Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Do you want fries with that?

OK, you caught me, I have been playing Card Hunter and haven't told anyone. It is not that I am ashamed, the game is excellent, but the aesthetic so matches my early days of D&D that I am both uncomfortable and nostalgic beyond belief. The way the game itself is played is totally different: we never used miniatures or maps. Or D&D was theatre of the mind, fast and loose with the rules, custom written and almost always hilarious. Card Hunter is the rule-mongers wet dream. All it is is the rules wrapped up in a delightfully nerdy exterior. It has made what amounts to a turn based strategy game fun for me and that almost never happens.

Card Hunter tempers one strategy by coating it in another: a collectible card game. Items and equipment do not give stat bonuses, they add cards to you deck. The better the equipment the better the cards, and in a brilliant twist there are bad cards that you must play as soon as you draw them. This adds a risk/reward factor to how the deck is built and not nearly as annoying as it sounds. Cards are even used to move your characters around the field. A bad draw can leave with all attacks and no move or all moves and no attack which means that even the simplest encounter can be either made or killed by luck/a poorly constructed deck.

And on top of all of that the majority of the game is free. You can pay to win by purchasing pizza and exchanging that for either gold or unlocking treasure missions, plus just being in the 'the club' nets you one extra item per encounter. It's tempting but it could get very expensive very quickly and it is not a game that I plan on playing from beginning to end. What Card Hunter will do is keep me from spending on marginal downloadable games just because I have nothing else to play.

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Lost Planet 3 is, so far, not nearly as bad as reviews would lead you to believe. Time will tell.

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