Quantcast
Review: Card Hunter - Destructoid

DestructoidJapanatorTomopopFlixist



Card Hunter  




Review: Card Hunter photo
Review: Card Hunter

2:00 PM on 09.12.2013

Dope digital D&D


Dungeons and Dragons is one of the most unique games ever conceived. It manages to unite multiple facets of fantasy, tabletop, and strategy all into one singular activity, and it can be as basic or as complex as your imagination wills it.

A lot of the enjoyment comes from uniting with and devilishly betraying your best friends, as you scheme and plot a way to take over the dungeon master. Card Hunter isn't quite as engaging, but it's a fine digital re-creation nonetheless.

Card Hunter (PC)
Developer: Blue Manchu Games
Publisher: Blue Manchu Games
Released: September 12, 2013
MSRP: Free

Card Hunter is a browser-based game that uses digital cards and a board to simulate a role-playing experience. But this isn't just an adventure game with orcs, warriors, and a kingdom to save: you're literally playing a Dungeons and Dragons game with a modern day meta-story woven on top of the exploration. At first you'll go through a short tutorial with a full party, but suddenly the Dungeon Master's older brother takes his full set back, hilariously forcing you to restart from level one with a basic set.

From there, the action takes place on a flat board that changes for every location to suit the scenario. In a city-based map you may have door tiles that you'll have to open, and caves might have impassable walls. All of this is easy to keep track of since you can just right click to inspect everything. In fact, the user interface is one of the best parts of the game, as all of the pertinent information you need is practically always on the screen.

You'll probably notice immediately that it isn't your typical art style -- the characters, enemies, and environments look like real tabletop pieces. I really love this unique visual style, as the pieces look freakishly realistic, and incredibly sharp. Full-screen mode is thankfully supported, which I highly recommend; Card Hunter looks far better in action on a big screen. The style is strengthened by the beautiful artwork and character designs, and each scene transition is actually worth reading due to the endearing writing and art.

Like the UI, the combat systems incredibly simple to understand, but there are a lot of layers working to keep it engaging. Before each session your deck is randomly shuffled, consisting of combat, support, and movement cards. By a random luck of the draw you may get an all-movement or all-attack deck, forcing you to think ahead multiple turns. Thankfully you do have a party of three (with customizable appearances, genders, and classes), so you do have a little leeway if you happen to draw one bad hand for a single party member.

Skirmishes aren't as simple as playing attack cards all at once, as you can browse enemy decks to decide how to counter-attack. For instance, using weak cards first to waste a foe's guard cards while you buff up a powerful warrior with high attack is a common strategy. Once you've exhausted your hand (or don't have anything to play), you can pass, but you can "hold" a few cards just like in poker should you like that particular hand.

In between turns you'll visit towns, shops, and search for new missions in a fairly non-linear map. Inventory management is as simple as clicking and dragging items over your avatar's equipment loadout or your stash. Online multiplayer is also present, allowing you to tackle boards with other players. One of my favorite online activities is the ability to spectate other games -- they're often very amusing, and a great way to learn tactics.

So what's the catch? Well, it's a free-to-play game after all, so there are some microtransaction elements. While gold is earned in-game, a currency called "pizza"is bought with real money. You can use pizza to buy extras (like cosmetic figures and other enhancements), as well as exchange it for more gold. But the pizza system is done a bit more tongue in cheek than other games -- there's even a pizza delivery person that the Dungeon Master has a crush on -- adding a bit of story to the system.

At the end of the day it's still a microtransaction currency, but it's a cute and novel way to go about it. Should you really decide that Card Hunter is your thing, there's also a membership option for a little under $10 a month, or a reduced price if you commit longer. For your troubles (and credit card), you'll net an extra item every time you complete a stage and loot a chest.

If you've ever spent an evening huddled around a table telling tales of crypts and wyverns, I highly recommend that you give Card Hunter a shot. Even if you eventually hit a paywall, you'll have a ton of fun, and may even recall some of your fondest role-paying memories in the process.



THE VERDICT - Card Hunter

Reviewed by Chris Carter

8 /10
Great: Impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash. Check out more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.








Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.





timeline following:
Card Hunter



11:00 AM on 04.09.2014
Card Hunter is getting a new expansion soon

I really enjoyed Card Hunter when it dropped late last year. It had a refreshing art style, a fun sense of humor, and a fair free-to-play scheme -- and now, it's getting more content this month in the form of an expansio...more




Role-Playing Games

3:09 AM on 09.01.2014
Persona 5 is coming to PS4, gets first trailer

Atlus' YouTube has our first look at Persona 5, which appears to have a ruffled brown haired boy protagonist and subways. Not a lot to get excited about aside from the fact that Persona 5 is exciting inherently. Though there was an announcement of a PS4 version of the previously PS3-restricted title. Makes sense. more



4:30 PM on 08.29.2014
The latest Bravely Second trailer shows off the first in-game footage we've seen

This is only the second trailer for Bravely Second we've seen just yet, though with all the smaller tidbits of news surrounding the game, it sure seems like there's been a lot more. This time around we get to feast our eyes ...more



11:15 AM on 08.29.2014
Costume Quest 2 is still cute, trying to be more engaging

Costume Quest, like every Double Fine game, is charming. It's a fresh-feeling, low stakes take on the JRPG genre, more Earthbound than Final Fantasy. Though, as Chad put it in his review, it's "RPG Lite," accessible...more



View all Role-Playing Games






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more