Lightseekers trading card game

PAX South Preview: Lightseekers Trading Card Game

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The future of the toys to life genre may look bleak, but PlayFusion has a few cards up their sleeves to remain optimistic. Their Lightseekers cross-media brand had a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2016, and began releasing last year. But it’s the collectible trading card game I checked out at PAX South 2018.

The Lightseekers Trading Card Game is no mere tie-in or side project, this is a fun, full-fledged card game with unique mechanics and 386 cards, each of which becomes an augmented reality card when scanned into the Lightseekers mobile game.

“Lightseekers is a really fun game that’s easy to learn and difficult to master,” said Willie Wilkov, Chief Marketing Officer for PlayFusion. Wilkov was kind enough to run through a full demo of the game for me at PAX, surrounded by an ongoing Lightseekers cash-prize tournament and numerous play stations.

The card game, like the digital game, revolves around heroes – the Lightseekers. Every deck must contain a single hero, which is set in front of each player. This hero provides the player’s health bar, a unique Hearthstone-like ability, and determines which type of cards you can play. I played with the Mountain Starter Deck and the hero Dolo the Mighty. Each hero has access to three elements, which in total make up each of the six Orders. Mountain has Fire, Earth, and Crystal.

Each deck is made up of five combo cards and 30 action, buff, or item cards. Combo cards are more powerful, but require a certain combination of elements in your hand. For example, to play my Stream of Tantos combo, I’d need to also have Fire, Earth, and Crystal cards in my hand. I spend those cards by shuffling them back into my deck and play the combo.

Action cards simply do their action, and can be played up to twice a turn depending on the hero’s preferred element. This is in stark contrast to many CCG’s which often involve summoning creatures to battle one another. In Lightseekers it’s the heroes themselves doing the battling, and each player is playing cards to do instant damage, heal, or defend against incoming damage.

The bulk of the strategy seems to be about timing. The main way to draw cards is to not play cards, so there are odd times of both players passing back and forth as they build up their hands, hoping to unleash a powerful combo while setting up defenses.

Healing and damage mitigation were quite prevalent in both my Mountain deck and Wilkov’s Nature deck, causing our health to fluctuate back and forth during the relatively quick match. Not having to worry about multiple creatures on the board with individual health bars help streamline the entire experience and made Lightseekers feel unique.

The other unique factor were the nifty rotating buff cards. “There’s a rotating buff mechanic where the cards at the start of your turn rotate 90 degrees, changing the value of the cards,” said Wilkov. “A lot of players really like that and it’s where a large part of the strategy comes into play.” Buffs are cards are placed in front of you with ongoing effects. Most have numbers in their corners, and they’re designed to rotate at the beginning of each of your turns, possibly changing how effective the card is, or setting up some cool traps.

I played a Prism Cannon, which rotated on my next several turns. It did damage according to the number at its current rotation, but this was a patient trap. The first three numbers were ‘X’, doing nothing, but at the fourth rotation it would blast my opponent for eight damage, provided they didn’t find a way to get rid of it first.

The rotating buffs mesh well with the idea of planning for big turns. At that same time my Prism Cannon went off, I had a second buff, the Colossi Ritual Site, rotate from its ‘X’ position to ‘3’, increasing all damage I dealt by that amount. It boosted my Prism Cannon’s damage from 8 to 11, perfect timing!

Every card is also imprinted with a unique digital code, represented by dots on the border. “You can scan and use these cards in the action-adventure roleplaying game,” said Wilkov. “Each card grants rewards and abilities in the game. It’s a blend of the physical and the digital.” The Lightseekers mobile game (iOS, Android, Amazon) is a rudimentary free-to-play action-RPG. Most cards activate temporary buffs, abilities, or allies, while combo cards unlock permanent new skills for your heroes.

Lightseekers looks like it’s designed for standard one-on-one battles, but it actually scales for multiple people. “We’ve played in the office with up to seven players,” said Wilkov. The multiplayer rules (and the cards themselves) specifically make separate reference to targets and enemies, and uses a system of gaining victory points for eliminating your personal targets.

Each of the six orders are available as a starter deck, containing one hero, 5 combo cards, 30 action cards, and a booster pack, as well as a tuckbox for storing cards. Each booster pack includes nine cards, and always contains one hero card, one rare, and two uncommons.

I was given the Intro Pack, which contained starter versions of the Storm and Tech Orders, two fold-out paper battle mats, and a booster pack. The battle mats are a nice way to keep things organized, even though Lightseekers is already very light on card clutter given only the buffs and items remain on the board.

I have played a lot of collectible card games, and many that were aimed at a younger crowd. It’s not hard to see the instant appeal of Lightseekers. The artwork is solid, the rules straightforward, and rotating cards to access different variations is a neat system. You can build entire deck strategies around combo cards, though pulling too many from booster packs can be annoying since you can only ever include five in your deck.

I can see Lightseekers filling a nice mid-tier void somewhere between Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering. I hope it can succeed among the always competitive marketplace of collectible card games.

final fantasy xv windows edition

Final Fantasy XV PC Release Date, All-DLC Royal Edition Announced

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Square Enix has announced the official release date for the long-awaited PC version of Final Fantasy XV. Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition will launch on March 6. It will be available on Steam, Origin, and Windows 10 for $49.99. Not to leave out consoles, a new Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition was also announced for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, also for $49.99. The Royal Edition, like the Windows Edition, will include over 20 post-launch add-ons and DLC.

Existing Final Fantasy XV owners on console will be able to upgrade to the Royal Edition via a new Final Fantasy XV Royal Pack, which will be available for $19.99 on the PlayStation and Xbox stores.

The full list of new features and content for the Windows Edition and Royal Edition are listed below.

  • Expanded Map: Insomnia City Ruins – all-new side quests and enemies such as Cerberus and Omega will be available through the expanded map of the Crown City of Insomnia. Players will also take on the Rulers of Yore.
  • A fully-controllable Royal Vessel boat, expanding the world of Eos and allowing players to explore the area between Cape Caem and Altissia. Players will also be able to fish aboard the vessel and discover new fishes and dishes.
  • A new accessory that can activate the new action “Armiger Unleashed” – players will be able to unleash powerful attacks while the Armiger is summoned. After collecting all of the royal arms, players will be able to find an accessory in an unidentified part of the world, enabling access to Armiger Unleashed.
  • A new first-person camera mode, allowing players to experience the game from Noctis’ perspective.
  • More than a dozen pieces of DLC including weapons, Regalia car skins and item sets
  • All season pass content including the character-focused DLC Episode Gladiolus, Episode Prompto, and Episode Ignis, as well as multiplayer expansion Comrades.
  • Archive – players can review the “Cosmogony” stories scattered throughout the Final Fantasy XV world. Additional local myths and legends will also be placed in various new locations, allowing players to obtain more information about the world.
  • Quest to obtain and Strengthen Regalia Type-D
  • New Trophies

Note that to play multiplayer via the Comrades DLC requires Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus on consoles.

Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition will support 4K resoution and HDR 10 lighting, as well as mod support. Note that you’ll need the latest Windows 10 Creators Update for HDR 10. Full Minimum, Recommended, and 4K PC requirements are listed on the official website. Benchmark software to test how your PC will run the game will be available starting February 1.

Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition and Royal Edition will be available March 6. Final Fantasy XV has been rated T for Teen.