Epic Card Game lives up to the name - a review of the (free!) digital app
The name is the promise; every card you play in ECG is so ludicrously overpowered you'll often find yourself reading the text twice, going 'exCUSE me?'
Some cards may look like not much, but have incredible, hidden utility - my current favorite is this card, which you can use to tempt an opponent into an unwise move before springing a ton of hidden damage.
Let's back up: ECG is a 1v1 card battler, playable free on Android, Steam, or iOS, patterned on many 1v1 card battlers that you may be already familiar with.
ECG pits you against other players or an AI in the quest to turn your deck into a machine that mashes your opponent's health bar to 0 faster than they do it to you. In some respects it is exceedingly simple: Cards either have a cost or they don't, and each card explains exactly what it does using handy tooltips.
What the game doesn't do is help you understand when and why to play certain cards. Tempting as it may be to play your biggest and best champions as early as possible, sometimes it's best to bait out a key play or wait for the appropriate timing window to outwit your opponent.
Playing your 18/18 Burrowing Wurm first thing is a great way to get it banished or broken by an enemy spell - better to tempt out all those cards with lesser monsters before bringing out that big boy.
Whereas a seemingly 'bad' card like this one can be surprisingly powerful if deployed at just the right time (the Ambush keyword allows you to play it on the enemy's turn) and suddenly wreak havoc on their defenses.
Of course you may not always be able to play a card optimally - as I alluded to earlier, every card in this game is incredibly powerful, so you may have to spend a really good card to stop an opponent from edging out an advantage.
This is a problem with ECG for beginners - sometimes it feels like all you're doing is resetting the game back to a neutral stance and it feels impossible to actually do anything. Fortunately the game has enough intricacy and depth for you to get to grips with its nuances (especially in campaign mode) though I did need to ask a friend for help to get past a tricky stage - the solution was to do with card timings and not wasting cards on bad situations.
Get used to this screen until you figure out the smaller intricacies. But if you're already into 1v1 card battlers, I highly recommend this. There's hundreds of cards to explore and construct your own deck and it's free to play, what's not to like?
I've played the game both on PC and mobile and I prefer it on PC just because my astigmatism blows in terms of reading card text - but then I'm still learning the game and constantly have to read my cards; familiarity by art alone isn't there for me yet.
Speaking of art:
The game is generally beautiful and has a great fantasy feel, but I couldn't let this review go without pointing out... yeah. The female characters are almost all like this. The game came out in 2015, we should have left this in the 80s. Disappointing.
But ECG is a strategic and tactical powerhouse, and, again - FREE! No hidden nonsense either, all cards are fully unlocked right from the jump.
Get it on Steam, iOS, and Android.