Category Archives: Card

Touchstone Tavern #14 - Your Weekly 'Hearthstone' News Roundup

And it's out, finally! As of last Monday, we've all started playing with Hearthstone's [Free] new toys, the 132-card The Grand Tournament expansion which has been welcomed by most players as it has given us new ways to play the game, new deck ideas to think about, and in general, made the game more fun. Now, I don't know whether TGT will radically change the meta or whether we'll just see a few cards fitting into existing decks; it's really too early to tell that because we'll need to wait until the dust settles and new decks are designed, put to the test, and seen how they fare. I'm hopeful that we won't go back to the Face Hunter domination of old, but I'm slightly worried that Patron Warrior decks will still dominate, especially if that Mr. Frothing Berserker doesn't get a nerf soon...

TEKKEN Card Tournament [Free] was Bandai Namco's attempt to rethink the TEKKEN fighting games by turning the action fighting games into a card fighting game. Although not too many people talk about the game currently, it actually has great reviews on the App Store, so Bandai Namco's attempt was apparently well-executed. By making the game F2P with IAPs, Bandai Namco was probably hoping that TEKKEN Card Tournament would benefit from the popularity of its sister fighting game and become a strong source of revenue. Alas, as a VentureBeat article points out, that was not to be. TEKKEN Card Tournament, which went live in 2013, has broken into the 1000 highest-grossing iPhone apps only in eight countries, none of them countries with big spenders. Therefore, Bandai Namco decided to reach over into the physical world to summon some help for its card battler...




Betway, one of the leading global online gaming companies, has decided to dip its toes into eSports by launching a dedicated betting portal for games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, DOTA 2, Starcraft 2, and more. You can bet on events such as League of Legends' World Regional Qualifiers, CS:GO's 99 Damage Tournament, Heroes of the Storm's Enter the Storm Tournament, and so on. What is even more interesting than just betting on specific eSports events is that Betway offers bets on whether various video games will be part of the Winter Olympics 2030. Currently, Hearthstone [Free]is 99/1, DOTA 2 is 79/1, and CS:GO is 49/1. As the Eurogamer.net article explains, Betway's Alan Alger explained that Hearthstone has well over 30 million players and is a growing eSports force. Many Winter Olympic sports don't have a tenth of Hearthstone's participation figures, Alger noted...

Do you hate "pay-to-win" free-to-play games? Is the idea of ever spending any chunk of money in a game offensive to the very fiber of your being? Well, you might not like Monsters Ate My Metropolis. [Free] But if you've got a nuanced opinion about free-to-play games, then you might just enjoy Monsters Ate My Metropolis...

'The Grand Tournament', The New Expansion For 'Hearthstone', is Out!

Well, there we go everyone, no more waiting, no more anticipating, no more counting the days, the nights, the minutes, the hours, and everything else countable, no more playing with those old Hearthstone [Free] cards, the dusty, dirty ones. Now, we officially have new, shiny, fancy-looking cards to play with as the new expansion, The Grand Tournament, has just officially released in North America. If you have bought the pre-order packs, you have 50 new surprises to unveil, and if you didn't go for that, I'm sure you've stored enough gold to buy at least a few packs. Either way, those new cards have cried for freedom for too long; it's time to release them...

Well, it's almost time to welcome Hearthstone's [Free] new expansion, The Grand Tournament. Excited yet? Well, I am, but it's my duty to remind you of a couple of things before the expansion hits. First, Amazon is offering 20% Coins Back on all TGT pack purchases. This offer is only valid for customers in the US, UK, and Germany, and there's a bit of a process to buying those packs as JR Cook explains in a post on Blizzpro. So, if you don't mind the hassle, there are some savings there for you. Also, Blizzard's TGT pre-order, where you get 50 packs and a card-back for $49.99, should still be available, although I'm sure not for long, so this is your last chance to get in on that. As for a release time, all we know officially so far is the tweet below...

The Grand Tournament is almost upon us (hopefully, next Monday), but the TGT patch has already dropped in preparation for the upcoming expansion release. As always, the good people over at Hearthpwn.com have brought in their datamining pickaxes and uncovered some interesting new information and the fascinating possibility that a Co-Op mode of some sort might be coming our way. But let's start with the sounds and sights of TGT. The datamining uncovered all the lovely gold Legendaries as well as all the sound files of the new expansion, 20 minutes of new sounds and voiceovers. We can also now see the new Daily Quests added, one that has you winning 5 Tavern Brawls (a clever way from Blizzard to make its new mode more valued), as well as dailies for winning 3 games with each class...

