Miraculous Squad Review: More Mundane Than Miracle

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir is a 3D CG magical girl series that started in France around 2015. Shortly after its debut overseas, the show made its way to North America, where it seems to have landed pretty well in its target demographic. Think of a modern-day “Sailor Moon”, and you’re about 90% of the way to Miraculous.

Considering the show’s immense popularity – merchandise, toys, and, of course, video games were all but an inevitability. There is what I would call a healthy collection of Miraculous mobile games currently available, but I recently spent some time with one of them. Is it worth your time and perhaps even hard-earned money as a Miraculous fan of any age? Let’s find out in this review of Miraculous Squad on iOS.

Miraculous Squad Review: More Mundane Than Miracle
Miraculous Lady Bug gameplay

Made Where It All Started

Miraculous was developed and published by Voodoo in association with Zagtoon, the studio that produces the series. Voodoo is a French game studio based in Paris, and they definitely seem to have some love for the series that was created in their home country.

Voodoo bills itself as a creator of “hyper-casual and casual” games, and reportedly is responsible for 7 billion downloads across their many products – which includes some titles you might have seen in ads before, such as Slap and Run, Run Rich 3D, Helix Jump, and more. It wouldn’t be out of place to call Voodoo’s previous games “cheap” or otherwise throwaway experiences, but they certainly are effective.

As for Miraculous Squad, it also has definitely taken some inspiration from other games, but it’s a far cry from the social media engagement bait that is Cube Surfer.

Miraculous Online Battle Arena

Marvelous Squad will feel very familiar to anyone who has played a MOBA in the recent past. You take control of a character (Ladybug at first, but other playable characters are introduced as you progress), move them around the screen with touch controls, and they will automatically attack enemies that enter their effective range.

It’s a combination of systems and mechanics that, while maybe a little tired, accomplishes two things: 1.) it’s easy to pick up and play at any level, and 2.) It’s rather addicting. There’s something to be said about something targeted at children with this degree of microtransactions, but we’ll get to that later in the review.

Miraculous Squad Review: More Mundane Than Miracle
The Lady Bug adventures

For now, I can confirm that Miraculous Squad succeeds at what you would want a video game to be – fun. The kind of mindless dragging of your finger across your screen, watching enemy health bars tick down scratches the same itch that Vampire Survivors does – just with a different aesthetic. And less critical acclaim. 

As you clear stages, you’ll also begin collecting trading cards that feature characters from the show, but they serve a purpose outside of their collectibility. 

Gotta Collect Them All

While I wouldn’t call Miraculous Squad a full-on deck builder, it certainly does have deck-building elements. The character cards you collect throughout the game imbue the player character with special moves, the earliest of which are an area clear courtesy of Cat Noir’s “Cataclysm” (cat pun intended, I’m sure), and an attack speed boost from a character called Mallet.

Keeping true to the MOBA mechanics, these special moves/power ups operate on a cooldown so they can’t be abused. However, I never found myself needing to activate them more than once as the levels seem to be extremely short and easy, at least for the first several hours or so. I won’t harp on the difficulty too much since this is a game targeted at fans of a kids’ show, but I wouldn’t mind a more pronounced difficulty spike earlier in the game.

You’ll earn these character cards through “booster packs” you receive as mission rewards, and any doubles you receive go towards upgrading or leveling up that specific card – just like Marvel Puzzle Quest. However, if the developer-defined trickle of cards isn’t to your (or your child’s) liking – it is possible to purchase booster packs from the in-game store.

Which brings me to my next point.

(Not So) Miraculous Microtransactions

After the introductory rounds of gameplay, Miraculous Squad’s in-game store opens up to you. Notably, it becomes available much sooner than other mobile games I’ve reviewed recently, such as Warcraft Rumble or Clash Royale. Miraculous Squad isn’t notably similar to these games, but I would think the demographic is either around the same age or possibly even younger – making the availability of the in-game store so early a little bit problematic. 

Miraculous Squad Review: More Mundane Than Miracle
The game is pretty mundane

Those issues aside, the microtransactions available in Miraculous Squad are pretty boilerplate as far as free-to-play mobile games go. 

You have two in-game currencies: coins and gems. You spend real money to get gems, which you can then use to purchase card booster packs as well as packs of coins, which are used to upgrade your card power-ups.

Here is a breakdown of the microtransactions I’ve encountered so far:

  • 50 Gems: $2.99
  • 125 Gems: $5.99
  • 500 Gems: $14.99
  • Season Pass: $6.99
  • Welcome Bundle: $7.99
  • Cat Noir Bundle: $29.99

The special microtransactions or bundles usually include a certain number of coins, gems, and booster packs in addition to removing ads from the gameplay experience. I’m not really sure what constitutes a “season” for Miraculous squad, but $6.99 seems to be a reasonable amount for what you get unless seasons tend to be very short.

Miraculous Squad Review: More Mundane Than Miracle

Pretty Fun, A Little Suspicious

Overall, I think Miraculous Squad is a fun little game. I can see it being a great experience for fans looking to kill some time, and I even had a good time with it as someone only tangentially familiar with the series. 

However, there is the concern of the microtransactions, as always. If you’re considering allowing a younger fan of Miraculous to enjoy this game, I would make sure that you have parental controls on your purchase settings. This seems like it can get quite expensive very quickly, especially thanks to the allure of the card booster packs. 

If you can enjoy the game responsibly, I think you could do a lot worse in the mobile game arena.


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