Eredan iTCG is a free-to-play, browser-based fantasy MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) Trading Card Game that was released back in 2010. Since then, the game has become relatively popular and has even spawned a spin-off game using the Character cards for iOS and Android devices called Eredan Arena, which is also available as an in-browser game.
Eredan iTCG is an adventure-driven PvE system that also has PvP elements for the more competitive player. There are some innovative ideas and game mechanics at the helm which should make for a decent gaming experience.
I’ll also take a brief look at Eredan Arena towards the end for those who want to experience the lore of Eredan on their mobile devices.
Is there enough uniqueness to set Eredan iTCG apart from other browser-based TCGs? Read on to find out…
You begin Eredan iTCG as a set Character and are taken through the basics of the game via a story-driven campaign. As you progress through these training missions, you’ll acquire new Characters to fight alongside you. Once training is complete the story ends for that Character and you can then pick a starter deck from any of the available factions – including the Character you’ve been playing. I didn’t understand why the game makes you invest in that Character only to then thrust many different factions at you immediately after – especially as you’d have no idea how they function!
After picking your faction, you’ll head straight into the Adventure mode as it is the only sensible thing to do. Here you will go through a series of story-driven quests and level up your player profile. As you do, new features of the game are unlocked, and this adds a nice pacing to the proceedings – that is, until you get past the point where the free-to-play model falls apart. It becomes evident that this model only works as a method to pique your interest in the game in order to want more from it. The story missions then become much harder and it becomes rather apparent that you will need to spend a lot of Fee’z (the game’s premium currency) in order to get the necessary cards to compete beyond this point.
There are ways to get the Fee’z for free (ironically). However, they do require you to complete offers, watch videos, and install other apps to your computer — a very distasteful way to get money from free-to-play players. This carries the added risk of Malware or Adware that the developers cannot guarantee won’t be present – but such is the nature of these offers. Do this at your own risk! If you do decide to take the jump, there are some offers that can net you enough Fee’z to buy a couple of boosters right away. You can also spend real money on Fee’z too, but this goes against it being free-to-play and more of a freemium title.
Despite this setback, there are some great elements to the game that do make it an enjoyable experience – even when grinding for more currency. The basic concept is simple. You have three Characters who take it in turns to fight a member of the opposing team. The Characters usually have effects that trigger on particular turns or against a Character type, so it is best to have them fight on that turn or against that Character type. Increases in Attack, Defense, or Spirit are the usual buffs to be had at this stage.
The unique mechanic at work here is that all Characters can be seen and their current statistics and remaining health are all public knowledge. This means you can plan accordingly with the cards in your hand and plan which turn you want one of your Characters to do battle against the opponent’s. The other unique aspect of the combat is that you can choose from 5 Action or Spell cards in your hand to aid your Character that turn. Some cards can be chained with another card for even more advantage. Boosting stats and dealing direct damage are among the effects these cards carry, and any used or discarded cards are replenished before the start of the next round so you’ll always have 5 to choose from.
Victory or loss comes when all Characters have been defeated. If all Characters on both teams have died in combat then the team that dealt the most damage is the victor. The combat is clearly the biggest aspect of the game and it really does shine. The way it flows and the synergy between the cards and your Characters is so natural. When you customize your decks, you really do get a feel for what works best and will find yourself tailoring your deck to a few simple, but effective strategies.
I love the art style, simple though it is. It’s a western style that clearly has some heavy anime influences – most notably on the female characters (you’ll know what I mean when you see it…). The music featured is non-intrusive on the gameplay and sits nicely in the background whilst you play. The sound effects are great too, with satisfying sword and explosion sounds that represent the attacks. You can play the game in your usual browser window or have it in full screen mode. This does reduce the quality of the images at higher resolutions such as 1920 x 1080, but less so on smaller resolutions. Overall, the game is of high quality with some minor imperfections.
MODES AND FEATURES
Eredan iTCG has a nice number of features. Most of these aren’t accessible at the start of the game and are unlocked as you level up your profile. The basic modes of Adventure and PvP battles are available after you’ve completed the tutorials. I spent the bulk of my time playing and replaying the first Adventure missions in an attempt to level my Character cards. The subsequent missions are a lot harder and will require you to have more powerful cards in your deck before tackling them.
