Warstorm is the latest creation from the folks over at Challenge Games, and it looks like the social developer is going back to its roots. When we first profiled the company more than a year ago, it had only two titles, Duels and Baseball Boss. The former was a fantasy card-based game, and this theme is what Warstorm is all about: elves, orcs, warriors, beasts, and magic, all conveniently organized into collectible, digital, cards.
Akin to collectible card games (CCG) like Magic: The Gathering, Warstorm has players creating decks (“squads”) of seven cards. Within each squad must be one “Hero” card and six normal cards of their choosing. The cards are then used to automatically battle other opponents with the deck being shuffled and whatever card is on top being played (if applicable). The winner is the person that still has cards on the table.
Okay, so that’s the gist of the game, but there is obviously a lot more detail to battles than that. Each card has a set amount of attack and health points. When an enemy card attacks, that number is subtracted from the opponent card’s health. However, there are a few other stipulations. As was stated earlier, the top card on the deck is not always applicable, meaning not always immediately playable. Each card has a set number of turns before it can be put on the field after being drawn. So, if the hero card, “Nalinai Poisonblade” has the number eight in the lower left, it cannot be played for eight turns after being drawn.
This is the first tier of complexity. Overall, it’s still pretty simple, but as you play and win, you are rewarded with random cards. Sometimes you will own them, and sometimes you won’t, but as you get more, many will begin to have special abilities such as blocking that reduces damage by one, or poison that will do extra damage over time, or chain zap that will hit multiple opponents. Eventually, better hero cards will also require the equipping of “spells” and “artifacts” to squads, but sadly we have yet to find one. Suffice to say, this all plays a pivotal role in how one builds their deck
Speaking of the deck, as you play and earn more hero cards, you will be allowed to use more than one squad. This, expectantly, adds another level of complexity to the game and really forces you to think of a strategy that works for you. It isn’t about what is the most powerful unit, but which ones best complement each other. For example, if you want longevity in your units, you might want to use infantry with the block ability, coupled with clerics that can heal them.
Socially, the outlets are pretty intuitive. The game has the standard leaderboard and achievement systems, but as it is a battling type of game, you are able to play against other users at any time in quick matches. Also, after you finish the tutorial stages (which are actually pretty fun), you unlock the ability to pit your decks against a unique, daily campaigns. As an example, today you can fight decks built around some of the most popular hero cards. And, of course, there is a nice single player campaign for users to learn new skills and cards.
The game also has a great use of in-game and virtual currency. As players win matches against other players, level up, or win daily campaigns, they earn silver. This can then be used to purchase card expansion packs, single cards, and even bundles tailored specifically for campaigns. Some cost just the silver, and others the buyable Challenge Coins. Intelligently, most are both with the silver cost being significantly higher. Moreover, there is nearly 600 different cards, and with the fantastic fantasy artwork, it’s likely many will simply relish in collecting them all.
Honestly, the only real complaint is that the leveling system seems like a moot point. You do get bonus silver when you level, but other than that, there seems to be no reason to have it. Perhaps there are some limitations based on level somewhere later on, but it hasn’t been run into yet. Also, why can the player not trade cards in a card game? And what about the option to manually control what drawn cards get played and when? It is pretty much a CCG after all, and these two features would the game even more involved and more fun than it already is.
The game looks great and has been growing steadily in the past three days. Currently it is sitting a bit above 34,000 monthly active users and around 10,000 daily active users.