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Cult Video Game Essentials: Transformers G1 – Awakening

Transformers G1: Awakening is a turn-based tactics mobile game in the Transformers franchise developed and published by Glu Mobile. It was originally released for feature phones on November 12, 2008, before being ported to smartphones in 2010.

Like most Turn-based tactics games, the player controls units (in this case, a cast of 23 Generation 1 Transformers characters) across small-scale, grid-based levels. In order to encourage as much “transforming” as possible, the player is given the option to turn each robot into their vehicle form (or vice versa) at the end of their turn. While in vehicle mode, Transformers can travel further, and receive reduced damage, but cannot attack. While in robot mode, they gain the ability to attack other Transformers, and to capture structures necessary that produce energy (like pylons). Energy sources provide energon, which acts as the currency for the game. Energon allows the player to upgrade or repair units, or to summon additional characters into play.

In the main campaign, players control the heroic Autobots, battling Megatron’s forces of villainous Decepticons. Starting the game with Bumblebee and Ratchet, additional characters are added as the story progresses, each with unique abilities or characteristics. The Autobot leader, Optimus Prime, gives a “moral boost” to any friendly units in adjacent spaces, which increases their battle performance. Ratchet (who turns into an Ambulance) is the game’s only medic, and as such his survival is key to the other robots’ survival. The city-sized Metroplex serves as the Autobot’s mobile base, and is used to summon supporting characters like Prowl, Ironhide, and Sideswipe (Trypticon serves the same function for the Decepticons). The boombox Blaster is able to summon minicassettes Eject and Rewind, and the same goes for Decepticon Soundwave with his underlings Frenzy and Rumble. As in the cartoon, Jetfire must be converted from a Decepticon, and transforming Dinobot Grimlock crushes Decepticons with ease.

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