They say when life gives you lemons you pop them in a G&T, so when Life gives you Lockdown and you were meant to be reviewing a Card game, where do you go? Online, of course! So until I can grab myself some friends to play the IRL game, I have dived into the Epic Card Game app!
Getting Started with Epic Card Game Digital
Here we have a strategy card game, digitised and ready to play, but is it that simple to get into? First off, wolves are evil – which will make sense later. The system is really easy to understand and play, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t pose a challenge when playing against others.
Let’s start with the campaign mode, which is a brilliant way to get a glimpse of the game, in easy to digest portions, as you learn about the cards available to use. You are given a pre-built set of cards and play against enemies that are built around a set of rules designed to show you each aspect of the game.
Don’t Skip the Epic Tutorial
At first, I was ready to throw the game down. I got stuck battling and losing as my enemy grew an endless parade of wolves that kept getting bigger and I just couldn’t stop it! Then I realised I was trying to play the game much like another card game I own. I went back and approached it differently and, when I didn’t skip out on the tutorials and thinking I knew better, I found myself winning battles. As I moved through the tutorial campaigns I learned about the cards I had and gained new ones to add to my deck. This slowly taught me how to use them without feeling condescending.
While the card rules are straightforward, one thing I had to get my head around was the system for paying to get your cards out. Each person has one coin to spend and cards can cost nothing or one coin to play. The rate that the coins refresh combined with the free-to-play cards mean that it never feels like someone is just pouring card after card onto the table while you have nothing, and it makes it feel much more balanced. Occasionally, you might see a lot of cards appear – for instance in the shape of wolves – and you think it is all over, but some abilities can wipe the table clean so it’s a dangerous play to get it all out at once! It made me think in a whole new way and got me coming up with new strategies to use the cards to defeat all the different types of opponents.
Once I was out of the tutorial, I felt I should try to play online and like many games in its field, Epic Card Game offers you many different pathways into playing with others. There are pre-constructed decks, random 30 deck challenges, and more to keep the game feeling new. Like any online game, I could be waiting for a game, but that all depends on the time of the day I was playing, and with the world indoors at the moment it wasn’t too long before I found a challenge to occupy my time. If you can’t find a game or want more practice before hitting the online arena, you can practice playing against the AI with the exact same challenges.
Building an Epic Deck
I did hit one of my only problems when it came to constructing my own deck. After getting to grips with the cards I liked I thought that I would build myself a little deck, and get me some of them wolf tokens that had defeated me so often. I was using my mobile device to play the game and on the deck building screen loaded I only got tiny, little thumbnails of the cards. There are filters to help search for the cards you might know, but as a new player I wasn’t aware of all the card names or alignments. You can zoom into cards to read the details, but the thumbnails are so small on screen I found myself frustrated at not being able to browse the collection quickly, and ended up going backwards and forwards a lot, forgetting what I had done.
While this size problem doesn’t hinder the actual game – during battle you can pretty much tap any card in the field of play to enlarge and read the rules – deck building is a big part of any strategy card game and I would probably recommend using a larger screened device if you wanted to get serious about making your perfect deck. I would also put this down to the way I build decks IRL and wouldn’t fault the game for my old school approach.
One aspect they have captured of the cards is the beautiful artwork on each one. All taken from the Epic Card Game, they bring the battlefield to life with fun animations and sound effects, and they all have their own feel. You want Demons? They got demons! You want angels? They got angels? You want wolves? NO! You never want them. Take my advice, if you see lots of wolves run! You could build a deck around a look if you wanted, and it would almost work. Another option is to take a 60 card deck of chosen alignment into battle, which would play reasonably well. The coin system also allows you to mix and match as much as you like. That’s right, Demons and Angels riding wolves into battle!
The Epic, Final, Decision
I really had fun playing this game, and while I did have some problems with the deck building aspects, I would still recommend you give it a go! Hopefully soon I will be able to force myself over to my friends’ house and see how the game plays IRL, but until that happens grab yourself a copy of Epic Card Game today and try it for yourself!
And seriously, watch out for the wolves.