Category Archives: Card

'Puzzle Strike' Review - A Great Game With a Few Missed Opportunities

The iOS version of Sirlin Games' Puzzle Strike [$3.99] is a tricky game to review. This is a fantastic game, if you're into deckbuilding games with a high degree of interactivity, and while it plays pretty well on mobile, there are some glaring omissions that detract from what would've been a mobile gem (pun intended). Still, even with issues like a lack of proper notifications and questionable UI decisions, Puzzle Strike is a great addition to the App Store and should more than satisfy those looking for a game that's easy to grasp but can take forever to master. While it definitely shines as a multiplayer game, Sirlin has packed the game with plenty of single-player content too like a pretty strong AI to play against as well as 10 Challenges that will test your skills and help you discover the game's strategic nuances. So, a great deckbuilding game, and a good mobile game, too...

Although I bet no one cares much about Hearthstone's [Free] Tavern Brawl today after the pretty earthshaking news from yesterday, the Hearthstone world still turns and Brawls are still a thing. This week's Brawl, Blingtron's Beauteous Brawl, is a new one and it's all about weapons and more weapons. The match starts with both players having 10 Armor (to help with all the damage from the weapons), and at the start you each have a 2/2 Foam Sword weapon equipped and your Hero Power is Cash In: Destroy your weapon, gaining a random one. So, as you can imagine, this Brawl is all about weapons, and the randomness of the whole thing means you'll have no idea what weapon will pop up next...




Not many know this, but just before there was the digital-only Hearthstone CCG, there was Solforge [Free] by Stoneblade, a CCG that tried to take advantage of what a digital platform has to offer. The game's been around for quite some time, but it's still in Beta and, unfortunately, its great gameplay ideas are hidden under a very clunky UI that was supposed to be a quick example of how the game will play rather than the game's actual UI. The game's been stuck with that UI - and with many other client technical issues - for years now, but, fortunately, we are getting closer to the release of the new UI that should give the game the opportunity to get new players aboard. Back in October, we got a first glimpse of the new UI, and I was really disappointed at what I saw even though I knew it was still a work-in-progress...

Sentinels of the Multiverse [$9.99 (HD)], one of the most entertaining card games on the App Store, is getting its 3rd full expansion this Friday, and it's a big one, too. Shattered Timelines is all about, you guessed it, alternate worlds clashing with all kinds of crazy results. Heroes turn to villains and the other way around, and environments blend and crumble. So, as you can imagine, this is a fun expansion that was quite well received when it came out for the physical version of the game. The update includes 8 new decks, just like Rook City and Infernal Relics, with 2 heroes, 4 villains, and 2 new environments. The heroes are Chrono-Trigger and Omnitron-X, the villains are The Dreamer, Kismet, Le Capitan, and Iron Legacy, and the environments Time Cataclysm and The Block...

2016 is a really weird year, y'all. A reality TV star is a serious presidential candidate. Meanwhile, a former Secretary of Defense is now making a video game based on a card game variant made by a British prime minister? Yes, Donald Rumsfeld has teamed up with Javelin and Snapdragon Studios to make Churchill Solitaire [Free] for iOS. It's based off of a solitaire variant invented by Winston Churchill himself to supposedly increase his strategic thinking. According to the game, Churchill told a Belgian diplomat named Andre de Staercke about his solitaire variant, who later befriended Donald Rumsfeld and told hima bout the game. Rumsfeld would play the game many times for the next 40 years, until he partnered up with the Churchill Heritage to make a digital version of what is now called Churchill Solitaire...

I seriously adore cats, so it's funny that I'm actually even remotely interested in a game with the title Exploding Kittens [$1.99]. Yet, Exploding Kittens, which has just popped up on the App Store, isn't just any game; it's the digital version of (and I'm sure you've heard this line before) the most-backed game in Kickstarter history and the campaign with the most number of backers, ever. Not an insignificant praise given the competition and considering that Exploding Kittens is a card game all about trying not to draw an Exploding Kitten card. If you do, you die, and you're out of the game, unless you have a defuse card that allows you to defuse that poor Exploding Kitten using laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches (my cat would love the latter one). All other cards in the deck simply help you move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kitten...

Just like pretty much everyone else, Blizzard has likely gone on vacation or at least has the engines running on low power. That's probably why this week's Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl is a repeat of one from all the way back in October, Who's the Boss Now. I'm not complaining about the repeat; I don't expect Blizzard to come up with new Brawls every week because that would take away development hours from whatever other surprise they have in store for us. This week's Brawl is all about Hero Powers since you'll build your own deck but instead of having your class' standard Hero Power, you'll start with a random hero power (outside the typical class ones) and each time you use it, you get another one...

