Goon Squad works extremely well as a game. It runs nicely, gives you a lot in a short time, and is overall a fun experience. All this being said, something really puts a damper on the experience: the aesthetics of the game. There is nothing to secure you to the world the game presents you, and its leaves you feeling somewhat disoriented.
Goon Squad is a game developed by On5 and published by Atari for android and iOS devices. It is a tower defense game where you and your troops fight for control of gang territory. Overtime you collect chips and money as currency, obtain card packs that hold supplies, and buy and upgrade your squad members. As a whole the game currency works nicely, but it is often difficult to find out what each form of currency can buy.
The battles themselves work extremely well. The game flows naturally as you place your troops and wait for reinforcements. The battles only take a few minutes at most, so you always have time to squeeze in a quick game here and there. The most impressive feat of the game comes in the way that it handles strategy. Most units work as humans that walk through the arena and target the first thing they come across, but some resources only serve to attack spawn points while others work as crowd control. Other units fly and can only be damaged by anti-air troops. While games only last a few minutes the tides of battle are constantly in flux.
As for out of battle preparations, readying the troops you employ is a snap. They are readily organized, simple to understand, and easily upgradable. Once you get a feel for your team, the strategies will come naturally. The important thing is finding a team with every member fulfilling some roll.
Another thing you can do out of battle is go to the “casino” where you can try your luck on a slot machine. While the machine is more generous than actual casinos, the system feels really strange and it is difficult to know how you are betting, what that means in terms of results, and how your final result is obtained in the first place.
The last thing I would like to touch on is my gripe on the aesthetics of the game. The game opens up with a very muted cut scene, with a almost noire film style. It then transitions to your first battle, which looks completely different with its bright colors and cartoon art style. It was a big contrast to the gritty art style of before, but it was not a bad art style, so I let it slip by. Then I got to the home menu, which had too many clashing colors. It was then that I lost almost all emersion to the game. I still give the game a 8 out of 10 for a fun experience, but I only wish that the aesthetics could work to improve on the fun gameplay.