There are missions in the Adventure mode that will allow you to see how the other factions function. However, a lot of these are cut off by profile level requirements too. What I didn’t like was the difficulty curve that is thrown at you after the initial missions. You will have to do an obscene amount of grinding in order to progress after level 7. It’s a shame and this is something that should be addressed in order to keep players on-board. The developers are more than active, and even instigated a Halloween event recently whilst I was playing.
The PvP battles are fought in the same way as your usual campaign battles and are decided by eliminating all Characters or winning through damage. There are Tournaments that you can participate in for greater rewards than playing several PvP battles. You wouldn’t want to tackle these until you have a decent enough deck, though, so be prepared to grind a little longer.
The shop contains just what you would think it would – booster packs and other premium content. You can spend Fee’z to purchase these items. There are exclusive cards that can also be purchased for that additional boost whilst knowing exactly what you’re going to get. Boosters range in quality and contents with the most expensive ones offering the best yield of rare cards.
If you stick around long enough and complete some of the in-game Trophies you can unlock even more content. These include a Marketplace to purchase individual cards using Crystals (soft in-game currency), the Bank where you can earn or purchase Fee’z, the My Collection screen where you can see all of your cards, and the Clans screen that enables you to create or join a Clan for, well, clan-like activities! There are a few more minor features that add to the overall playability of the game or are just there for community purposes. There isn’t a real need to go into these in any real detail, but they’re there for you to explore.
DECKBUILDING AND STRATEGY
In Eredan iTCG you can customize the starter deck or create one from scratch. You can compete with a deck of 20-50 cards, though the standard will be around 20 cards. You really shouldn’t need more than that in a deck for it to be competitive. Not only does this improve consistency, but will also eliminate the dead weight. As you collect cards, you should be looking to edit the deck at the same time to improve its strength.
Don’t be afraid to discard cards in order to replenish your hand between rounds on an infrequent basis. This gets you to the cards you want sooner and may improve your chances of being able to chain cards together. Decking out will lead to defeat, but as long as you’re keeping an eye on the number of cards you have, you should be okay.
Exploiting the strengths of your Characters and their turn order can be crucial in securing that extra one or two damage needed to take an opposing Character out that turn. Keep that in mind when choosing who you’re facing off against too, as the following opponent may get bonuses on the inevitable turn they’re going to be played on. It’s surprising just how much strategy can be found in a game that focuses on three main cards. This game will have you thinking several turns in advance at all times.
Eredan Arena is where you can build a team of Characters originally found in the parent game Eredan iTCG and have them battle it out – Arena style! You start with some basic Characters and use these to fight against other opponents anywhere in the world in live battles. You have 5 Characters total and can only see three at a time. You pick from these three to fight the opponent’s selected Character.
The combat is where things get interesting, as it uses a dice and symbol mechanic to resolve attacks. Characters use their base attack and special abilities in order to deal or prevent damage. You roll six dice in an attempt to match the symbols required for the Character’s special abilities, or to score the basic hits. You only get two re-roll attempts, choosing which symbols to keep and which ones you want to re-roll, so it’s a mixture of tactics and press-your-luck mechanics. Attacks are compared and the winner defeats the opponent’s Character. This is a rinse and repeat process until an eventual winner is found after a “best of five” battle.
Victories earn you rewards and you will slowly accumulate new Characters by earning Fee’z and Crystals (yes, those again!). You can once again earn these for free, or buy them via in-app purchases. Luckily, the main game is free and is more open as a free-to-play game that its parent game, as I play this game a lot and have never put money into it but definitely have been able to collect stronger Characters over time.
You will find Eredan iTCG fun and enjoyable – to a point. That point being when you will have to spend hours and hours grinding just to build up enough Fee’z or Crystals to be able to afford booster packs and single cards. Clearly this isn’t enough of a negative to put people off as the game has a thriving community. The developers have kindly provided message boards for multiple languages too.
I actually much prefer the smaller, punchier, more exciting Eredan Arena for its innovative dice rolling and attack resolution mechanic. It’s a game that I return to again and again on my devices when I want a quick, fun, combat-based card game with dice rolling for extra tension and elation when you can pull off those amazing dice combos.
If you’re looking for a new browser-based TCG, then Eredan iTCG is one of the better options available. It has unique mechanics that aren’t seen in many other games and the artwork is going to appeal to a large audience. You should give it a try and see how you go.
For more Eredan iTCG screenshots, click here.
For more Eredan Arena screenshots, click here.
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