'Hearthstone' League of Explorers Adventure Review - No Monkeying Around, This Adventure Was Spectacular

League of Explorers, the latest Hearthstone [Free]Adventure, came pretty much out of nowhere. Although we knew that something was going to be announced at BlizzCon, we didn't have any details about its theme or the cards it would include. Not only were we surprised with an Adventure that deviated from the typical World of Warcraft lore of previous expansions and adventures, but we got it in our hands the week of the announcement, leaving little time to evaluate the Adventure's 45 cards. It's not that surprising, then, that when the first bunch of cards, and especially Reno Jackson, were released after LoE Wing 1, everyone was amazed by the effect LoE already had on the game. Literally overnight, the meta slowed down and everyone playing Hearthstone, from pros to casuals, felt that the game was fresh and interesting again and out of the rut it had been for months...

If you are surprised that this week's Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl is available early in NA, it's not a drill or a mistake; Blizzard has decided to change the Tavern Brawl times to help with the recent Brawl issues. Now, the Americas Brawls will start Wednesday 9:00 AM PST to give Blizzard time to monitor any issues that might pop up, increase their response time, and minimize service impact to all the players. So, from now on if you are in the Americas, you get to play the Brawl for a few more hours a week. Brawl time changes aside, today we have a new Brawl to play, and it's a very fun and festive one. The Gift Exchange Brawl, a special Winter Veil Brawl, is probably one of the most entertaining I've played so far. It's also season-appropriate as it's all about giving and receiving presents...

'Code Of Arms' Review - Bar Versus The World

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December 8th, 2015 11:30 AM EST by Shaun Musgrave in 4 stars, Card, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Strategy
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In a review of a different game that made use of barcode scanning, I talked about how I've always been enamored of the idea, but rarely found the games attached to the scanning to be of much merit. Well, I've finally found a pretty decent game that integrates barcode scanning. It's called Code Of Arms [Free], and it's basically like a simplified version of Dungelot [$1.99] fused with a card battler. If you enjoyed that game, you'll probably enjoy this one even if the scanning mechanic does nothing for you. Best of all, it's inexplicably free, without even so much as ads to support it...

I know, you are in disbelief, rubbing your eyes and blinking to make sure what you are reading is true and not the result of that weird concoction you downed last night or last year's pizza you had for dinner (I know, it looked perfectly edible). The famous card game Dominion [Free (HD)] is now available on the App Store after many trials and tribulations and a 3-year journey. Quick context: back in 2012, Goko Games tried to introduce the world to HTML-5 gaming and decided to use Dominion as part flagship game part advertising. Well, the platform's launch was horrible and Dominion was immediately pulled from the App Store. Even since that fateful day, Dominion fans have been looking across the ocean, waiting for the game to resurface once more and take its rightful (?) place among iOS card games. In early October, the game was submitted to Apple for review, and then, once more, the game went as silent as a ninja...

Well, I think it's time I finally try to become a Hearthstone [Free] Pro. Okay, maybe not, because I lack the dedication, time, and skill, but after reading the Hearthstone Championship Tour announcement, I'm definitely tempted. Blizzard has released the details about what 2016 holds for the Hearthstone Championship Tour, and the news are definitely positive. There are plenty of changes from last year's Tour, and I think they will make the fans and most pros happy. This year we'll have four tournaments - three Season Championships and one Last Call Invitational per region - to help determine who will make it to BlizzCon. This new plan will result in more local champions and, hopefully, more cool stories which are what more often than not get fans invested in an esport...

You might remember how a couple of weeks ago when the Hearthstone [Free]Tavern Brawl we got was Webspinners, another repeat performance. However, you might also remember that the Brawl wasn't supposed to be Webspinners; instead, it was supposed to be Captain Blackheart's Treasure, a Brawl that would hint at (and prepare players for) the League of Explorers announcement ahead of Blizzcon. Alas, it was not to be as the gremlins came out from the digital woodwork and took the Captain down. Although Webspinners was fun, everyone was left wondering about the one that got away. Well, today we get to find out as Captain Blackheart's Treasure is now officially live for NA (for real this time)...

