Card Hunter

I am going to promote a game that, judging by the server status, needs absolutely no promotion… you fuckers are going to try it and make it harder for me to get online to play >:(.  But oh well.

Card Hunter is a free to play browser based game that I suppose you could call an MMO.  I’ve only been playing the single player content because I am anti-social like that, but there’s a multiplayer aspect as well where you go PvP and get extra goodies.  The game is a callback to old school basement board games, to the degree that the whole background narrative is an amusing… tribute?  parody? of those days.  The gist of it is that you’ve gone over to your friend Gary’s house to play the game.  He’s a novice GM and using his brother Melvin’s game set, so his brother hangs around in the background trying to “teach” him how to be a good GM (while also making sure his precious game pieces are not abused, no doubt). It will be amusing to most, nostalgic to some, possibly insulting to a few… but those few will probably be too busy analyzing the rules of the game itself looking for flaws.

The actual game is well presented.  You have a three character party and you complete modules to collect loot which gives the characters more cards to work with.  Having no weapon equipped means you get shitty attacks, but when you find a nice axe or club you get some appropriate slashing or bludgeoning cards.  Better weapons give you better cards.  Same for armor and accessories, and then things like boots which give you more movement cards to work with.  On top of that, your characters get experience for completing a module and levelling up gives them the standard +HP, but will also give them some more basic cards, as well as more slots to equip items in for a different array of cards.  Each module is pretty straight forward… you go, the GM goes, and you try to kill each other.  Matches are won with victory points which so far means “kill each other”, but some modules do add in some twists like victory squares which award a point for controlling it at the end of a turn, so there’s potential for modules that aren’t just same-old same-old.  There are a lot of mechanics like LOS squares and squares which have attributes (acid attacks can lay down damaging acid squares, which you can cleanse with the right cards), or you can get levitate style abilities and just float over them.  It’s a bit frustrating to draw a fistful of armor cards and have to sit there passing while the enemy has its way with you, but that’s due to shitty gear/card selection and should improve as the characters do.

I do have a few complaints about the UI that will hopefully be ironed out eventually.  One of the complaints is just that it’s pretty laggy right now, which is something that will improve with time.  It does mean sometimes you sit around waiting for an action to take place, though, which highlights some redundancies in the UI that probably won’t be as annoying when it’s fast.  Whenever you play a card, it zooms that card so you can see what it is.  Makes sense right, you should know what card the enemy is playing.  The problem is, it doesn’t show it very long, so even when you don’t know what card it is, you don’t actually have time to read it… which means we’re just kind of wasting a couple seconds pausing the game to flash cards around.  And it does this for every card, even yours, and even when it’s something you’re going to do a lot like “walk”.  Every single time you walk, you select the card, you select the square to walk to, it pauses, it shows the card, it puts the card away, and then your figure moves.  Again, probably only annoying because the server lags a bit and makes each of those things take a few extra seconds, but it feels like it could be trimmed a bit to make it speedier.  It seems like the purpose of this is so that when a card counters what is played, it can pop up and show the counter, but it would be nice if they could show that when a counter occurred instead of every single play.

My next complaint is that the isometric view actually makes selecting the figures difficult sometimes.  When they’re close together, the figure it front will hide the health indicator of the one behind it.  The health is displayed elsewhere, so it’s not a huge deal, but you have to be very careful when trying to shoot the really injured guy behind the not so injured guy.  I’ve wasted a lot of attacks on the wrong target because of misclicks.  Worse is when you misclick a heal because the bad guy was standing in front of your about-to-die character /facepalm.

Worse than that (because at least misclicking is totally my fault…) is that the game tries to “help” you.  It’s mostly an issue with LOS.  So many times now I’ll click a heal intending to save the wizard or warrior who’s moved up around a pillar, only to realize I’m actually one step out of LOS of him.  But the game goes “There’s only one target in range so you must mean this one!” and uses my heal on whatever is in range, instead of letting me try to cast it on the thing which was not in range to realize it is not in range.  If it hadn’t done that I could have backed out of the heal, used my move card, and then hopefully saved him on the next round… but now my heal card has been wasted because the game is “helping”.  It may seem ironic to complain about streamlining immediately after complaining about how the card-showing process is not streamlined, but at least waiting for the card to show doesn’t result in a loss.

I’m finding it pretty fun so far and I hope there’s plenty of content to go through still.  I am finding I quickly reached a point where the wizard is the most important character in the party, just because all the monsters now attack from two squares away which makes my warrior completely useless unless there’s plenty of pillars to pin them on.  I just bought him a rapier that can attack at two squares so we’ll see if that helps, but wizardly OPness might be a balance issue to watch out for.  I haven’t taken a close look at the microtransactions yet… I saw some cosmetic stuff and I know if you sub you get an extra loot item at the end of a match, so those are both cool but not “Pay to win” and I approve of that.  I glanced at the cost of subbing and didn’t really find it appealing, though (I think it was like 10 bucks a month which isn’t too ridiculous, I guess).  We’ll see how much fun I continue to have.  I do like to support F2P games, but only if the prices seem reasonable for what I get.  I mostly dislike the idea of paying for benefits which immediately dissolve as soon as I stop paying.  The game appears to have optional “treasure hunt” missions which offer better loot, and if they can be unlocked and stay unlocked I might donate some cash that way.  Then again, you only get the loot once, and it doesn’t seem to be a random item… so it’s kind of like paying for an item that you have to do work to access.  Nngh we’ll see how this goes I guess.

About tagracat
I am not a professional, I don't get paid to review shit, I am just opinionated and I seem to have some sort of disorder that results in spewing my opinions onto the internet. I enjoy writing long-winded posts about things and sometimes I like to pretend people want to read them, so a blog seemed an appropriate place to stuff it. But mostly I just like writing about things.

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