DEVIL'S ATTORNEY / 1337 Games / Android
 
 
At first blush, Devil's Attorney looks like it might be a Phoenix Wright clone, but aside from a little witty/goofy banter before each case there's really very little resemblance. It's actually more like a card battle game or the battles of a turn-based RPG ... just set in a courtroom.

It's also set during the '80s, and our hero Max lives by the code "greed is good." He's a sleazy defense attorney who gets obviously guilty clients off the hook by using every trick in the book. In between cases, you'll use his ill-gotten gains to deck out his apartment and wardrobe with excessive and tacky '80s luxury items. These also have the effect of gradually unlocking new courtroom abilities.
 


In court, you've got a suite of actions that basically function like a deck of cards. Each action costs action points, of which you only have a finite supply. Additionally, some actions can only be used once per turn, or even once per case. You have to use skills strategically to chip HP off of the enemy prosecutor and their lineup of witnesses and evidence, also carefully employing buffs and debuffs. Any witnesses or evidence left standing at the end of each turn get to deal damage to your case, which can only take so many hits. Lose all your credibility to the prosecution's attacks and it's game over.

Card battle games are one of the few genres well-suited to the iffy Android touch screen, and the controls here leave no complaint other than occasionally using a buff/debuff ability you didn't mean to when trying to scroll the list. Cases never take more than five minutes, however, and you can attempt them endless times with no penalty.



The writing is surprisingly good, with the goofball prosecutors usually at least good for a chuckle. The production value and polish is also surprising for a mobile game made by a no-name company -- there's competent voice acting, some catchy music, and everything looks good (if a bit stiff and Flash-y).

Given the card battle style and short cases, Devil's Attorney is very well-suited to playing on a phone. The strategy in winning battles is fairly basic and definitely on the easy and repetitive side, but the overall charm does a lot to keep it from getting boring. It's not one of your more substantial or longevous games, but I still think it's worth checking out at the right price.
 
 
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