Nukotoys' Animal Planet Wildlands and Monsterology offer a fun novelty on iOS

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Earlier this month, we brought you a small taste of what to expect from Nukotoys' new trading card supported apps Animal Planet Wildlands and Monsterology. Now, we've had a chance to go hands-on with both games, and the trading cards that make them unique. The results? Well, they're a bit hit or miss.

In Animal Planet Wildlands, each real-world trading card features one animal, weather pattern, etc. which can be brought to life within the game by tapping and holding it on your iPad's screen. In both Animal Planet Wildlands and Monsterology, we had some pretty big issues in getting specific cards to activate, even after following Nukotoys' step-by-step guide for activating them. Still, once they did activate, the animals (in this case) came to life in just a few seconds and we were left to control them across a fairly large open environment.

In the case of Animal Planet Wildlands specifically, the application is incredibly shallow, seeing you tilting your iOS device to control the speed and direction of your animal's movement. While running, you can take a predator through prey to perform a "takedown," resulting in the prey animal bursting into a group of stars and arbitrary points being awarded at the top of the screen. There are some basic quests to complete, like discovering all sections of this open world and then finding the puzzle pieces within them, but the free-to-play aspects of Animal Planet Wildlands are incredibly limiting. That is, further quests won't unlock until you activate more trading cards, or otherwise purchase them within the game.

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Animal Planet Wildlands on iOS
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With Monsterology, the experience is much more complex, as this is a true "game," offering turn-based strategy play in a fantasy land filled with volcanos, glaciers, dense forests and more. Each trading card represents a monster that you can bring to life within the game, but you can only activate a single card per battle. From there, you'll take turns against computer opponents to try and take over their base of operations, claiming any and all treasure chests, towers and portals for yourself in the process. The graphics here perform well, with close-ups on the battles between creatures and creatures that individually animate as they run across a playing field. You can purchase additional virtual cards here too, if the real world cards simply don't interest you, but at least the free-to-play offering here will last you or your child a lot longer than in Animal Planet Wildlands.

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If you're an adult gamer that's interested in either of these too applications, you'll likely be disappointed by the final products, as the novelty of bringing cards to life in each is fleeting, especially when considering that a pack of three will set you back $1.99. However, there's a much higher draw here to young players on iPhone and iPad, as the cards will likely seem magical and just might be worth the cost. Ultimately, the success of each app in your own family will depend on just how easily amused you are by trading cards that can be transformed into animated creatures on your iOS device, but Nukotoys definitely deserves credit for trying something new in the space.

Click here to download Animal Planet Wildlands on iTunes ---->

Click here to download Monsterology on iTunes --->

What do you think of this ability to bring trading cards to life within iOS devices? Have you had any experience with these two games? Share your experiences with us in the comments!
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