It has begun fellow adventurers. Temple of Orsis, the first Wing of Hearthstone's [Free] new Adventure, The League of Explorers, is now available, and millions of fellow adventurers are diving into the temples, avoiding traps and searching for loot (cards) and glory. If you don't know what a Hearthstone Adventure is, this is a Single Player mode where players have to defeat various bosses and challenges in order to earn the 45 new cards. The Adventure consists of 4 Wings (each with 3 or more bosses/challenges), and a total of 9 class challenges, one for each Hearthstone class. We know that not everyone has the time, patience, or skill to make it through the Temple of Orsis unscathed. So, we will be putting together Guides to help you get those sweet new cards as easily and painlessly as possible. This guide will describe the various encounters, give you tips and tricks for each, and then give you decks ideas to help you get the Staff Of Origination...

Remember back in June when Hearthstone [Free] launched its brand-new mode, the Tavern Brawl? Seems like ages ago, doesn't it? That first Brawl was Showdown at Blackrock Mountain, or Ragnaros Vs Nefarian, a clash of two pre-constructed decks that many felt was unbalanced since Nefarian was a faster deck while Ragnaros needed to win in the later turns, which for many was easier said than done. Well, this week Blizzard decided to make up for that Brawl by doing a repeat Showdown at Blackrock Mountain but with a slight - but important - change; Nefarian starts with 4 mana crystals rather than five. This nerf should help slow down Nefarian a bit and make the matchup a bit more balanced...

EA has just released the Star Wars Battlefront Companion [Free], an app that should help you get even more out of the Star Wars game launching very soon. The Companion app lets you connect with friends, track your Star Wars Battlefront career, and play Base Command, a card-based game included in the app. ..

After almost a year of Hearthstone [Free] matches, some tough regional qualifying series, and an equally tough Group Stage last week, the Hearthstone World Championship final stage is finally upon us, and it's shaping up to be lots of fun! The Group Stage produced some big surprises, biggest of all being the great performances by Asia-Pacific Region players, who most considered the clear underdog. The other surprise was that there's only one surviving member of the Americas team. Add to that some surprise eliminations of fan favorites like Lifecoach, and you get the idea about the upcoming playoffs. Expect to see even more surprises during the weekend and maybe, just maybe, Shaman going all the way (wishful thinking on my behalf, I know). Your final eight are ThijsNL (EU), Kno (APAC), ZoroHS (CH), Kranich (APAC), Ostkaka (EU), Hotform (AM), DieMeng (CH), and Pinpingho (APAC)...

As we wrote yesterday, this week's Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl is the one everyone's been waiting for, the Co-Op one, also known as United Against Mechazod (sounds like a court case to me), and it's available now. You'll have to work together with the player across the board to beat Gearmaster Mechazod, a 2 Attack 95 Health Taunt Boss who hates both players equally. Each turn, Mechazod changes sides on the board and attacks the one player with his pretty awesome attacks. You'll be playing with pre-made decks that should have really fun synergies when both players pick the right cards to play. You can either play the Brawl with a friend or queue up a random frenemy. Keep in mind that if you want to get your free pack, which this week you get simply for participating, you'll have to play with a random person. As you can imagine, every Hearthstone player out there is excited about this Brawl, and with good reason...

Well, time to find a friend and have some Hearthstone [Free] fun as Blizzard just announced that this week's Tavern Brawl will be United Against Mechazod, the Co-Op Tavern Brawl we wrote about a few weeks ago. I suppose the timing shouldn't come as a great surprise since this is BlizzCon week. In this Brawl, you and a friend (or someone who pretends to be your friend) will take on Gearmaster Mechazod, a 2 Attack 95 Life Taunt Boss. Both players will be on the same side, and you'll have pre-made decks assembled to give both you and your partner the chance to take out the Boss with the mustache. Each turn, Mechazod will change sides on the board, so you'll both have to play the right cards at the right time to defeat him...

As we reported about a week ago, Handelabra Studio's Sentinels of the Multiverse [$9.99 (HD)], a digital adaptation of the popular physical board game of the same name, had its multiplayer update rejected by Apple due to the game's use of "cheat codes." In this case, cheat codes referred to special codes that could be entered into the game to unlock special card variants without forcing players to earn them through progressions or buy them via IAP. It was a nice compromise that allowed players who perhaps weren't skilled enough or didn't have the devotion to unlock them through play to get access to the variants, while those who did like that challenge could preserve their sense of accomplishment. Well, Apple didn't like that whole thing, so they rejected the latest update with the multiplayer functionality based on the whole cheat code thing, which had actually been in the game for some time already and made it through multiple Apple approval processes prior. That's our Apple! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯..

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