By Adrian Liew
Swordgirls Online is a browser-based Trading Card Game (TCG) featuring lots of cute anime girls. The game itself is free-to-play but contains micro-transaction options where players can use tokens (obtained by cash) to purchase 'booster' cards, among other options.
Aesthetics – 7.0 / 10
Featuring hundreds of anime girls, erm... I mean cards to collect; the gorgeous artwork in the game will definitely grab the attention of people attracted to anime-style artwork. Cards are beautifully illustrated, sometimes featuring recurring characters that appear to be part of a larger storyline. The cards’ special ability (if any) is helpfully written in bold font to differentiate it from the flavor text, making it easier to notice. Most of them belong to one of four factions within the game and this is identified very clearly by a very prominent emblem at upper left corner.
Hovering your cursor over any card's image on the right side of the GUI will make a larger version of the illustration appear in the center of the game window. All the more better to appreciate the artwork in the game. Sadly, the illustrations on the cards are not credited, so fans will probably have a difficult time identifying who were the artists involved. It's very obvious the development team didn't skimp on the effort when it came to producing the artwork. Unfortunately, I can't really say the same about the GUI.
My first complaint with the game appeared almost immediately after starting it up. Swordgirls' 780 pixel x 580 pixel GUI is designed to fit inside a tiny browser pop-up window and unfortunately does not scale up to fill the screen when the window is maximized. Considering that many other Flash browser games out there allow players to (at the very least) zoom-in or go full-screen, I found the lack of similar options in Swordgirls to be disappointing. The size of the font used, while not so tiny that it's unreadable, is small enough that it may give some people a hard time.
Thankfully, I was able to go full-screen on my mobile devices while playing the game. Press down on a character card's image in the GUI for a few seconds and a 'full-screen' option should appear at the top of your Android browser window. The game looked beautiful on my Galaxy Note but didn't look as good on my Xoom. The Flash GUI and card imagery didn't scale well to my tablet's screen resolution of 1280 x 800 and ended up aliased and blocky. If you decide to play Swordgirls on a mobile device, bear in mind that it may not look its best.
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