If you weren't playing Hearthstone [Free] when the Goblins Vs Gnomes expansion came out, then know that the expansion cards first came out in Arena mode before they were released. It looks like Blizzard is doing something similar but instead of going the Arena way, it decided to highlight the game's new mode, Tavern Brawl. Therefore, this week's most Glorious (Blizzard's words) Tavern Brawl will be called The Grand Tournament Match and will be all about the new cards. The Brawl will feature a thrilling match between two potent forces; one will be led by Medivh and will feature a deck built around the Inspire mechanic. On the other side of the Brawl will be Alleria's forces that will be all about the Joust mechanic. The Brawl will run as usual from Wednesday to late Sunday...

Deck Builders have really been on the rise in recent years. From the humble beginnings of games like Dominion, now we’ve even got Marvel and Alien deck builders. I’m really partial to this genre myself. Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer [Free] is a game I still log into from time to time and it has never left my phone or iPad. I think the appeal of deck builders comes from having every card you’ll need right in the box. You don’t collect or trade cards and meticulously build your own deck before even playing. You and your friends can play right out of the box with a much smaller financial investment. They’re massively approachable. Anyway, the point is, Deck Builders are my jam, and Splendor [$6.99] is a super tasty mixed berry jam that’s won several awards for being so darn tasty...

'Skylanders Battlecast', A Mobile F2P Card Battler, Joins The 'Skylanders' Franchise in 2016

If you have young children (or are one), you probably already know all about the Skylanders games, Activision's franchise that's managed to merge physical toys with video gaming and has made a fortune from it. After announcing Skylanders Superchargers, the Skylanders game that will bring all kinds of vehicles to the base game, Activision announced a new game today, Skylanders Battlecast, a F2P Card Battler for mobile devices. According to the announcement, this new game will allow players to fight each other using their favorite heroes from the Skylanders universe. I've seen quite a few young ones talk about their Skylanders heroes quite a bit, so I think the idea of letting them bring those heroes to battle is a smart one and, probably, a great, new source of revenue for Activision...

'Loot & Legends' for iPad Review - Plenty of Loot Awaits In This Funny and Entertaining Game

A few days ago, I wrote a story about how Collectible Card Games are flourishing on mobile devices, with Hearthstone, of course, leading the way. If you haven't read the article, a new report from SuperData Research stated that the portability and popularity of mobile devices have created an excellent environment for digital CCGs. Why have I started a review of Dropforge Games' Loot & Legends [Free (HD)], which from its screenshots looks like a table-top board game, with a discussion about CCGs? Well, maybe the name of Loot & Legends' PC predecessor might give you a clue: Card Hunter, Blue Manchu's 2013 hit that cleverly put a table-top board game of old and a CCG into a blender and out came a game that cleverly injected a deck-building component into your RPG. Loot & Legends continues that tradition, producing a fun digital table-top experience that has CCG mechanics at its core...

Touchstone Tavern #12 - Your Weekly 'Hearthstone' News Roundup

Still waiting, Blizzard...We have officially entered the third week of August and still haven't been invited to The Grand Tournament, Hearthstone's [Free] upcoming expansion. There's plenty of chatter that the expansion will be released on the 24th of this month, so that might actually be the date I get to open all my TGT packs. Nevertheless, only a couple more weeks to go until the meta goes into a limbo state again with everyone trying to figure out how, and if, the new cards will fit into pre-existing decks or whether we are going to start seeing new, powerful archetypes that will compete with the previously-dominant decks...

Day after day, we are inching closer to the release of The Grand Tournament, Hearthstone's [Free] next expansion that should shake up the meta, at least for a month or two. Today, Blizzard revealed some very fun cards on its stream, and also announced...no, not the release date, sorry. However, Blizzard did announce that it will reveal ALL TGT cards on its Facebook page by the end of today. This reveal will let you start deckbuilding before the cards even come out so you are one step ahead of the competition. Of course, like in warfare, fantasy deckbuilding cannot withstand the clash with the opponent's cards, but still, it's fun trying to figure out what new archetypes TGT might engender and whether we will actually see what Blizzard seems to be seeking, a slow-down of the meta...

