Review: Night of the Full Moon07 Nov 2017 1
Review: Night of the Full Moon
Released 26 Nov 2017
I'm a sucker for role-playing/collectible-card game hybrids. Dream Quest is, for my money, one of the best mobile games ever made. Card City Nights is a lot of fun, and also still on my iPhone, and I'm very much looking forward to the sequel. My love for Lost Portal CCG is also well-documented on this website, and that game is enshrined in my mobile-gaming pantheon. So a new entry into this storied sub-genre always piques my interest.
Night of the Full Moon is a role-playing game with a story based on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. You play as Red herself and start the game with the discovery that your beloved grandmother has disappeared into the dark forest beyond her house. You make the inadvisable choice to follow her… into the dark… all by yourself. What were you thinking?
Luckily Red's got some game. You choose one of four classes for Red, and each enables a different starter deck of cards full of attacks and abilities. You can be a nun, which I assume is meant to be cleric or priest (there are some translation issues, more on that in a bit), with powers of healing at your disposal. There's the ranger, armed with a bow and quick reflexes. If you want to get your hack and slash on, the knight is the way to go. Finally, if spell slinging is your game, pick the witch.
Armed with some skills and a deep desire to find granny you head off into the forest. The story is a bit tough to track as Night of the Full Moon was obviously translated to English from another language (the developer is based in China so I assume it was Chinese). I had trouble comprehending what was going on, which detracts quite a bit from the role-playing aspect of the game. Luckily the story isn't the big selling point of the game, or genre. The bigger draw is the tactical, card-based, combat encounters which factor prominently into the game.
Each stage of Red's adventure features three choices, each represented by a card. You are presented with three cards at a time and must choose one to proceed. These cards might offer bandages with which to staunch wounds and regain health, options to purchase new cards or special portions from merchants, or even strange side quests like finding and tasting a bunch of different apples. A good number of the cards, seventy-two in total, are adversaries in Red's path to find granny. Each is a combat encounter in waiting and the only way to get past these cards is to defeat the adversary in battle.
Combat in Night of the Full Moon takes a very recognizable form—you and your opponent are each armed with a deck of cards full of attacks and special abilities tailored to the class you chose. The bad guys have cards that let them cheat, more or less, and alter the rules a bit to offer a different challenge in each fight. Some have damage reduction and others are able to reduce how many cards you draw or get to cast. One foe can't be dealt damage but is set to die in a certain number of turns, making your objective to live long enough to see his demise. Both sides have mana and action points, which are required to cast certain but not all cards so hand management becomes key. The usual goal is to reduce your adversary to zero health before they do so to you.
Combat is fast and fairly intuitive, especially if you are a veteran of other CCG/RPG hybrids. You draw two cards per turn by default, though naturally some cards let you draw more. You'll have cards that attack and deal damage, recover health, provide armor, and other nifty abilities. There are equipment cards that provide various bonuses as you play cards as well as reaction cards that trigger when certain conditions are met (similar to secrets in Hearthstone). The rules text suffers from the same translation issues as the game's story and can be difficult to decipher in spots, though here at least you can figure out what's what as cards are played for the first time.
There is no direct deck building in Night of the Full Moon and you don't get to pick the cards in your deck. The game does offer tools through which you can change and improve your deck, however. Not only can you pick up new cards as you go, but many cards are upgradeable and there are plenty of opportunities to do so. There's also some deck thinning options where you can choose to delete your weaker cards which is great as you identify an overall strategy for your deck.
Night of the Full Moon is a fully premium game and you get access to all of the classes and cards for the upfront price. The different classes have enough of a different feel from one another to offer up some solid replay value and exploration. The game doesn't have nearly the depth, level of challenge, and tactical crunch of Lost Portal or Dream Quest, but it is still fun and compelling enough to offer many hours of entertainment in either short bursts or longer play sessions. I have no qualms recommending Night of the Full Moon to fans of the genre looking to add another solid title to their collection, but if you're new to this type of game I'd certainly start with some of the aforementioned all-stars.