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「Mobage」Introducing BanG Dream's Newly-launched Smartphone game: Garupa (Girls' Band Party)!

BanG Dream has its game released sometime this week and it has been in the hype for a while. Despite the release of the game and the ongoing anime, there has also been images on Twitter showing that BanG Dream merchandise were selling below expectation. But we'll leave that aside for now and just focus on the mobile game itself.

Just a background check about this game. The anime follows the group: Poppin' Party, which features (from left) Rimi, Saaya, Kasumi, Arisa and Tae. As you can see, the game includes 4 other groups: Afterglow, Pastel Palettes, Roselia and Harro. Some of these groups have been introduced solely for the game.
The following is more information regarding each individual group:

A last piece of notice for the game before I start analysing the game would be an overview of the daily login bonuses. Unfortunately only two bonuses are visible: 10,000 coins and 50 Starts (for scouting).
To celebrate the release of the game, they are also giving out 50 stars  per day for a total duration of 11 days. This would be a total of 550 stars into the goal of 2500 stars for a 10-roll. (Solo rolls are at 250 stars each).
Two more things about the release of this game is the inclusion of 4-star rarity cards of Poppin' Party. This is the best rarity in the game thus far. Let's take a look at the cards, and note that they are the idolised copies.

Let's start with the bad points of the game. Simply put, it is too similar to Idolm@ster's Deresute. I shall assume that you have knowledge of Deresute for this article.

1. You have a space on the map which you can see chibi of your main team. Some of the maps are can also be customised, that is, add decorations. The decorations can be purchased and upgraded with Gold from shops such as the one in the counter, shown in the image below.
2. Some of these decorations will boost some parameters in Live Shows, and these decorations can also be levelled up to give a higher boost. There are differences in this aspect from Deresute too, which I will cover later.

3. Scouting follows Deresute policy. Firstly, you are able to scout at a discounted star count if you use your purchased stars. A single scout can be done once per day with 60 purchased stars, or unlimited for 250 stars consisting of both purchased and gained through F2P means. Similar to Deresute, a 10-roll costs a total of 2500 stars too. And if you look closely at it the idea of Stars and how they look (rainbow appearance) resembles Deresute's Stars as well.
4. The borders for the different rarities closely resembles Deresute one. I draw similarities for the 3-star rarity on BanG Dream to SR on Deresute; 2-star rarity to R and 1-star rarity to N respectively.
5. Short comic strips on loading pages. This is present in Deresute and received a lot of positive feedback from fans. BanG Dream has replicated this feature and only time will tell us if it will be as successful as Deresute's.
6. For stories, one can choose to have the story silent or voiced. As of now, most, if not all, of the stories I have seen are voiced and this includes those between Chibis, which is something I call "Talk" function. I'll talk more about this later.
7. Idolisation is done with items and a max-levelled card. This is similar to Deresute where you idolize max-bonded cards with costumes (such as earrings and shoes).

And now we'll look at the differences between BanG Dream and Deresute. This is the part which I will also mention what makes the game unique and enjoyable for me.

1. The "Talk" System. After every Live Show, you will be taken to a screen where you can select places to visit and talk to the characters who are in that area. Clicking into each area will bring you into different locations, each with their own chibi. If you are lucky, you might even get a chibi that belongs in the one of the groups.
Any girl pair available in the area will be shown above the picture of the place, as seen from the image above. Also, those additional areas are likely to be unlocked with player's levels.
Talking to one of the girls marked "New" will give 50exp per girl. This exp applies to both player levels and band levels. Every 2 increase in player level after level 10 will unlock a main story while every increase in band level will unlock a band story, for the respective group.
After clicking on a duo or a single girl, you will be brought to a screen with a enlarged normal-sized female characters and you can enjoy a voiced conversation!
After the respective rank ups, you can then enjoy the stories you have unlocked!
Each story I have covered thus far gave 50 stars and 1 of that tear-drop crystal. 10 of those crystals can be used to unlock a cover song from the shop.
2. Scouting does not show all the types of cards acquired at the start. You have them slowly appearing one by one, and from there, you will finally see which rarity cards you have obtained.

3. Band management. Band edit recommends ordering the teams into the groups instead of using stats or attributes. Another point is that even with max-levelled N cards, you can barely brush past a C score for even an Easy song, making scouting essential for scoring well. Unfortunately, it does not seem like there is a friend-point scout too, so scouting with stars (or scouting tickets) is essential. 
 4. Practicing is done with items and not cards (i.e. N cards) making it necessary to get these items for levelling. I haven't gotten duplicate copies of any card, hence I am unsure what benefits they might bring.

5. This might be the feature I like the most. Cover songs. So far I have seen Ano Hana's Ending Theme, Kekkai Sensen's Ending theme among others, already available in the song section. Others that can be bought in the shop includes the following (in the image below). There will be other cover songs added soon too, such as "Don't say Lazy", "Silhouette" and "Little Busters!". I have no idea if these songs will remain in the system in the future, or even if there will be a rotation of these (or other new) covers.
Lastly, I'll talk a bit more about the song mechanics.
The game pad is seen from above. Tapping on the line as the notes fall down will be enough. However there are other kinds of notes also: tap, hold, slide and flick.
There are also 2 different kinds of game-play. A "free live" and a "support live" where the latter appears to give better item drops and much more coins and exp. I have never tried the latter yet as mine always poses some kind of connection problem. As far as I observe, the free live is free, meaning no stamina is required to play a song. However, there is no basis to my assumption about this yet.

Within the "support live" there are 2 components, Regular and Veteran. Veteran needs a main band total score exceeding 120000. You can create your own room or join rooms in the regular component. I have not tried this mechanism out yet.
 And last but not the least, let's look at how a N team fares on an Easy song!

I hope that you will download and enjoy the game too!
Happy BanG Dreaming~!

~ Reina-rin

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