Sunday, June 18, 2017

Culdcept Revolt - Why It is Fun (Advertisement)
So I just wanted to advertise the game a bit by going over some of the aspects of the game I find interesting about it. It really is one-of-a-kind, but it is so one-of-a-kind, it really isn't for everyone. Which is why it needs as much advertisement as possible.
And you know, if you've never played it before, it is worth trying once. Revolt especially has tried to make the single-player mode more fulfilling than ever, so even if you don't want to fight against other people, there is plenty for you to do.

Please keep in mind that what I find interesting can also be the reason why someone might find the game not suitable for them.
Still... Just buy the game and try it.

It's a board game + card game combined.
A turn goes like this (for Revolt):
  1. Use a Spell or Monster Ability
  2. Roll dice
  3. If you land on a special territory, something happens based off what is it
  4. Summon a Creature, Move a Creature, or Level-Up the territory belonging to one of your Creatures
  5. If there is already a Creature on the territory you land on belonging to an opponent, Summoning a Creature will initiate a battle, where winning will destroy the opposing Creature and replace it with yours
  6. At the end of the turn , if you are on a territory belonging to an opponent, you pay them Gain
Of course, there are plenty of other mechanics, but it would take a long time to explain every little thing, and that's not really the point of this article. Just to give an idea.

Oh, and the terminologies I will use:
Book - The deck
Creatures - the monsters you summon
Ceptors - the players
Territory - Spaces on the map
Gain - Your asset, money, mana

So here are some things that make Culdcept interesting, to me:

Each match requires the investment of time.
For people that have played a board game or a card game (other than Yugioh), you know that neither of these two finish up in a few minutes. Revolt put in an effort to speed up the game, but it still at least takes 30 minutes to complete a match. I would say good matches take up to nearly an hour.
So this is one of those type of things where you put in some tea, sit back, and devote a good amount of time to play. Kinda like when you read books?
Unlike games like Smash Bros, it isn't like, "Well, that was a match. Time to go to another one". Because of the time devoted to the match, it requires you to focus for a long time. But when you win, it really feels good, because it was just that much well-earned.

That said, in single-player, you can suspend and continue a match at any time. To prevent cheating, you are unable to unlock Achievements if you suspend a game, but as far as playing a game goes, you do not need to finish a match in one sitting.

It is not just 2 players.
Well, to be clearer, you can play matches between only 2 players. But generally in the community, 3 players is needed to really play "Culdcept" in its glory, and 4 players is a full match.
Yes, I know some party card games like Uno play with multiple players. I'm generally considering TCGs in this article.

Player Aggro.
Or Hate, as they call it.
This is one of the effects of having more than 2 players in the match, and one of the reasons it is important to at least play with 3 players.
This only really goes for human matches, but you have to remember that all of your opponents are humans, not machines. Therefore, if you stand out, you may need to prepare to be ganged up on a bit. On the other hand, that means that by having your opponents focus on each other, you can gain an advantage over them. Unlike games like Smash Bros, this is turn-based, and that means each player has plenty of time to think about what they should do in the situation.

In a way, you can say this is one reason just stuffing every strong card in the game into your Book isn't a smart idea. Because if a player feels you are a threat, they will use their cards on you.
If this was a 2-player game, your opponent would spend Gain and one card to do something to you, causing you to lose something. Fine.
But let's say this is a 4-player game. Both you and your opponent loses something. On the other hand, the other two players lose nothing, giving both of them an advantage against you two. But let's say one of your opponents stands out more than you. Another opponent uses a Spell on that opponent. Now you just got an advantage over those two players because they just lost Gain/Hand.

You see the other player's hand.
Something that is incredibly rare in card games. You can see the other players' hands. To be specific, every player shares the screen. So when a player is looking at his hand, everyone can see it.
However, in Revolt, you are also able to see the names of the cards anytime you like at the bottom of the screen. You won't be able to see the effects in this state though, so you'll have to put in the effort to learn the cards, of course.

Because you are able to see the other players' hands, there is a different level of strategy involved in the game.
  • You know what they can do. But what will they do?
  • You see their hand, which can give you hints on what else their Book may contain.
  • In battle, both players select the Item they will/will not use at the same time. Will your opponent defend the territory? Should you go all out? Use an item to take the territory? Use an item to defend the territory? But if my opponent uses an item, I will lose even if I use an item, so that would be a waste.
One of the most basic yet deepest cards in the game works because of this mechanic, Shatter.

The effect is simple.
Select one Ceptor, and then destroy one Item or Spell card.
At what moment, what card when destroyed would benefit you the most. The fact you can see the hand of all Ceptors in the match truly makes you think.

The goal of this game is to increase your Asset, not "defeat" your opponents
One, if not the most, core aspects of the game. You try to increase your Gain to a certain level to win.
What does this mean? It means you cannot win the game by "trolling" your opponents (once again, when there are more than 2 players).
Because of this, playing defensively is a more solid way to win a match. Because it stays true to the game. Being blindly aggressive results in you using Gain and getting little back from it.

However, not being able to go on the offensive at all means that you have no way of making a comeback. Once an opponent leads, you will have no way of halting their progress long enough to surpass them on your total Gain.

The card above (Shatter) also comes into play here. Simply using a card to destroy another card? Not worth it. But if it will stop your opponent's deadly combo? What if you can destroy your opponent's defensive weapons, allowing you to take their territory?

Revolt has put in the effort to balance this out, boosting the offensive strategies. However, the truth is, the defensive Books still have an edge on the game even with Revolt's powerful new Creatures.

In all, what I am trying to say is that aggressive books are perfectly viable, but you have to remember the goal of the game, and even aggressive books have to at times increase their own assets instead of stealing them from the opponents.

Still that aspect of Luck:
The luck of drawing what you want.
The luck of rolling the dice you want.
You never know how a game will play out. You could have just the strategy to win, but you may not draw the right card. You may not land on the right territory.

Of course, like all board games and card games, there are plenty of things you can do to mitigate your risks. Just saying, Never Give Up.
You never know what will happen. And boy, it feels so awesome when it does happen. If you can do something to delay a player from winning for just one more turn, the other players may be able to do yet something else to delay the winner. And something could happen that gives another player the chance to win. That moment when every player is clawing at your foot to drag you off the thrown. Man, it's something.

Okay, well, there is nothing as exaggerated as that in Revolt. But one cool part of the game is going into battle. You got the cool BGM by Itou Kenji playing and the narrator speaks out the name of the Creatures.
You got the classics like Trolls, Elves, and Dwarfs, and you got rarer ones like Red Cap, Cusith, and Stormcauser.

So simple, so important.
BTW, the joke about the above bold part comes from the way the narrator says "Megalodon" in one of the games.

That goes for all card games, right? Got the cute, the sexy, the cool, something for everyone.
Oh, but sucks for you if this is your first Culdcept game. You missed out on the Succubus.

And that's all I can think off for now. Just wanted to put down some of my thoughts on why I like the game. It's an incredibly niche genre, unfortunately, which of course, means it doesn't sell well. Which is all the more reason I wanted to advertisement that it is a fun game and you should give it a try and buy it.

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