turn-based, turns it into a full-on thinking game. You go through levels with teams of up to three assassins from across the series, and of course, there's a gacha element present in getting them. The strategic take on the Assassin's Creed series is available now for free from the Google Play Store and should be visible to players in the USA and EU right now.
Background: The character art and environments are shrunken down a bit, but everything else is fairly reminiscent of just about every Assassin's Creed game, seeing as this entry is meant to be an amalgamation of them. It takes place during the Spanish Inquisition, and you'll be constructing a Fallout Shelter-style base to recruit and train new assassins, gather intel, and launch a counterattack against Spanish forces. In the levels, you'll be able to choose an assassin you've taken with you, then choose what room to send them to by previewing what actions they'll have available when they get there. Some specialize in free running and sneaking around, others can disarm traps and pick locks, and yet others are good at taking down enemies in head-on combat. Each action has a given chance of success, and failure usually results in losing HP. Actions in combat, meanwhile, have different effects, such as ignoring speed checks to hit instantly or slowing enemies down. Once you've chosen the best assassin for the job and traversed a room, sneaking past or killing everybody inside, your other assassins will teleport in with you so they can help in subsequent rooms. There are different mission types, such as Legacy missions that offer DNA drops for certain assassins so that you can work toward the series heroes that you want the most, and story missions, which advance the plot. You'll need resources to build, train, and go on missions, so you'll have to take side missions to steal those resources from the Spanish forces pretty often. They can, of course, be bought with real money, if you'd rather pay than play in order to progress faster. You'll also need to complete daily objectives and important missions in order to level up your stronghold, which raises the max level caps of all of your assassins.
Impact: This strategy-based conversion of the usual Assassin's Creed formula is a bold take indeed, and if it pans out, similar games for other famous properties may crop up over time. As a mobile game, it does well in respecting players' time, aside from a long-winded and rather boring tutorial. The game is also great about ensuring that it's easy to interrupt and jump back into. You can even leave the game alone for hours, or reboot your device, then pick up right where you left off. While those expecting a proper Assassin's Creed game will be disappointed, it's a pretty decent distillation of the experience, arguably more so than the rather so-so Sony PSP entry, for those that remember it, and does well enough for the mobile format.