By Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF), OnRPG Journalists
Infinity Wars is an up-and-coming computer-based animated trading card game. Lightmare Studios, the developers, originally set up a Kickstarter to gain five-thousand dollars in funding, but ended up receiving almost eighteen-thousand. The game is set apart from other TCGs by the animated card graphics and gaming board, which brings the game to life. With great art combined with the interesting gameplay, this should make for a fantastic card game experience. Let’s take a first look at the game and see if that holds true.
As I mentioned, the cards in Infinity Wars are animated. This means that when you click on a card, it will begin looping a short animation that plays in the card art. To me, this made the cards much more interesting, as you try to understand the story behind the art. There are multiple factions in the game, each with their own unique theme to set them apart from the others. I cannot say enough to praise how awesome these cards are.
Not only do the cards have beautiful animated art, but the playing area looks great too. Your side of the table changes depending on what factions, such as turrets on either side of you. If you play a location card, it will change the playing area to reflect that location. It makes you want to play location cards not only for the benefits they can give you, but just because you want to see how the play area changes. It's stuff like this that catches your interest in the game, and I wish it were possible for this kind of stuff to happen in real life.
The User Interface is spectacular. I had no issues manipulating my cards, and there was nothing confusing about it. It was simple, straight forward, and pleasing to the eye. Everything I clicked was responsive immediately, and I never noticed a bit of lag. This is pretty good for a game that is in beta. I can't wait to see how things work out when the game is more polished and released.
Collecting and Trading
Infinity Wars is called a Trading card game for a reason. Just like other TCGs, collecting cards either by buying booster packs or trading with other players is a big thing. Part of the fun, maybe all of the fun if that's what you like about the game, comes from interacting with your collection and watching it grow. I have to admit that I do not know how well this concept will work with virtual items, but it will be interesting to see how it works out. I can surely understand why people would want to collect Infinity War's cards.
You can buy Booster Packs that range in size and cost. You can get a cheap three card pack, or a more expensive fifteen card pack. It is also possible to purchase starter decks that will provide you with a full deck to help get you started. These are all familiar to those of us that have played TCGs in the past.
How It's Played
Infinity Wars is actually a pretty easy game to pick up, which is nice. Unfortunately, in the past, there have been similar attempts at online TCGs that tried to be different by making their game over complicated. That's not to say that it is a simple game, because it isn't. There is enough room for strategy that I feel you could spend a long time trying to refine your play style and deck. Of course, being a TCG that is played with a shuffled deck, a bit of luck is apparent in the game which spices things up.
The decks are made up of character cards, spell cards, and location cards. Character cards are the ones that fight and defend, while spell cards can give your character cards buffs, allow you to draw more cards, damage your opponent’s fortress, or anything else along those lines. Location cards have the unique effect of changing the looks of the playing field and giving certain types of cards bonuses. I don't think there is a limit on how many cards you can have, but there is a minimum requirement of forty cards.
Three of those forty cards will need to be commanders. These are pre-picked character cards that go into the 'commander zone' portion of the play field. These cards may be played directly into the defense or attack zones for their resource cost. Most cards must first spend a turn in the support zone before they may be put into the battlefield. You can see why picking the right commander cards can be important.
Speaking of zones, there are four. The commander zone, which I already explained. The assault zone, where you put cards that you want to attack enemy cards or the opponent’s fortress. The defense zone, which is where you put cards you want to defend your fortress. And the support zone, where cards stay while they wait to be played. The fighting takes place in the assault and defense zone, with your assault zone being across from your opponent’s defense zone and vice versa for you.
In order to damage your opponent’s fortress, you must first destroy all the cards blocking your way in your opponent’s defense zone. You will need to be careful, however, as the defending card has a chance at retaliating against the card that hit it. And while the first card may not kill your card, the next could as your card retains any damage it takes. I like this, as it allows you to take down very powerful cards even if luck hasn't been on your side and you have nothing that can compare. But then again, this has been the bane of my play time, as my opponent always ends up taking out that card I spent a quarter of the game cultivating.
To summon a card from your hand you need to spend resources. You generate one resource per turn and your maximum resource available goes up once per turn. You can use resources for more than just summoning cards. Some cards have special abilities that require resources to activate, or you can trade with the trading post using resources to do things like permanently increase your maximum resources or draw three cards. This aspect of the game adds in a lot of strategy as you will need to manage your resources expertly if you want to win.
One last thing I want to mention is the health and moral. Health is the health of your fortress that enemy cards are aiming to whittle down. It begins at forty health. Moral, like health, starts at forty and goes down as your cards are destroyed. If either of these goes completely down, you lose the game and your fortress explodes. This is just a quick look at how the game is played, but you can see why there is room for strategy.
Infinity Wars seems to have all the elements that are needed for a great TCG. It has great card art and animations, the game works very well in a beta state, and it has the trading and collecting aspect that makes TCGs so fun. The actual gameplay is simple to learn, yet hard to master and luck is ever present with each card you draw. After getting to look at the game, I have a lot of hope for its future. And if I haven't made it clear yet – I liked the game!