When it comes to this week's Tavern Brawl, some might say that Blizzard phoned it in by giving us the same Brawl as the one about a month ago. Sure, we once again have The Great Summoner Competition where every spell you cast summons a random minion that costs the same mana as the spell you cast. Here's the story from a month ago here so I don't repeat everything. So yes, we've been warned that we'd see Tavern Brawl repeats, but while the pessimists might claim Blizzard is getting lazy, resting on the pile of money Hearthstone [Free] is making, I'm an eternal optimist, and I believe that Blizzard went with an older Tavern Brawl only because the developers are all busy getting The Grand Tournament expansion ready to go next week...

'You Against Me' Review - Not the Punk Rock Band

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August 4th, 2015 12:00 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $0.99, 4 stars, Card, Games, Reviews, Strategy, Universal
99¢ Buy Now

In some ways, Easy 8's You Against Me [$0.99] is an unwitting argument in favor of going free-to-play. The game is a measly 99 cents, which means you could go to a Dollar Tree, buy a single item (an incredibly uncomfortable roll of toilet paper, perhaps), and have spent more money. And yet, it seems very few people have been willing to download the game. I mean, why would you? Angry Flippin’ Birds 2 [Free] came out the same week and is cheaper than You Against Me AND toilet paper. It’s unfortunate, too, because the main draw of the game is its online multiplayer mode. I’ve been trying to find matches the past few days, but it takes an agonizingly long time to find someone else who had 99 cents to spare...

So, you like Hearthstone [Free], right? Who doesn’t! And how about Puzzle & Dragons [Free]? Maybe? Well, what if I told you there’s a game out right now that combines them? That’s right! Not only can you slap opponents down in vicious turn-based card battles, but you can also upgrade your cards and deal with all kinds of extra free-to-play junk on top of it. It’s true! That game is CROOZ's Card King: Dragon Wars [Free], and you’re either going to love it or hate the very idea of its existence. Let’s dive in!..

And the spoilers keep on coming. Blizzard is revealing more and more new Hearthstone [Free] Grand Tournament cards, and I'm quite excited that we still have a long way to go until we see all 132 new cards. Now, on to some of the new spoilers. The card that has my, and many others', attention (not for its raw power, though) is the Legendary Justicar Trueheart whose Battlecry, replace your starting Hero Power with a better one, is bound to create all kinds of trouble. At 6 mana, though, and with 6/3 stats, this is quite a weak card, and its Battlecry doesn't raise its value enough to make it worth a spot in most decks. However, a lot depends on what other cards we'll see in this set because we still don't know most of the synergies and combos from the new set...

'Million Arthur' Review - A Rusty Blade

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July 24th, 2015 12:45 PM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in 2 stars, Card, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Role-Playing
Free Buy Now

Although it's a new arrival in most of the world, Million Arthur [Free] is a relatively old game in a very young sub-genre. In Japan, it arrived mere months after the release of Puzzle & Dragons [Free], and while its story and production values made it a cross-media hit in its home country, the gameplay feels it's from another era. The best analogy I can make is to go back to the early days of first-person shooters. Developer id Software had released their breakout hit Wolfenstein 3D [$1.99] through publisher Apogee, but were going it alone for their next title. Apogee created a new game called Blake Stone that was built on Wolf 3D's skeleton, offering greater interactivity and a more open structure. It was a fine evolution of the gameplay established in Wolf 3D. The only problem was, the week after Blake Stone released, id Software released Doom [$4.99], and suddenly the whole tea table was up-ended. Million Arthur is Blake Stone, but for social RPGs, and outside of Japan, it's not releasing in the same window as its assassin, but years later...

Ever since it released worldwide last week, CROOZ’s Card King: Dragon Wars [Free] has been gaining a lot of traction in our forums, so a few days ago I decided to dive in and see what all the hullabaloo was. At first glance it looks like a Hearthstone [Free] clone, with a similar fantasy theme and great production values. It’s actually quite a bit different, though, but not always for the better (depending on how you feel about free-to-play junk)...

I know, few of you care much about Hearthstone's [Free] Tavern Brawl today since the big announcement is coming in a few hours; however, the announcement will come and go, but this week's Tavern Brawl will be around until Sunday. So, this week's Tavern Brawl is Heart of the Sunwell: you start each game with ten mana and then you go from there. In this Brawl you build your own deck and then go to battle with ten mana already there for you to use. As you can imagine, the ten mana rule means no need to build up towards an end-of-game strategy or wait till the later turns to play your combos. Now you just need enough cards in your hand (so make sure you run cards that enable card draw). Ever wanted the ability to play those 9-cost minions immediately or run your combos non-stop? Here's your chance...

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