Outcast Odyssey is part casual card battle and part dungeon crawler from Magic Pixel Games and Bandai Namco, a publisher famous for games such as Pac Man and Soul Calibur (both of which have character cards featured in Outcast Odyssey).
The game gained some early traction among players when it was first soft-launched back in 2014, and received high praise from those that played it. Time to see what all the fuss was about!
Is Outcast Odyssey a worthwhile download, or should you save that precious storage space for something better? Read on to find out…
As a first foray into the casual card battle genre, you can’t go too wrong with Outcast Odyssey. The brief tutorial gives you the knowledge needed to play the game and the level of difficulty scales in proportion to your progress. However, there are some tougher side-quests in addition to the main bulk of the campaign.
Outcast Odyssey‘s campaign requires you to explore areas and uncover tiles by tapping on the screen. Most taps will reveal more terrain while some taps will reveal a chest of loot, creatures to battle, magic energy, or coins to add to your collection. Many of the creature battles are necessary to advance your exploration, but some are optional as they make no difference to your progress. The exploration mechanic itself is actually quite enjoyable, and probably my favorite thing about the game overall.
The battles are more complex than the exploration, but not by much. You have three Realms of combat: Magic, Tech, and Nature. Magic beats Tech, Tech beats Nature, and Nature beats Magic. The cards you use in combat can also be from any of these Realms and will deal additional damage to your enemy if it hits a node in which it beats the element. Each node also has numbers, which is the number of hits it can take before you reveal its weak spot. You can hit the weak spot with any of your cards for massive damage, but only once.
Many of the battles are over very quickly and as your level (and that of your cards) increases, they become even shorter, making the gameplay incredibly addictive. It is very easy to get drawn into the game and play for many hours at a time without realizing. There are no energy systems to account for, and the only thing that can slow you down is your health, which replenishes over time.
If you do fall in battle, you can use a Potion to restore all of your lost health and can continue your battles and exploration as if nothing happened. If you fall to a creature, it will retain the damage you had dealt it before you died. Sure, you may have to buy Potions in the store, but you can do so with the Coins (soft currency) and Gems (premium currency) you earn from your exploration of the maps.
Much of what Outcast Odyssey has to offer can be found in many other casual card battlers, though there aren’t that many as polished as this one. The artwork on the cards is fantastic and have a 3D movement to them when you physically tilt your device. The user interface is simple and bright with all of the game’s key modes available to you at the tap of a finger.
MODES AND FEATURES
You will want to explore Outcast Odyssey’s Campaign mode before any of the others. The Campaign is split up into different islands that you need to explore fully before moving on to the next. When you do explore an island fully, you are rewarded with a card that is well worth the effort you put into your explorations. In addition to this, your battles on each of the islands may yield more cards that you can add to your decks.
The cards in your deck are also split up into distinct groups. First you have your Hero Card, which is the leader of the deck. It will be the first card to attack and you can equip it with one Weapon Card and one Armor Card. The Weapon and Armor cards add attack and special effects to your deck that may trigger during battle. In addition to your Hero Card, you can have two Pet Cards that also attack your opponent.
The key statistic that all of these cards contribute to is your total health. The higher your health, the more battles you will be able to complete before needing to use a Potion. To have more health, you are going to need to enhance, evolve, or collect more powerful cards to add to your deck.
Enhancing cards is easy, and it’s a mechanic most should be familiar with by now. Feed lesser cards to the one you wish to enhance to improve its attack value (and in this instance, the health it provides to you). Combining two of the same card together is how you evolve them. Evolution increases the base values for that card and will often result in a new picture for the evolved card. You will want to do this with two maximum enhanced cards for the best results.
If you want some PvP action, you can take to the Arena. Here you battle it out with the Defensive Deck of another player and winning will earn Honor points in addition to climbing a few places on the leaderboard. Defensive Decks work in much the same way as your main deck, but it will be your health and effects the opponent fights against instead of the individual cards, so ensuring you are strong will guarantee you don’t lose leaderboard places quickly.
There are numerous ways to earn many of the game’s currencies and components, such as Potions. You can get these from Daily, Weekly, and Epic achievements. The easiest ways to obtain these is through your casual play, though you can check out the requirements of each if you’re after a particular reward. Social elements of the game include an Inbox, where you can receive gifts and messages, and a standard Guild feature.
Outcast Odyssey features a couple of extra play modes that can extend your enjoyment of the game. The Tower is a way to test your skills in battle against increasingly difficult opponents. Reaching particular levels of the Tower will earn a reward. Bounties are a guaranteed reward mechanic that function in the same way as the Campaign. Explore an area to find some materials and then claim your reward on completion.
The fact that Outcast Odyssey is so rich in features is a testament to just how much effort went into delivering a quality title. The addictive gameplay also helps to keep you coming back for more.
DECKBUILDING AND STRATEGY
We’ve already covered much of the deckbuilding aspects of Outcast Odyssey. You fill your deck with three fighting cards: one Hero and two Pets. You can equip your Hero with a Weapon and Armor that can deliver added effects in battle, such as the ability to negate damage or to deal more damage with a poison effect.
Your Defensive Deck is laid out in the same way. The only difference is that your cards do not interact with theirs during the battle. Instead, the screen will look the same as if they were facing off against a creature in any of the game’s other modes. Keeping the Defensive Deck strong should be a priority if you do not wish to lose leaderboard places as quickly as you earn them.
Outcast Odyssey lacks strategic depth, and this is due to the simple gameplay mechanics. Minimal effort is required to defeat opponents as you only need to remember which Realms to attack with against other Realms. If you can’t remember, the game provides a wheel showing them in the top right of each battle screen.
Your health is the only thing you need to pay close attention to throughout the course of your play time. Losing all your health while you have no Potions will require you to wait for it to replenish fully before you can battle again. However, taking a break for a short while isn’t a bad thing at all.
There is no question that Bandai Namco have delivered an excellent casual card battle game in Outcast Odyssey. As a casual card battle game, it should be forgiven for having some of the stale, old components that feature in many of the games in its genre, as they are not exclusive to Outcast Odyssey. There also exist very few ways to remove these elements from such games.
Outcast Odyssey sets you up to believe that there is a lot of depth to its gameplay early on. The truth is that it uses the same, tired click-to-win mechanics that require you to do not much more than tap on the screen while the game does the rest. It does make the gameplay very straightforward and easy to understand, once you’ve wrapped your head around the Realms, but not all that satisfying.
If you take the game for what it is, a simple, easy to learn, and hard to put down game then you will come to the same conclusion that I have – Outcast Odyssey is definitely one of the best casual card games available for the genre.
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