Shadow Era: Dark Prophecies…taking me back to the glory days of physical TCG’s

photo 1 Several times throughout my childhood I collected cards. Baseball cards, then moved to Pokemon cards, and then of course Yu-GI-OH. (Maybe sprinkle a little bit of DBZ’s trading cards in there for flare?) Well of course by the time I hit middle school those cards I could no longer play to be with the “IN” crowd.(Oh the fallacy) But alas, everyone can come out of the trading card closet because Wulven studios has brought us an offering that is not to be hidden, nor is it to be ashamed of. Shadow Era: Dark Prophecies!photo 3

When I first downloaded this game I had no clue what to expect. Truth be told I thought I was done forever with this genre of gaming, but quickly the old feelings of excitement and interest took over once again and I delved into the amazing world of Shadow Era. The first thing I noticed about the game was the amount of different starter decks they offered. Shadow Era allows you to choose a deck based on what type of hero you want to be. Hero’s range from warriors and magi to rouges and more, with each class having male and female characters.

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Each hero has unique abilities which can be used at various times throughout the match.  The matches are played similarly to many other software based TCG’s of this gen; sacrifice cards which give you resources so that you can play better cards. Once allies (minions) are on the battle field you then try and take out the opposing teams Hero to win the game. (Each hero has a specific amount of health points) Spells cards come in handy when you need to buff your allies or take out opponents allies. However, Wulven decided to add it’s own strategy spin on things. Regularly in TCG games you would have to attack minions before being able to attack the hero but here you can attack the Hero outright, leaving you to decide whether it is smart to attack early on and let your own Hero take all of the damage, or prepare for the long game and attack opponents minions to preserve your Hero’s hit points. The game looks great visually and it is easy to sink hours of time in, with such smooth gameplay mechanics. There were a couple of issues with the game, one time we experienced some lag while playing against the AI, it almost seemed to have froze mid attack, however the problem did fix itself eventually, and we were even able to finish that game. We suggest putting the speed all the way to 4, that seemed to help a lot when waiting for things such as card drawing and battle sequences. Our other complaint was the size of the cards on the screen. I could barely make out what some of the cards were and I had to do a bunch of extra tapping to see a full size image, but we were also playing on an iPhone and the size may be more suited for an iPad.

Boosters and card packs can be purchased in the shop using gold that can be earned through game play or crystals which can be purchased with real money. (Don’t worry it is only $2.00 for a booster pack) And finally, there is an extensive multiplayer mode. Duel with people you have never met and see how your custom deck stacks up to others, there is even talks of physical tournaments taking place.  For more info, on the physical tournaments  check out their website.(http://www.shadowera.com/content.php?202-Champions-of-Shadow-Era)

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Overall 4.6 ****Pure Genius****

If you are a TCG fan you should definitely download this game on your phone. Great depth along with the uniqueness and the glory of customizing your own deck cannot be beat. Add in the fact that the multiplayer mode is competitive and  physical tourney’s are starting, then there shouldn’t be anything stopping you.

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Order & Chaos Duels…another great IOS TCG

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Gameloft has done some very impressive things on IOS. If anything Gameloft has encouraged and shown very many gamers that their video game dreams can come true on a mobile device. For those of you that are looking for another solid TCG that is closely similar to Hearthstone then you have it right here.

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O&C Duels starts pretty much the same way that the other popular games do in it’s genre; you pick a Hero class (Warrior, Mage, ect.) and you go to war. Your starter deck has around 30 cards for you to battle with, and depending on which faction you chose (Order or Chaos) it will have varying monsters. Your Hero on the battlefield starts off with a set amount of hit points, take your opponents hp all the way down to zero and you win the game. Hearthstone, O&C Duels and Shadow Era are all very similar in this respect, primarily because its just the type of tcg that is popular right now.

I will say that after playing Order and Chaos online, that it was fun being able to choose a side, it created a connection with the players that was unique to the experience. Another strong point in the game were the graphics and the effects during gameplay. This is normally Gameloft’s strong point in an app, and it was great to see that they didn’t slouch here. Decks are nicely fleshed out with several unique minions, and it is great fun to be able to customize your own deck. Alchemy is another great way to earn cool and unique cards, sacrifice enough of your own cards and you might get a rare one. Another spin on the game are the boss battles that you get to fight. Multiplayer is fun, but just be prepared to battle. Teaming up for a boss battle is certainly a cool aspect that is unique to the game, and ranked matches are a lot of fun as well. Each battle has certain achievements that you can complete that will allow you to earn different items, such as cards or gold or runes (to purchase more cards with)

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Speaking of runes, yes this is the common form of IAP in O&C. (Surprise!) I understand why would want IAP’s, at least for a TCG, but Gameloft just seems to hound us with reminders, which does get  annoying after sometime. The fact that you have to pay for an extra deck slot to build another deck seems a little weak as well. Rare’s are not easy to come by either in the game. (which is the way it is supposed to be sometimes, maybe just a little more grace would be nice)

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Overall-4.5 ****Pure Genius****

Order & Chaos online is a great TCG for the IOS, and does a good job of balancing both quantity and quality. Unique boss battles and relateable characters will have you coming back for more. I highly suggest this game if you are interested in the genre and want it at the palm of your hands.