QONQR Blue is a Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) game that places you in the middle of an invisible war involving a mysterious Artificial Intelligence and three factions who are battling to control the destiny of this A.I.
QONQR Blue is a beta update to the popular Windows Phone game QONQR and is the largest release for the developer since the initial launch of QONQR four years ago. The game remains a cross-platform title and is available for iOS, Android and Windows 10 Mobile, which translates to a robust collection of players.
The Windows Phone game continues the unique feature of utilizing your location as the battlefield you are trying to dominate. The Blue version of the game brings to the table a new design layout and interface that some will see as a rather dramatic departure from the original. Just keep in mind that this is a Beta version with a few bugs hanging around and a little polishing needed, but once all the kinks are worked out, QONQR Blue will turn out to be an entertaining MMO strategy game.
It feels as though it has been a lifetime since I have played the first installment of QONQR and have forgotten how competitive of a game it can be. The gaming concept of the original game carries over to QONQR Blue with three factions continuing to battle for global domination. When you first launch the game, you will need to create an account and choose your alliance with a faction. If you are a current QONQR player, your gaming credentials will carry over.
The factions involved in QONQR include:
- Legion: This faction has the shared goal of destroying the artificial intelligence known as QONQR and saving humanity the AI before it can control the world.
- SWARM: This group believes that if QONQR can spread and mature, it will promise an era of unprecedented technology advancement and human prosperity.
- FACELESS: This is a loosely organized faction of militants who are not opposed to the AI QONQR but seeks to use the technology for their own purposes.
Keep in mind that if you choose the wrong faction to align with, you can switch factions but are considered an enemy of the faction you are turning your back on and a huge target is placed on your back.
Once an allegiance is formed, you will be taken to the gaming map that is based on your current location. The map will display icons of the various factions present in your area with a host of gaming controls lining up the edges of the screen. From the map view, you can launch attacks against other factions, transfer troops between locations and establish bases. QONQR Blue has 3 million battle zones that span 250 countries.
There is a tutorial for gameplay, but very loosely organized. If you are familiar with the original game, you should be able to sort it all out, but there are enough differences in the original and Blue versions that you will have several head-scratching moments.
Combat requires bots and you have a limited amount of bots to send into battle. They will replenish over time and the amount of bots required for an attack will vary depending on the attack or defense style you choose.
Speaking of which, once you tap and choose an enemy faction to attack your battle choices pull up in a pinwheel fashion. You have the option to pull up a description of the maneuver that details the resources needed. At the end of a battle sequence a summary screen will appear and if you have the resources, you can relaunch the attack.
In my region, the enemy factions are strongly rooted with larger armies occupying territories. Battles are not decided in "one and done" fashion. I found myself battling the same enemy faction for multiple combat rounds before I destroyed their bots to the point I could occupy that territory.
There are power-up's and boosts available to give your attack a little more punch and don't be surprised if overnight, the area you have captured has been reclaimed by your opponents. QONQR Blue, just like the original version, is not a game to pick up here and there to pass the time with. It is an investment in time on your part to keep your enemy factions at bay.
A Beta version with lots of promise
QONQR Blue is definitely a beta and that may come across that it is a terrible game. On the contrary, the gaming concept is fantastic. The execution still needs a bit of fine-tuning and polishing, but the game is an excellent MMO title.The new design has a certain level of appeal and is a little easier to navigate around than the original. You do have some graphic inconsistencies and glitches that are easily resolved by re-launching the game. I did find a few buttons to be unresponsive at times.
The game does need a more formal tutorial to walk you through the basics of gameplay. There is a Help button in the upper left corner of the screen that provides a snippet of information on the game screens but as involving as this game is, it needs an opening tutorial that walks you through the basics. Possibly a tutorial using a fictitious enemy faction that carries you through a battle and base creation? Once you are through with the tutorial, the game can transition to the live map where you face local enemy factions.
One feature of the original game that didn't carry over to the Blue version was the animated battles. While the animation resembled more of a game of Asteroids than action from a battlefield, it was an illustration of your victory or defeat. The Blue version does have a shorter combat sequence that almost immediately transitions to a summary of your battle once you tap the Launch button. It's not a bad design, just more sterile than what I remember of the original.
There is also a good amount of transitions between the game and QONQR's web portal. More so than I remember with the original installment of the game. These transitions appear to focus mainly on player administration (adding a profile pic, logging out, changing factions, password management, etc.). I would have liked to have seen these functions be taken care of within the app and it is possible these transitions will go away as the Beta is updated.
One nice feature of QONQR Blue is that your current QONQR account transfers over to the new game with your armies and bases in tow. With that respect, I don't know if it is better to call QONQR Blue a re-design, re-launch or sequel. Whatever you decide to call QONQR Blue it is a nice continuation of the original Windows Phone game. Yes, it has some bugs to iron out and probably could use a few more features but remember this is a Beta version and those shortfalls are expected. I suspect it won't take the developers long to update the game and iron out all the issues shortly.
QONQR Blue is a free game that is available from the Windows Phone Store with several in-app purchase opportunities. Hopefully, we will see a Windows PC version once the mobile version gets sorted out.