This, as with my other app reviews, is a game that I have not played before in physical form. Epic is designed to recreate the play and a bit of the magic of a TCG, do you see what I did there? But, they did design it with the idea of recreating a TCG in a single box, with no additional purchase required.
TCG: stands for Trading Card Game, you can also use the term Collectible Card Game or CCG. The biggest one of them, the one that sired the multitudes of them out in the world today is #Magic: The Gathering by Richard Garfield. These games typically have players starting with a "base set" and then buying packs of cards, usually semi random, from then out out. From those card varieties they form craft their own special decks, adhering to certain rules, and use them in play against other decks. So, frequently for the avid TCG player there is really two games. There is the game of crafting a special deck, one that will play just the way the player wishes, all within the confines of budget and the parameters of the game. The second game is actually the actual playing of the deck against other decks and seeing how they stack up. Of course, these games have their detractors, and for good reason. A common complaint is that there is a certain amount of "pay to win." With the card distribution being essentially random, there are always cards that turn out to be "rares." And, some of these rares are eyewateringly powerful. And, you can go on Ebay right now, and buy rare _______ cards for hefty prices, and use them to trump your opponents who may not have the budget you do to put into the game.This complaint has always been a pretty big reason that I am not particularly interested in becomeing a TCG player. Though, I can see that at some point I might dabble some in the scene if I had a friend that was interested. That being said, most TCG's are card dueling games, and there are aspects of that that are appealing to me. So, when this game announced that it was aiming to recreate that experience, I was intrigued.
A while ago someone on these forums pointed out that there was a free app in the play store, I downloaded it, probably 6-12 months ago, and haven't touched it since. One thing that I despise is free apps that offer in-app purchases, and this app does offer in-app purchases. I haven't run into these yet after on play, but, I imagine that they might get annoying before long.
Following is a Brian's Battery review.
Tutorial (+/-) The tutorial is pretty good. It explained things pretty clearly and I was able to play the first game with no problem after having gone through the tutorial. However there is one really weird and annoying thing about it, The "instructor" gives the instructions orally, as well as having the instructions in text. And, semi frequently, the speech and the text don't match word for word. Your milage may vary, but I found it distracting.
Overall presentation (-) Again, I am playing on my phone, Galaxy Note8, and I cannot imagine playing on anything smaller. The tragedy is that it could easily have been playable on a much smaller screen. In my opinion there is far too much space dedicated to non-gameplay elements like scenery and far to little to my hand of cards. I have to enlarge every card that I have to see it's effects. Of course, with increased knowledge of the cards, some of that could go away, but I still found it highly annoying. In addtion to that, the some of the cards speak when played, and, I find that annoying. Lastly, I recognize the art as good if you like that sort of thing. And, I admit that I like the art on some of the cards. But, most of the art is in a style that I really don't enjoy.
Theme (-) You are a elder god in conflict with other elder gods. In addition to that theme doing nothing for me, I had no idea that that is what the them was until I looked it up, after having played it. But, this is pretty typical with card games.
UI (+) There is a undo button, that is good. If you accidently push the "end turn" buttion without having done anything, it asks you if you are sure that you want to end your turn. You can easiy zoom in on your cards and see what they are. These are great great touches especially for a new player. In addition it is easy to play cards, target enemy cards, and overall the gameplay experience is very good and smooth.
Gameplay (++) The gameplay is genuinely fun. I really really enjoyed the various aspects of the cardplay. And,the first mission played quite quickly, while offering a very pleasant sense of engagement. The combo's were satisfying. And, I feel like this is a game with at least some depths to plumb. Overall, I can see playing this again.
Overall, I recomend this game. It is still free. I have a feeling that the in-app purchases could get annoying after a while. I imagine that I will probably play it some more, but I do feel like some of the annoying things with the presentation will probably make this game not last as long for me as it could.