If you’ve ever wanted to explore a post-apocalyptic world full of mutant potatoes, zombies, aliens, and robots … well, War Goonz just might be the game for you. Although the game isn’t officially out of soft launch yet, I was lucky enough to be invited into the beta. It’s quite a departure from all of KingsIsle’s other games (MMO or mobile), and I’m here to break it down for you!
The game takes place in a world that was destroyed by meteors. These meteors were filled with goo – which the survivors use to create clones called goonz. Building armies of goonz has become necessary between earth’s now scarce resources and the countless threats that have risen to rule what’s left. Now the leader of a small group of survivors, it’s your job to grow your goon army by raiding other towns.
What you Need to Know
- This is a PvP game. Although there is a short storyline, it’ll only take you a day or two to complete. Ultimately, PvP is the focus and moving up the ranks will grant you access to more goonz, towers, and rewards.
- It’s not easy. War Goonz is all about learning each goon’s role so you can formulate a strategy that will work for the town at hand. This requires a lot of time, patience, and experimentation. What works for one town won’t work for another and you need to be able to adapt.
- You’ll go on winning streaks, and you’ll go on losing streaks. Sometimes you’ll get a string of wins in a row and gain a rank or two. Soon after, there’s a chance you’ll lose 8-10 in a row and end up right back where you started. Yes, it’s extremely frustrating, but you need to be willing to cope with it if you want to play this game. Ranking up is an endless roller coaster that might have you on the verge of rage quitting. Be prepared for the ups and downs, learn from your failures, and you’ll be just fine.
- The premium currency is toilet paper. It’s really cute that the most valuable commodity in this post-apocalyptic world is TP. It makes a lot of sense too. KingsIsle, I like how you think.
The storyline takes you through 5 sections of ‘Murica as you and your army of goonz struggle to survive. I’ll be doing a storyline recap in a separate post, but here are the 5 different areas:
- Danger Zone
- Silicon Forest
- Toxic Jungle
- Absolute Xeno
Each section contains 6 main levels, but more are unlocked as you level your town.
As you explore ‘Murica, you’ll encounter fallen meteors. If you successfully beat a meteor level, you’ll earn artifacts which you can use to improve your goonz (more on that later). However, meteors give off deadly radiation. If you complete a meteor level, the goonz you used on that particular map will become infected. Although you can use radiated goonz in regular levels or PvP, you’ll need to wait a while before you can use them on another meteor level. If you’re in a hurry, you can spend toilet paper to instantly cleanse the goonz you want.
After you beat the initial storyline, meteors will fall on random levels. Harder levels supply better meteors (which means better artifacts!). I spend most of my time farming for meteors to collect as many artifacts as I can.
The only way to earn better goonz and towers is by ranking up in PvP. If you win PvP matches, you gain trophies and rank. If you lose PvP matches, you lose trophies and rank. It’s a pretty simple and common PvP system. There are 10 total ranks, and you have the potential to unlock better rewards once you reach or pass a specific rank. Be careful though! Although I’m currently eligible to receive rank 8 goonz and towers, if I drop down to rank 7, that won’t be the case anymore. Goonz and towers aren’t permanently unlocked after you reach a rank once. You have to STAY in that rank.
While you’re busy battling enemies on offense, other players might be attacking your town! Luckily, you get to choose your town’s layout. Keep in mind that more town options become available when you level your town. You can do this by upgrading goonz, towers, and sending guild donations. When you’re happy with your setup, you can test it to see if even you can beat it. If your defense holds up against other players, you gain trophies. If it doesn’t, you lose trophies. Defense does NOT affect your PvP rank. However, it’s a good idea to gain as many trophies as you can. The game’s leaderboard is split up by rank. The more trophies you have, the higher you’ll be placed in your rank, and the better leaderboard rewards you’ll get. You’ll be able to watch any raid attempts on your town (whether they won or lost) to see how you’re faring. If your defense lost, you’ll also have the option of getting “revenge” on the person who beat you. If you accept, you’ll have the opportunity to beat their town. Like other defense battles, winning or losing will affect your trophies, but NOT your PvP rank.
Whether you choose to enter a PvP or PvE match, your objective and gameplay stays the same. You have to successfully take down a specified number of star buildings (usually 2) before time runs out. Each time you destroy a star building, 30 more seconds are added to the clock. You destroy star buildings by strategically placing goonz in the highlighted areas of the map. Each goon has different skills and abilities, and they use those abilities to attack towers and buildings they encounter. Resources are limited though. You’re only able to select 4 types of goonz to take on each map. Each goon has a different goo cost, and you’re only able to spawn as many goonz as your goo meter allows. If you run out, you’ll have to wait for it to replenish.
To see a battle in action, check out some gameplay footage I recorded here:
Nearly everything you’ll need in this game can be found in safes. You’ll be able to find a few on your first run-through of the storyline, but after that, PvP is going to be your only source of safes. There are different types of safes and they correspond with your current PvP rank. The higher your rank, the better the rewards the safes will contain. You can only have 4 safes in your possession at any one time. Your trusty friend Zeke (who Wizard101 players will recognize) is responsible for opening them, but it takes time. Zeke is only allowed to work on one safe at a time, so if you’re in a hurry, you can use TP to finish the safe instantly and start working on the next one.
Each day, you’ll be tasked with earning 10 stars in PvP and collecting 10 meteors. If you successfully do both, you’ll be rewarded with a special safe corresponding to your PvP rank. You’ll want to do this as much as possible -the safe has some fantastic rewards.
Upgrading your Goonz and Towers
If you want to be competitive in PvP, leveling up your goonz is essential. Once you collect enough tokens for a particular goon (found in safes, the shop, or guild donations), you can spend gold to level that goon. Upgrading goonz increases their stats and makes their job slightly easier. The same goes for your towers. To keep your defense in tip-top shape, you’ll need to upgrade your towers so they can overpower and overwhelm your opponent’s goonz.
Leveling up your goonz often isn’t enough. In PvP, towers are usually significantly stronger than you are. To help close the gap, you’ll need to find and place artifacts on your goonz. Artifacts vary in rarity and improve one specific stat. They have a base upgrade, but you can improve it even more by upgrading the artifact. Artifact upgrades cost dust which you can get by selling unwanted artifacts or buying some in the shop for gold. Some artifacts have symbols on them – these supply set bonuses. If you can gather and place 2 or 3 artifacts with the same symbol on them on the same goon, you’ll get the specific bonus that set gives. Take this Common Rally Artifact as an example:
Since I have 3 “Rally” artifacts on my Trans Blam goon, my allies’ damage increases by 25% when that goon loses 25% of its health. If I only had two, my allies would only get a 15% boost.
Joining a guild isn’t available until your town reaches level 3, but it’s definitely worth it. Guild members are able to talk through guild chat and ask for token donations. Other guild members can then fulfill those requests and get gold and town XP in the process. It’s a win-win for everyone! Additionally, every 3 days or so there will be a “Guild Safe Event.” During the event, guild members must earn as many stars as they can. The stars are then tallied and contribute to the guild safe. The more stars the safe has, the better the rewards your guild will get.
Although War Goonz can be extremely challenging and frustrating at times, I’ve found it really fun. I can’t wait to share some more tips and information with you guys leading up to worldwide launch! In the meantime, keep up to date with War Goonz by following them on Twitter and the mobile game forums.