Content Type: Gaming Reviews
Date: November 12, 2017
Team Z: League of Heroes is a team battle game akin to Summoner Wars. The game’s concept is to build a team of superheroes to battle campaign enemies and other players. To build their team, players must collect cubes. Cubes are used to create new superheroes. These heroes can then be powered up or used to power up other heroes. Regular cubes create a hero with one to three stars. Super cubes create a hero with three to five stars. Cubes can be purchased with gems, the premium currency, or collected via grinding battles. Ultimately, the purpose of the game is to collect a team of four five-star superheroes to battle in the multiverse.
Team Z has two game modes, Battle and Multiverse. Battle is Team Z’s PvE mode where players can collect gems, cubes, coins and materials for upgrading. Battling in PvE consists of three rounds. Enemies are battled during each round with the final round having a boss. At the end of a stage, there will be an extra round with a more powerful boss for that stage. Depending on the materials that are needed, different PvE battles may need to be ground out multiple times.
The Multiverse is Team Z’s PvP component, where players battle each other to climb the PvP tiers. Each win grants more coins and increased rank. Coins can then be used to purchase materials or upgrades. A loss grants a decrease in rank.
Each hero has up to four different attacks that can be used in battle. The difference between attacks is the damage amount and cooldown time. An added component to battles in Team Z is the color system. Each hero is assigned a color which gets either increases or decreases the attack on other respectively colored heroes. For example, a blue hero has an attack advantage on red heroes, increasing damage. But, a green hero has a disadvantage on its attacks against red heroes, decreasing damage. It’s a bit like rock, paper, scissors.
The color system adds a strategy element to PvP battles. Prior to battling, players can see the enemy player’s defense team and choose appropriately colored heroes to counter the other team. However, in the early stages of PvP merely having a more powerful team can make up for not having the right colored heroes to counter. But in close matches, having counters to the other team can win the PvP battle.
The amount of damage a hero does depends on their level and number of stars. A hero with 5 stars is stronger than a hero with 4 stars with 1 star heroes being the weakest. Heroes can increase their stars in the power-up screen. Leveling up a star requires a hero to be at a certain level and the appropriate crystals. Crystals can be gained by grinding out battles on Island Z. Island Z has a different boss to battle each day with a different colored crystal dropped by each boss. Eventually, with enough grinding, a hero may be increased by a star tier.
A heroes’ level depends on their XP. XP is gained in three ways: battling, training or by powering up. Battling will slowly grind up the XP of all attacking heroes with PvE granting slightly more XP than PvP. Training occurs by going to the gym, where a hero may be placed on one of four treadmills. Once placed on a treadmill, heroes passively gain XP and will gain a level after enough XP is earned. Up to four heroes at a time may be trained. Finally, powering up is the fastest way for heroes to gain XP.
Powering up requires higher level heroes “feed” on lower level heroes. To power-up a hero, players must choose which lower leveled heroes to feed to another hero. Each time a power up occurs, it costs coins. The higher the XP, the more coin is required. Again, this is a grind requiring the collection of weaker heroes to feed on but it is the fastest and easiest way to level up.
The final way to increase a hero’s stats is to place nanochips on them. Up to six nanochips can be placed on a hero. Nanochips have a ranking of one to five stars, with five stars being the most powerful. Nanochips also have levels which can be increased by upgrading with coins. The higher the nanochip’s level, the higher the chance it won’t upgrade on a single try. This means that multiple tries must be conducted to upgrade a nanochip one level with each try costing a certain amount of coin. This can be a long and expensive process. But once a nanochip is fully upgraded, it can vastly improve a hero’s stats. So the grind is worth it.
If the grind gets to be too much, players can always purchase the gems for real currency. This is the backbone of freemium games. The formula being a balance of grind and cost. If a game isn’t enough of a grind, then players won’t purchase the premium currency. If a game is too grindy, then the cost of the currency is too much to make it worth anyone’s time. Team Z’s premium currency can be purchased at the exchange rate of 35 gems per $1.00. Of course, there are specials and packages that decrease the cost, but that is the traditional cost. Gems are mainly used to purchase cubes. 10 cubes costs 40 gems or around $1.25. A supercube runs 75 gems or around $2.00, with a package of 10 costing 660 gems or around $18.00.
I purchased each of the different cube packages to discover how much each on decreased the grind. The traditional cube purchase allowed for 10 new feeder heroes to be added to my collection. This did not significantly decrease the grind. The best purchase was the bundle of 10 supercubes. I purchased this once and received three four star heroes which significantly decreased the amount of grinding I had to do. The supercube bundle had to be the best value. At a cost of only 660 gems, it provided the best heroes and decrease to Team Z’s grind.
Team Z has typical mobile game control features. Tap a button and it brings up a new screen. Battles first require an attack be chosen and then picking which enemy to attack. It’s a straight forward setup which doesn’t cause any frustration. The menu is set up to allow for easy navigation.
If grinding out battles gets tiring, the game has an auto-battle feature which allows heroes to fight without the need to select specific attacks or enemies. This is an excellent feature with one slight problem. When auto attacking, there is no way to select which enemy heroes attack. So, while attacks may be sped up for grinding purposes, there is no way to focus on an enemy for heroes to attack.
Team Z’s graphics are a cartoon style which is fitting. The twenty heroes each have a different look, which allows them to easily be differentiated due to their surprisingly unexpected level of detail. Each superhero’s power has a different animation. These animations are fairly creative. Part of the entertainment of Team Z was trying to collect every hero just to see what their power animation looked like.
Team Z’s sound isn’t that varied. In all, there are around five songs. Which one plays depends on the activity. The main screen has its own jingly tune. While battling, a special song is heard in the background. The multiverse has its own music. The hero creation screen has a tune that sounds like something only heard in an elevator. It’s actually very fitting for the creation screen. Ultimately, the best song is the victory screen which has a very rewarding tune.
Team Z doesn’t have a large variety of sound effects. The game has typical sound effects whenever a button is tapped. Battles are accompanied by a different sound effect for each attack. When enemies are hit, they let out a loud squeak, not much different from a chipmunk being whacked with a large stick. It didn’t take long for this sound to become unbearable, leading to battles needing to be played with the sound on low or muted. Hero creation has special sound effects for the hero conversion machine.
Overall, the different sounds of the game aren’t that amazing. The game can easily be played while muted. However, the victory music was always a welcome sound and I found myself turning on my sound just to hear the victory jingle.
Team Z’s doesn’t every have a point when it will lose its replay value. As with any freemium game, collecting heroes doesn’t end. The main quest battles can always be replayed to collect more loot. At some point, a few players may end up collecting everything and be at the top of the PvP tiers. But most players will end up grinding materials and upgrades while never actually “finishing” the game.
Team Z: League of Heroes is a typical team battle game, requiring grinding for gear and battling other players for a higher rank. Earning a higher rank grants a greater reward, which can then be used to speed up grinding out gear to upgrade heroes. Of course, in true freemium form, a bit of real world coin will speed up the process. What differentiates Team Z from the rest of the freemium noise is its superhero setting. Overall, it’s not a bad game for those looking for a fresh team battle game.
Written by Michael Trosper
Micheal resides in a small town in eastern Montana. As an attorney, he has an interest in the intellectual property issues facing the gaming industry. He’s been a gamer since the age of 6, when his dad gifted him a Sega Genesis and Sonic the Hedgehog for his birthday. Gaming has been his passion ever since. His favorite game is Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which he has completed an unreasonable amount of times.