By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor), OnRPG Journalist
Playing with cards has always been something fascinating for me. From the outside it looks dull and just extremely boring but once you get to know the game better it is always a lot of fun. The introduction of Trading Card games to the PC however has really changed the limits of the genre by mixing elements of other games in with the standard card battles. Kings and Legends is a f2p example of just this where you can play your deck of cards across multiple lanes at the same time, keeping the action hectic and raising the level of skill required to be aware of the overall strategy being employed across the map. One wrong move can cost you the game, so let's delve into how it plays.
After you are done learning the game through the tutorial you will receive the tutorial deck to begin your journey. Unfortunately what I would like to see more in trading card games like Kings and Legends is the option to choose between multiple sets of cards or even different races. This would certainly spice up the play because when you are done with the tutorial you can basically already challenging people in the Arena to take them head on, and if they are new like you then it's practically a mirror deck battle.
In terms of more immediate customization you can choose a class to represent yourself. I chose for the mage to unlock a Fireball that I can shoot at people. This is obviously not the brightest idea to do because well, I can’t say I’ve won one battle with my starter deck. Since doing the quests and missions will give you more money and more available cards, it basically requires game time rather than tireless mastery of your starter deck to improve your fortunes in the arena. Now let’s discuss the mechanics of the game and how you can actually control the battlefield to your advantage.
The cards that you start with have a huge impact on the outcome of any match. It's the most logical decision to place your meatiest card in front of all the rest of your army in an attempt to soak up the enemy's initial assault while you prepare your real attack force. Ranged combat cards make a good addition to any formation but should be balanced carefully with melee cards as they can hardly stand up to any abuse once your frontline falls. While you might consider whoever goes first would have the advantage, a smart opponent will watch your movements and place their best offensive cards on your weakest lane to turn the tides. Besides the attack and life number stats, you also have to pay attention to the card rank; on the top of each card there is a number from 1 to 6 which at a glance gives you an idea of how powerful each card is. In addition to your class skill and the various cards fighting all over the lane, you will also have a Hero unit to manage.
Kings and Legends offers typical MMORPG tropes such as looting items and collecting weapons and armor to boost the stats of your cards. Once I was satisfied with questing and had built a formidable deck it was time to try my hand in the arena again. But if you're still struggling be sure to make a daily visit to the City Hall where you will be given a daily income of Silver and Crystal. These useful resources can be used to buy better packs in the shop.
Now remember that hero unit I mentioned? Consider this the King piece on the playing field. The battle is won if you manage to defeat the opponent's hero card first. This can either be done by destroying all the cards on the field or by utilizing cards with unique abilities such as my unicorn card's ability to shoot past enemy cards to directly damage their hero. If you are not that big of a strategist or simply are too lazy like I sometimes, there is also a very useful tool for you while duking it out on the battlefield. You can let the computer automatically play the game for you. Yes that’s right, this useful feature decides every move for you. Though before you think this is an auto-win button, I have to warn that it doesn't always pick the best moves, but can finish off a match against a lesser opponent once the battle is already heavily in your favor. Using it from the start of a battle usually resulted in failure in all but the easiest of PvE missions.
If you are a card game fanatic but with there were more RPG elements involved, Kings and Legends will be the perfect combo for you. Unfortunately with every free-to-play there is always a catch when it comes to balancing the cash shop. In Kings and Legends you are able to purchase gold which can then be used to unlock packs in the shop. And if you want to unlock the better packs that have better cards and a bigger chance of rare cards, you will definitely have to throw your money over. The element of randomness involved at least doesn't make buying power a 1:1 ratio so cash shoppers won't always have a huge advantage. It's not really any different than playing real life trading cards though so if you're truly a TCG fan, you should check out Kings and Legends.