The best computer role playing games have the best storylines. As long as there's a definite, compelling goal to the game and players can see waht happens as they make progress towards the goal, interest will remain high. Without such a storyline, all you get are a series of battles, success in which only leads to more battles against tougher enemies. And that's pretty much what you get in "Devil's Attorney," a game that has a pretty good gimmick (the battles in this game all take place in the courtroom), but soon becomes very repetitive.
"Devil's Attorney" is a typical turn-based game, but one that uses variations on legal terminology. Your character, Max, is a cocky defense attorney with a steady stream of clients (58 trials in all). You have two basic types of opponents: witnesses and evidence. You attack each opponent using the skills at your disposal, which have names like "discredit" and "cross-examine." Each attack reduces the credibility of an opponent. When the credibility goes to zero, the opponent is eliminated. You also have defensive skills like "tamper with evidence" and "hypnotize" that reduce the strength of one or more of your opponents' attacks. When your opponents successfully attack you, your case strength goes down. If it goes to zero, you lose the case and your client goes to jail.
Each time you win a case, you earn your fee, and collect a certain amount of money, with a bonus for winning the case in a certain number of rounds. You can use that money to "upgrade" your apartment of wardrobe or buy a car. In addition to whatever intangible benefits you get out of some tacky living room decor, when you purchase upgrades you get additional skills as well. However, there's no real harm resulting from losing a case (other than the blow to your ego). If you lose a case or don't solve it in enough type of earn the bonus, you can just keep replaying the case until you win. The game also has three difficulty levels (I played the two easier ones). The cases are the same for each difficulty level, but you start with greater case strength and more action points in the easier levels.
The idea behind "Devil's Attorney" is clever, and the game has a fair amount of humor to it. Your clients aren't murderers and bank robbers; they are usually petth con artists who have tried to pull off some sort of scam. Plus, before each case you and the prosecutor assigned to the case have some pre-recorded banter, usually consisting of hurling insults at each other, much of which is extremely childish. However, once you get past the third rate comic shtick at the beginning of each case, what's left is essentially the same trial over and over again with slight differences in the number and strength of opponents each time. The last case involves a surprise prosecutor and is by far the most difficult at any difficluty level.
I really liked "Devil's Attorney" when I first started playing it and found a good bit of humor in the first few trials. After about a half dozen cases though, I realized that I would just get a procession of variations on the same scenario. The gameplay was occasionally somewhat difficult and challenging for the later cases so the game does require a bit of strategy or trial-and-error to win. Still, what the game really boils down to is 58 versions of the same trial with the same rather limited sets of opponents. "Devil's Attorney" may have won the case, but it's no Perry Mason.
Devil's Attorney is a delightful game, full of witty dialogue, excellent art design, and equally challenging and engaging turn-based strategy.
Devil's Attorney puts you in the shoes of Max McMann, an attorney who continually defends less-than-innocent people against a colorful cast of prosecutors. The writing here is phenomenal, with each of your opponents feeling distinct from the others and gaining a fair bit of fleshing out and excellent moments over the course of the game's three acts. Their interactions with Max lead to some hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments, complimented by superb voice acting. Even the details, like the case descriptions, provide some humor and shout outs to popular culture for those who pay attention.
The game play revolves mostly around solving cases. Each cases sets you up against several opposing 'pieces', such as witnesses, evidence, and the prosecutor themselves. They all deal damage to your "Case Strength" (the health bar in this game), while you damage their "Credibility" with a series of abilities each turn. Some of your opponents have special abilities themselves, and so the turn-based game play quickly turns strategic as you figure out how to defeat your opponents, especially within a certain number of turns to nab the bonus. Completing cases earns you cash, which you can use to purchase upgrades that can help you gain new and useful abilities, but also decorate your apartment with extravagant, stylish, and perfectly egotistical furnishings.
The game also looks great. The character designs are stylish and the game looks beautiful, dazzling with it's parody and style. This visual direction is complemented by some equally excellent sound design, which encompasses all of the 80's style found in the game.
For a good price, Devil's Attorney is an excellent mobile game, combining witty humor and dialogue with strategic game play to provide non-stop entertainment. A high recommendation for anyone who plays mobile games.