As well all know, the App Store is flush with CCGs. Not as flush as Warhammer stuff, but still pretty darn flush. [Achievement unlocked: use word flush 3+ times in one post. -ed.] A new one, Mavenfall, has just entered the fray by soft launching in both New Zealand and Ireland. The developers are calling it a cross between Hearthstone and Final Fantasy and the trailer they released seems to back this claim.
Mavenfall allows you to hire “mavens” who seem to be your standard RPG classes. Each class has it’s own set of cards with which to deck build and each of your mavens is placed, miniature style, on a play field which resembles a turn-based, tactical battler. It’s like peanut butter and chocolate, really.
The game focuses on PvP battles which are shorter than most other CCGs, each lasting only 5-10 minutes. Unlike Hearthstone, Mavenfall will come with the ability to record and view your games later, and even share them with others. As far as price on this one, we can expect the usual CCG model with the base game being free to play and extra cards coming either through grinding or cold, hard cash. How that’s going to play out is anyone’s guess at this point.
While available now in New Zealand and Ireland for iOS Universal, the world-wide release will also include Android devices and is expected later in 2015. Check out the trailer after the break.
If your Monday needs a change in ambience, I think you’ll find the video below quite handy.
There’s a card in the new Hearthstone Grand Tournament expansion (did our friend Peter Whalen work on that, I wonder?) called Dreadsteed. The card in question is a moderate-mana but low-HP card with a rather unusual trick: when you kill it, it summons a duplicate of itself. Now there’s an older card in the game called Knife Juggler that randomly damages an enemy every time you play another card to the board. I’ll bet you can see where this is going.
Naturally, a YouTube scamp called The Optimistic Brit has set up a Dreadsteed vs Knife Juggler confrontation that goes on for 15 minutes in a sort of highway-hypnosis-meets-whale-music lullaby. This interplay required a bit of machination to set up, so the chances of seeing this in a live Hearthstone match you might play in are small. But nerfing this might end up on Blizzard’s to-do list right quick.
The last big expansion for Hearthstone was Goblins vs. Gnomes, released last December. Since then there’s been Hearthstone news with the Blackrock Mountain solo expansion as well as the introduction of Tavern Brawl mode. Today, Blizzard announced a new big expansion for Hearthstone called The Grand Tournament and it’s coming this August.
The Grand Tournament will offer over 130 new cards including new murlocs, dragons, pirates, and ogres. Of course, there will be more spells and other characters as well, but it’s good to see some of these card types getting a little more love. Unlike any previous expansion, this one is brining in a new keyword: Inspire. The Inspire trait on a card will trigger if you use your hero power while that card is in play.
Like GvG, cards from The Grand Tournament will appear in Arena mode even if you haven’t purchased any of the cards yourself, and you’ll be able to choose between Tournament, GvG, or classic cards as your Arena rewards. For the first time, Blizzard is also offering the chance to pre-order cards for a discount. Starting next week you can pick up packs of 50 cards for $50.
Check out the Grand Tournament trailer after the break, but be ready for the usual Blizzard trailer silliness.
Wait, is this the new one or last years? Or 2013’s?
Tradition has it that Wednesday is the night when the big releases get together and storm the App Store at midnight. Wizards of the Coast doesn’t believe in tradition, apparently, releasing the new Magic: The Gathering app for iOS Universal this morning. It’s called Magic Duels and, from the little I’ve played so far, doesn’t feel much different than the previous versions of Magic on the iPad. It still has that pseudo-3D, tabletop look which makes the cards pretty damn hard to see and requires a lot of zooming if you’re not super familiar with Magic. Also included are the timers between phases which makes the game seem to crawl. That said, it’s Magic: The Gathering on my iPad, so complaining about it makes me seem like an ungrateful jerk.
The campaigns in Duels involve telling the stories of five Planeswalkers, doing battle and earning cards along the way. There is also a Battle Mode which lets you take on your friends or AI with crafted decks. Wizards is promising continual updates with new cards and other content, but the game already ships with a ton to do. There are quests and achievements to hunt down as well as different play modes, such as Two-headed Giant.
One thing that might come as a surprise are the requirements for this one. It will only run on an iPad Air or later, and if you want to play on a phone you’d better have at least a 5S. I will say that it’s sluggish on my iPad Air, with animations occasionally stuttering, so it was probably a good call.
