The hardest part about writing this Cardpocalypse review is quantifying what sort of game this is.
It falls into several catagories, the core game is a Collectable Card Game but it’s also an RPG and a kind of Point and click adventure but this doesn’t quite sum the game up.
In Cardpocalypse you play the game as Jess, she is a new student at Dudsdale Elementary School and during your first bus ride to school you make friends and find out that everyone is obsessed with a CCG you are not even allowed to play.
No matter, your new friend will loan you a deck and teach you how to play on the way in, so begins your first match of MEGA MUTANT POWER PETS.
Yes, everyone at school loves the game and you get to play loads of matches and learn the game and everything is awesome, but then the best game ever gets banned.
AND EVERYONE THINK’S ITS YOUR FAULT!
It seems like things could never get worse and then they do, The Mega Mutant Power Pets are real, they’re evil and they’re invading.
At its heart, this is a CCG game but there is so much more than just collecting cards and creating a deck that you win with. You need to talk with the kids in the school, some will have a quest, for example, you might need to get kids to agree to come to a party but to agree they might also have a quest for you to do and so the game progresses.
Increasing the number of cards you own is as simple as completing side quests which are pretty simple in nature and there are an awful lot of additional tasks for you to do each day and when you have had enough you finish the day.
The CCG game Mega Mutant Power Pets is pretty simple and if you have played Hearthstone or The Elder Scrolls Legends you will feel right at home. I wouldn’t put the CCG in the same tier of complexity as either of the aforementioned games but you have 20 cards in your deck and a leader who has 30 life points.
The leaders also have a special ability and as each turn passes you gain 1 food. You need to spend this in order to play a card and each card has a food cost. There are cards that you place that do nothing until an event triggers them and some cards have an ability that will offer a buff to your other cards.
Once your life or the enemies reaches zero its game over but when your life gets down to 15 your leader takes on a new form, a Mega form in fact. This adds a certain bait mechanic to the game where you want to take damage so that you can transform and play specific cards but games are fast, maybe a little too fast. A lot of my games ended within 5 turns and I am an idiot.
There is another mechanic which I have not encountered before, card customisation, These are essentially stickers that you place on your cards to increase certain stats, add new abilities, change the cost of playing it or let you play it in a different deck.
When you beat a Power Pet you can change the game a little in that you can pick from three game-changing options. I was losing a lot against powerful decks so I chose to make certain types of cards more expensive but there are numerous options to gain an advantage.
Cardpocalypse has a hand-drawn, child-like art style that is perfectly in tune with the game and I really liked that the main character is in a wheelchair. I don’t mean I like that she is in a wheelchair I like that it isn’t mentioned and appears to have no bearing on the game in any way. I am disabled myself and whilst I don’t use a wheelchair its nice to see the main character have no restrictions because of it. I am sure it will inspire lots of children.
The play area isn’t huge but there is a map that will allow you to fast travel to certain places for different events.
There are a fair few issues with the game and I do wonder about its replayability. I think in truth I would end up back at the table with Hearthstone before this but it is a unique and interesting take on the genre.
There are some game-breaking bugs too that will need to be fixed. One made me restart the entire game and I never got round to completing it as I found it too frustrating to start over for the third time.
The bug appears to be random too which just makes every interaction a gamble but after some matches, conversations would not carry on and I couldn’t get past these points no matter what I did. Changing the dialogue choices doesn’t seem to make a great deal of difference to the outcome of each exchange either so it was quite frustrating to be stopped from progressing for no real reason.
The biggest issue that the game faces is fun. It’s an interesting prospect and I like a lot of the mechanics of the game but when you select to make expensive cards cost more then you are essentially forced into building a specific low-cost swarm deck and this would be true if you reversed your decisions.
Having only one type of deck available limits how you choose to play and I like to play with different decks to keep things interesting. I didn’t feel I was able to do this effectively in what is essentially a CCG.
The problem with breaking this game into parts is that each part is pretty weak but when you put the whole thing together you get a game where the answer to the question “Hey Minki, whats Cardpocalypse like” would be “Yeah, it’s OK”.
It’s not a bad game, it’s not a great game, it’s a good game and its quite fun. I don’t think I will be back after reviewing Cardpocalypse but I can certainly see an appeal for some.
I think Cardpocalypse will score quite poorly but this is more a fault of my 9-year-old scoring system than the game itself. I have not had a bad time playing Cardpocalypse but its not a game I would return to readily. It has many elements of a fun game and they do come together really well but overall, I was left wanting. Not wanting more Cardpocalypse just wanting to be more entertained.
Yeah, it's alright
A fun game that is OK for a time, very quickly the weaknesses of its different parts start to show, not helped by game-breaking bugs.