By Mohammad Abubakr, OnRPG Journalist
I was recently offered the opportunity to take part in a developer tour for Tridek. This game was advertised as a competitive card game and being a fan of both competitive titles and card games, it seemed like a no brainer to accept this offer. Read on to learn more about Tridek – Creatures of Galena by dreamfab and Bit Barons in its very early stages of development. While reading through this article, keep in mind that everything you see or read about may change as development progresses. The screenshots used in this article are from the PC version running the tablet UI. A desktop UI is in the works to utilize the extra space and will be released soon.
Before we get into the actual game play, it is important to note that Tridek is a multiplatform game. This means that it can be played from an iOS and Android device while still being playable from Windows! To make this feature even better, you can play against players regardless of their platform and even switch platform in the middle of a game. If you are running late for the bus, simply pickup your tablet and resume where you left off from your PC. I would not expect fully fledged MMOs to offer this capability but it is great to see it in a card game.
Now all we need is a Mac release.
Now, onto the actual gameplay. As mentioned above, Tridek is a competitive card game. When I think of a game being competitive, I picture a game minimizing reliance on luck and offering the same arsenal, in this case cards, to all competitors regardless of time spent playing.
It seems to be very difficult to fully eliminate the luck aspect in a card game without eliminating the draw phase. However, the limitation on number of starting cards and the draw phase are one of the main features of card games. In order to minimize the luck aspect, Tridek uses a new resource system to put cards into play. You are no longer required to wait for lucky resource draws or wait for lower level creatures that can be sacrificed for summons. Instead, all cards use one type of resource and give back another.
The resource system consists of three coloured crystals: red, green and blue. All players begin with three of each crystal and must manage their crystals throughout the game. The only way to change the number of crystals is by playing cards. For example, a creature card may use three red crystals and give back two blue crystals. This system allows for players to worry about their own cards and strategically play cards without having to wait for lucky draws. The crystal system was required in order to back the claim of Tridek being a competitive card game. No one wants to play a competitive game that is all about luck or time spent grinding for money.
For those familiar with other card games such as Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh, the gameplay will be very easy to pickup. The game is round based with six phases consisting of the draw, pass, pre-combat action , combat, post-combat action and block slot step phases.
The draw phase is the first phase during each player's turn and simply consists of drawing one card from your deck. Each player starts the match with five cards in their hands and may draw one card per turn. Additionally, if any cards remain in the player's block slots, they are returned into his hand.
The two action phases allow players to perform actions such as attacking with creatures or activating creature effects and also play cards provided they have sufficient crystals. Each card can only perform one action during the turn meaning that if a creature performs an action in this phase it may not attack during the combat phase.
The combat phase is self explanatory. Each creature may only attack once and the combat phase is skipped in the very first round.
The block slot phase is a phase that is unique to Tridek. During this phase, support cards may be played into each block slot. These block slots include deploy, attack and support slots. When the respective event takes place, support cards may be activated from their block slots during the opponents turn. The deploy slot can be activated when the opponent brings a creature onto the battlefield, the attack slot can be activated when an opponent's creature attacks and finally the support slot can be activated when the opponent plays a support card. This is similar but not identical to the trap card system seen in other card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh.
Instead of the typical attack and defense modes of creature cards, Tridek uses a row system. Cards played in the ATT row use their attack power while those played in the RES row use their defense (resistance) power. Creatures can be switched from either row and doing so counts as an action during the action phases.
Battles are very simple to understand. The attacking creature uses it's attack power and compares it to the target's attack or defense power depending on its row. If the attackers power is greater, the target is destroyed and sent to the rest zone. The attacker awards it's owner with the number of victory points labeled on the card.
In order to win the match, a player must acquire 30 victory points.
The battle screen
I was assured by the developer guiding me through the game that this very simple to pickup and understand game system can lead to very complex games. While the game is playable by all, there is virtually no cap in skill due to the high number of strategies and deck configurations available.
Before I am fully able to consider Tridek as a competitive card game, I had to answer the following question: "How can players acquire cards?" This addresses the need to offer all players an identical arsenal at their disposable regardless of time spent playing.
The game features a campaign mode which awards players with in game currency after each battle. This currency can then be used to purchase additional booster packs including a random selection of cards. It is no surprise that a card purchasing system would be in game due to the need to gain revenue for the developer's hard work. However, I was told that players may purchase the PC version for a flat fee and have all the cards at their disposal. With this option available all competitive players will have the same pool of cards and they will not have to worry about others winning solely due to their wealth.
In conclusion, I am looking forward to the full release of Tridek and can see its potential. It is definitely a game I could see myself playing with friends as a side game. The elimination of full reliance on luck and the ability to purchase all cards for a flat fee allow for Tridek to be considered a competitive card game. However, the question remains whether there will be enough interest for a healthy competitive scene.
The developers could use the help from the community to help back further development of Tridek. There is still a lot of work to do in order to deliver the true Tridek experience to gamers. Please check out and share the following Kickstarter page to help the developers of Tridek. It would be sad to see a game with potential be shutdown.