Cards and Castles is a newly early-access launched Collectible Card Game and grid-based strategy game developed by Bit Mass, LLC. For anyone familiar with Scrolls from Mojang, I feel that Cards and Castles is quite similar while definitely stands on its own as a unique Collectible Card Game with a grid-based strategy system. Sadly, Mojang’s Scrolls is no longer getting updates and is essentially a dead game but Cards and Castles is alive and well and perfectly capable of taking over! First it was a game out on mobile devices, but we can all now enjoy it on PC while it’s in early access. The developers have promised frequent content updates and I’m hoping it’s full steam ahead with its Steam release.
In Cards and Castles, you have a deck of 30 cards. There’s multiple factions / pools that you can have cards from, and you can customize a deck consisting of 1-2 factions such as the Ninjas, Pirates, Vikings, Warlocks and Crusaders. (Along with plenty of non-factional cards.) Each faction has its own strengths and weaknesses. Utilizing just a single faction allows you to use that faction’s legendary cards, while opting to go with a deck of two factions allows you to create some really unique strategies with the combination of spells and minions.
The combat consists of two players (online with other people, or against the AI) starting out with a castle. You draw a card each turn and play spells or minions that you can move around the grid, in order to destroy your opponents castle. The gameplay is quick and fun, with plenty of potential of learning and creating specific strategies.
Cards and Castles has a wonderful art style that suits a game of its type very well. It’s cute, colorful and engaging. It also seems as though it’s a simple enough style that should allow for frequent new content, whereas Mojang’s Scrolls had a slightly heavier style which might’ve ultimately led to its downfall with a higher cost to push out new content. For someone wanting to get familiar with the game, you can play practice matches against the AI, or you can get into a number of specialized scenarios which put you at a disadvantage. You’ll need to use your wit and deck-building prowess, in order to overcome such scenarios.
Similar to other Collectible Card Games, you’re able to level up as you destroy your opponents. Instead of leveling up yourself, however, you’re leveling the factions, which nets you more cards for each respective faction that you level up. The more you play, the more you level up, and the more cards you earn. You can also use the acquired in-game earned currency to buy new packs.
The game is currently $9.99 on steam which will net you a special bundle of cards and content worth 5x the purchase price, plus a Steam-punk custom castle exclusively for Steam Early Access buyers. I think it’s a pretty great value as far as Collectible Card Games are concerned. Hearthstone certainly isn’t offering any value opportunities like this! It’s also worth noting that the game is fully cross platform. You can play with Steam at home and mobile on the go, and share progress between all your devices. The game has a solid art style, polished audio, and fun and engaging gameplay. I’ve already spent a lot of time with it so far, easily justifying the $9.99 pricetag. I plan to play plenty more and look forward to new content as it is released!