boomsday project

The Boomsday Project Explodes onto Hearthstone

Posted by | Mobile, News, PC | No Comments

Hearthstone’s latest expansion, The Boomsday Project, has officially been released this week. The expansion adds 135 new cards. Log in to Hearthstone for a limited time to receive three Boomsday Project card packs for free, as well as a free random Legendary card.

“Today, Hearthstone players everywhere can unleash their inner evil genius in The Boomsday Project,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We packed this expansion with all kinds of things that go boom, and we can’t wait to see the new strategies that players concoct.”

The Boomsday Project expansion adds several new care features and mechanics. Omega cards become stronger when played at a full 10 mana crystals. New Mech minions include the Magnetic keyword, letting them be combined to form more powerful minions. Projects are spells that help both players. New Legendary cards include both mad scientists and powerful new Legendary Spells.

The new single player scenario is called The Puzzle Lab, and it’s coming in another two weeks. Blizzard is still only teasing the details. Players will “will face a series of increasingly difficult puzzles as they attempt to impress Dr. Boom with their quick wits and neglect of safety regulations.”

The Boomsday Project is available now on PC and mobile devices. Like every Hearthstone expansion, cards can be purchased in individual packs or in bundles through the Shop or using real currency. Boomsday Project cards can be earned in the Arena or crafted using Arcane Dust.

Hearthstone is rated T for Teen.

lightseekers

Lightseekers Launches Digital Card Game, Physical Expansion

Posted by | Mobile, News | No Comments

PlayFusion has announced two big releases for their Lightseekers card game series. The first is a new mobile game that recreates the collectible card game in digital format. The second is the first expansion to the physical collectible card game, called Lightseekers Kindred.

The Lightseekers mobile game is available now on iOS and Android. The Lightseekers Kindred expansion will arrive August 7, with its first appearance at Gen Con 2018 (Aug. 2-5).

The Lightseekers mobile game features custom AI matches, quickmatches against friends and online players, as well as ranked matches and leaderboards. Digital booster packs are available to add more cards. Players can scan their physical cards into the digital game, and also level them up.

“We’re seamlessly blending the physical and digital worlds in ways that have never been done before,” said Mark Gerhard, CEO and Co-Founder of PlayFusion. “We also want to express our sincere thanks to the community that continue to support us – you are awesome! We promise you that Lightseekers will only continue to go from strength to strength!”.

Lightseekers was previously released on mobile devices as “Lightseekers RPG.” That game was a 3D action-RPG (think Skylanders) scaled down for mobile. The new mobile game is a direct translation of the card game.

The physical expansion set will add 291 cards, as well as six new constructed decks. Kindred Booster Packs will feature an expanded 12 cards per pack (9 cards in the initial set).

Given the focus on the card game, PlayFusion may be angling more toward the Hearthstone model rather than the Skylanders model. Ligthseekers initially began as a toys-to-life franchise before launching the card game.

The new Lightseekers mobile game is available now for free (with paid booster packs) in iOS and Android.

ink monsters

Ink Monsters Review

Posted by | Reviews | No Comments

Publisher: Albino Dragon
Players: 2-6
Time: 20-30 minutes
Age: 6+

Card games can be tricky for younger kids. It can be challenging to hold very many cards in tiny hands, and privately manage their own resources.

Ink Monsters alleviates these issues by providing a streamlined set collection card game, themed around drawing kid-friendly monsters. The enchanting artwork and simple iconography helps sell the light-hearted experience, though end game scoring quickly grows complex and unwieldy.

Monsters, Ink

Ink Monsters is made up of two decks of cards: 48 monster cards and 57 action cards. In each of the three rounds, 12 monsters are randomly drawn into a circle. A magic pen card is place on the outer ring, indicating the next monster that will be drafted. Each round players play from their hand of three ability cards to rotate and move the pen to a more desirable monster before they select it. At the end of three rounds, the most victory points wins.

ink monstersEach monster has a point value, ranging from -5 to +5, as well as several trait icons, such as clothes, arms, and teeth. Monsters also come in five different colors, and almost all of them have either a once per round ability, or offer bonus (or negative!) points depending on the other Monsters you’ve drafted.

Once you start collecting monsters you have to start paying attention to their associated icons and powers, which can be challenging for younger kids who just want to pick their favorite-looking monsters.

I wouldn’t blame them; the card artwork is exceptional. These monsters would feel right at home within the world of Disney-Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. But what really matters are the icons and abilities each monster possesses.

For example, Alex gives you the ability to move the magic pen clockwise one to three spaces, essentially giving you a fourth card in your hand of ability cards. Lisa grants +1 point for each different colored monster you’ve collected. George lets you draw an additional monster from the deck. But that could be a blessing or a curse.

Some monsters are worth negative points, or have negative bonuses. Cary is worth 0 points, but his ‘bonus’ is that each other monster you own with hair scores -1 at the end of the game.

Juggling all these collection bonuses together becomes a bit too unfriendly with less players and younger kids, which is our typical family situation. The game doesn’t scale for the number of players, so less players equals more monsters per player. That means sifting through a dozen or more traits, bonuses, and abilities by the end of the game.

End game scoring is likewise a complete nightmare with that many monsters. It’s way more difficult than I would expect from a game aimed at 6+ kids. Thankfully Albino Dragon has released a free scoring app on iOS and Android that does all of the work for you. It’s a solid app and almost a necessity to determine final scores.

Pen is Mightier

The key to producing a great game for the under eight crowd is to minimize text. Ink Monsters comes close to succeeding but falls short with the abilities. The trait icons are easily identifiable, and all the action cards include a large visual aid indicating the action, such as a turned arrow and a +1.

Yet we still had to explain what most cards do with our six year old, and play with open hands to help her make a decision. Repeated plays helped, but there’s still just a bit too much going on. I would recommended the age closer to 8+.

ink monsters

On the flip side the game scales well for older kids and more players. Collecting less monsters lets you focus on specific strategies, such as monsters with hair and monsters who are pink and purple. There are also not a lot of cruel gotcha tactics. Instead players will often be left with really bad choices toward the end of each round. But there are enough negative-point monsters that everyone will have a few bad eggs in their collection.

Ink Monsters is a fun but flawed card game for kids. The artwork is absolutely amazing and every single monster card is unique, leading to an impressive replay factor that plays fairly quickly. But the gameplay is a bit too complex for what it offers, with too many overlapping traits, icons, and powers that players have to keep up with. With the amount of text involved I would at least bump the age to 8+, and I would absolutely recommend the free scoring app as practically a requirement to get through the complex end-game scoring.