Does this give anyone else the urge to go play Heroes of Might and Magic?
When you have created one of the seminal video games of all time, I think you’re allowed to have a couple misses. Thus it goes with Minecraft developer, Mojang, who announced this week that their foray into CCGs, Scrolls, is being put down. No new content will be developed for the game and the game servers will remain open until at least July 1, 2016. Any money the game makes between now and then will go towards keeping the servers up longer.
I only played Scrolls a couple times on PC, and it was a pretty good game combining CCG elements with more tactical, board game style play. The only thing holding me back from playing more was the expectation of an iOS version, a version that is almost certainly not going to happen now.
Still, you can pick up Scrolls on your Android device for free if you want to give it a try. Check out the trailer after the break to see what’s going away.
Along with yesterday’s surprise reveal of Fallout Shelter for iOS, Bethesda Softworks also announced a forthcoming customizable card game set in the world of Tamriel, otherwise known as that place you run around in the Elder Scrolls games. The game is called Elder Scrolls Legends, and thus ends everything we know about it.
Seriously, the title is really the only thing they gave us. Oh, and that it will be coming to iPad and PC. I’m assuming it will be a lot like every other CCG, particularly Hearthstone which kind of rules that roost in the digital realm right now. Actually, if the trailer is any indication, it will be a Hearthstone clone; it bears a striking resemblance to the Hearthstone trailers, albeit with a more dour voiceover.
Legends should be out sometime in 2015, and we’ll pass along information as it rolls in. After the break enjoy the Hearthstone Legends teaser trailer.
There’s either a brawl going on in that tavern, or it’s the Azeroth remake of Caligula.
There’s a major Hearthstone patch on the horizon, which is normally pretty exciting news. This time, not so much. We’re not getting any new cards or cool solo adventures to go through, instead there’s a bunch of cosmetic changes coming as well as a new play mode. Now, I am kind of excited about the new mode–more on that in a minute–but I think we’ve already covered how the cosmetic changes seem like a complete and utter rip off. Of course, I’m talking about the new heroes, which are merely a new skin over the existing heroes with new animations and dialog, that are being sold for a staggering $10 each. There are some other cosmetic additions coming as well, such as the ability to customize your decks with different card backs, rather than having all your decks use the same one. In a shocking move, it sounds like that ability might come gratis. I’ll believe it when I see it.
So, that leaves the one interesting aspect of patch 2.7: Tavern Brawl mode. This is a new play mode which will pit you against another player, but there will be different rules in play than a regular match. You may have to use preset decks, or construct a deck using a certain number of Murlocs, or offering buffs to certain card types, etc. It sounds like the brawl rules will change on a weekly basis, and you will win a free card pack when you win your first brawl. Unlike Arena Mode, Blizzard has confirmed that Tavern Mode is free to enter.
In usual Blizzard fashion they haven’t given us a concrete date on when the expansion will go live, but they have said that Tavern Brawls will start in mid-June, so I would expect this to drop next Monday or Tuesday.
Wish I could say there’s a trailer after the break, but there’s not. Actually, considering how goofy and pointless most of the Hearthstone trailers have been, I don’t think we’re missing much.
When I picture what Blizzard HQ must look like, the first image that enters my mind is Scrooge McDuck cannonballing into a monstrous pile of gold coins. I must be wrong, however, because their latest announcement makes it seem like they’re desperate for cash. It’s like they need to come up with that gambling money now, or Tommy’s going to show up and break their legs.
Yesterday, Blizzard announced a new add-on for Hearthstone: new heroes! Before you get too excited though, realize that what they’re selling is a cosmetic-only reskin of the existing heroes. You’ll get a new animated portrait, new animations for the character power, and new dialog options, none of which alter gameplay in any way whatsoever.
I’m not going to lie, they do look pretty cool, and I’m guessing that the hardcore–and not so hardcore–will gobble these up. I haven’t mentioned the cost yet, however. Blizzard is expecting you to shill out $10. That’s not for all nine heroes, that’s per hero. So, if you’re a completist, it’s time to break into the kid’s college fund. Don’t feel bad, Timmy, daddy can now say “Good Game” with a different accent!
No word on when these will hit the streets, and so far we’ve only been introduced to the Warrior replacement, Magni Bronzebeard. The big question now, will you buy any of these?
Hearthstone is free to download for iOS, Android, and Kindle. See Magni’s introduction video after the break.