SolForge is a recent example of Kickstarter success. The game raised a little over $400,000, much more than the goal it had set. The premise for SolForge is simple – a trading card game with a unique twist on gameplay and the ability to buy cards and duel against friends. The game is currently in a free open beta, and I strongly urge anyone who is a fan of trading card games to check it out immediately. There are a few issues that one could expect from a beta, but overall the game runs smoothly and the card art looks incredible. However, if you need a little more convincing, allow me to continue.
In Solforge, a new player is given two starter decks, each focusing on one of four “factions” within the SolForge universe. The starter decks are certainly competent, although you will want to make your own deck as soon as possible for a greater sense of ownership. As of right now, there are a couple of ways to obtain new cards. First of all, for every day that you log in, you are given a decent amount of Silver, an in-game currency, and either a booster pack or single card. This way, you are guaranteed at least one card upon logging in every single day. Another way of obtaining cards is by purchasing them with the aforementioned Silver. A Basic booster pack costs 900 Silver right now and contains 3 cards. Finally, you can use your money in the real world to purchase Gold, which then gives you access to larger booster packs with rarer cards. Personally, I have yet to see the need to use any real money to purchase cards, as the ones I get from the booster packs work well enough. Once you obtain enough cards, you can go into the deck builder and compose a deck made out of thirty cards exactly. Once you have your deck, you are ready to face off against other players.
While bots exist that you can play games against at any time, I find it much more fun to challenge real players who have their own strategies. With a few clicks of the mouse the game will find you an opponent and allow you to duel at your own pace. Unless you set a time limit, there are no restrictions to how long your turn has to take, making this a good game for casual players as well. The core gameplay of SolForge is easy to grasp as well. Each players starts with their hand of five cards. If it is the first turn of the game, that player may play only one card, while in all subsequent turns players must play two. You place your creature cards on a lane of your choice (out of five) and select the battle command to watch your opponent’s creatures fight your own. One thing to note, of course, is that creatures are unable to battle their first turn, unless otherwise specified on their card.
Two key differences set SolForge apart from other TCG’s. First, whenever you play a card, a higher level version of it is shuffled back into your deck for use later. Higher level cards are stronger and often have better effects than their lower leveled counterparts. Secondly, any card that you did not use in your turn is discarded and added as experience to your character. Once your character levels up, the higher level card start appearing in your hand. It is a complex system at first, but after a few games, it truly shines as being an innovative and addicting card game.
So, I implore all you readers to check this game out when you have the time, especially if you are a fan of trading card games. When you feel like you have gotten the hang of the game, search for “Rihz818″ (no quotes) and let’s duel!