Years and years ago I remember going into Target and purchasing a game called HeroScape. HeroScape was unique because it was a board game that had some of the coolest and most well crafted pieces that I had ever played with. Each piece was a soldier, and you could cross these different soldiers onto a build-able battlefield that was ever changing. It was amazing. So much fun built into the diversity of that idea. Duelyst combines what I loved about a game like HeroScape with the addictive CCG nature of a game like HearthStone. Although the game isn’t as huge as something Blizzard would put out, Duelyst is a charming tactical CCG that has a lot more to offer than first impressions may lend.
The idea is very, very similar to Hearthstone. You have a set amount of mana crystals each turn. As the game progresses, you get one extra mana crystal per turn. These crystals allow you to cast spells and summon powerful creatures to fight with your general. Your general is akin to your king in chess. You have 25 health points, and once those are depleted, you lose. Choosing to continuously attack your opponent’s general can net you the win, but there is also an extremely deep layer of strategy that can determine whether your head on attack is the correct path.
Don’t come in expecting new age graphics however, yet another charm of the game is the graphics style. An extremely well polished cartoon avatar split with the eight bit style of the game makes everything feel like an extremely well done game of chess with custom pieces. The game is as much fun to look at as it is to play, and with a variety of modes, you’ll absolutely have enough content to get you as hooked as I am.
There are micro transactions in the game in the form of “Spirit Orbs” which function as card packs. This is acceptable because they’re very reasonably priced, and they guarantee you a rare or greater card. The UI for crafting and building a deck could be slightly better, but when I say slightly, I mean slightly. It’s such a minor gripe that there really isn’t any reason to look too deeply into it. The creators are also extremely vocal and kind to their community, which always helps to recommend a game in its infancy stage.
Duelyst is a wonderful free game that can end up consuming you if you’re not careful. With awesome mechanics, beautiful graphics, and a supportive community…it’d be pretty hard to see this game fail. I was charmed by it from the start, and I’m sure that just about anyone who picks it up and enjoys chess or Hearthstone or CCG games in general will truly enjoy the experience. Duelyst, I commend you.
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