hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Card Hunter

2:00 PM on 09.12.2013 // Chris Carter

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.



Card Hunter - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Yay, I got off of work early and may have Friday off! I have a sinking feeling I'm going to work 10 hours on Saturday as a result, though :/ We ran out of stuff to make stuff with so they must ship us stuff so we can ship stuff.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Yo yo I'm Marie and I got dat gangsta flow. High scores ain't no trip, cuz I whip that shit like Sonic quick. I-I mean no! I didn't say anything! Stupidrecordbreakingcombodolt. [img][/img]
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I'm watching you.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Work noooooooooooooooooo D:
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
I had such a awkward time playing Catherine because it shared the same name as my mother....
JayDGee avatarJayDGee
Broforce is coming out of early access on the 15th. I had no Idea it was an early access game.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
I have now played all 3 Witcher games. My verdict: Witcher 1 - alright, aged badly, lots of sex. Witcher 2 - good, very short, not much sex at all. Witcher 3 - Excellent in every way.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I really wish MGO had been implemented with free-roam gameplay PMC (clan) setup instead of the standard matchmaking. Imagine roaming bands of PMC's opposing each other on the battlefield. How sexy would that be?
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Playing Shantae & The Pirates Curse, must say I'm loving it for the most part, barring the odd WHERE AM I D: moment
JayDGee avatarJayDGee
Added a humble code to my steam account when I already had the game. Purely because the soundtrack was attached. Now I see it on 2 friends wishlists. They must never know.
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Okay so what 2, 3, 4 years later I bothered to finish. Now to write up that blog on why FFXIV lost my love by never challenging me and see if it's actually interesting...
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What's up with taking your phone or a magazine to the toilet? Y'all need more fibre in your diet, why should a toilet visit take more than 2 minutes? What are you people doing with your asses.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Finished Momohime/Jinkuro's story in Muramasa last night. I always liked that ending. I didn't know there were more endings, though. On to Kisuke's story!
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
It feels like each day I get up, do the rounds of my bookmarks, and am immediately brought down by kneejerk hate: new stuff, old stuff, last nights stuff, 2moros stuff, a game, a film, TV. Critical thinking is fine, but dang, pure cynicism's winning :(
Vuster avatarVuster
Rpg Maker MV is coming soon O: I mean I am overjoyed but... I JUST GOT USE TO VX ACE!! Either way, I intend to do a form of quick summery of the features on release o:
Flegma avatarFlegma
Nintendo's(?) weekly SMM level picks: [url][/url] - scroll down a bit for the list. I wish I didn't need to type in the level ID myself, though.
Shinta avatarShinta
Metal Gear Online, Day 2. The maps in this game are amazing. Try out all 3 classes, because they're all pretty different. Really getting the hang of the game now.
Jay Escobar avatarJay Escobar
Video game voice actors are threatening to go on strike if EA, Activision, Disney, WB, and others refuse to pay them the necessary bonuses (
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I love how Final Fantasy Record Keeper is making a big deal about being able to unlock FF XII's Vaan. I do get to unlock Ashe though, so that's cool.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Card Hunter

  Apr 09

Card Hunter is getting a new expansion soon

Good to see this game still chugging

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -