Storm Wars is a collectible card game set in a fantasy world of Elves, Orcs, Machines, and many other races. The game uses casual card battle mechanics that make it accessible and very easy to learn. Storm Wars is currently still in its alpha stage of development, so there will be plenty of improvements and updates to come.
Will Storm Wars be one to watch? Read on to find out…
First impressions count for a huge deal when you play a new game, though arguably less so if it is in early development stages. Storm Wars, however, was able to impress me despite being incomplete and in alpha. Visually the game is well polished with a clean and crisp user interface, beautiful card art, and excellent visual effects.
You’re introduced to the story through some brief dialogues that give you some backstory as to why you’re battling it out with the other races of the realm. Then you’ll swing straight into the battle, and no tutorial is given or required as the battle system is entirely automated.
The objective is to reduce the enemy Hero’s life points to zero with your Army. Your Army comprises of cards that have attack and health values of their own, and many will also have special effects which influence the outcome of the battle. Each card also comes with a timer value which is the number of turns that unit must wait until it deploys on the battlefield.
On each player’s turn, one card is drawn from their deck. Unit cards will wait their allotted number of turns and will then automatically deploy to the battlefield. They will then attack the opposite unit each turn or the opposing Hero if there is no card opposite, except a few cards that attack random units. This is your typical casual card battle system with no control over what happens once the battle begins, so if you’re not a fan of this style, you may not enjoy Storm Wars.
Your only chance to show off your strategic and tactical flair is through the deckbuilding process before combat. As your collection of cards grows, you can customize your deck to suit a particular theme, race, or to take advantage of specific abilities. Limiting yourself by race will earn you some sweet rewards, but the better power play is to use the most powerful and highest utility cards you have.
Storm Wars is such an easy game to play that you can almost forgive the lack of input during battles. Speed controls allow you to speed up or slow down the action at your leisure, though I don’t know why you’d ever want to slow it down. The deckbuilding process is simple and works like many others in that you only need to click cards in and out of the deck.
I did find that a lot of the battles in the campaign mode are won or lost at random. Winning or losing would all depend on whether you draw the right cards at the right time. You may need to repeat battles several times before you can win and yet not have changed a single thing about your deck. There is very little drawback to this, other than depleted energy – though I never ran out of this.
You are encouraged to replay completed mission arcs in the campaign to unlock more Heroes that can head up your deck. I strongly advise that you spend some time to do this, as your starting Hero isn’t powerful enough to take on many of the later campaign missions.
Currency acquisition is speedy, with each completed battle giving you plenty of coins (soft currency) and experience points. In some instances, you can receive special prizes such as cards, gems (premium currency), and other beneficial items. Not many casual card battlers are as fair and generous as Storm Wars, and I hope this continues into the full release.
Storm Wars has a campaign to battle through that has an unfolding story with each new battle. The map is beautifully designed and has some excellent visual and weather effects. All of the missions are selected from here, as are the options and game shop for more card packs.
Editing your Army can be done before each battle. This quick access to your deck is something that I found to be useful if I lost a battle so I could then edit my Army quickly in preparation for my retry. Your cards are separated by race and can be filtered in various ways to aid you in creating a deck that fits with your strategy.
Many different prizes can be won after each battle, and these can be found in the Treasure menu on the main options screen. The inclusion of additional prizes and challenges gives you the motivation required for extended periods of play – because everyone loves freebies and achievements!
Bounties are the PvP offering of Storm Wars. This mode plays just like a campaign battle where you’ll face off against another player’s deck which is also fully automated. You, once again, just have to hope that you get the right cards at the right time to be able to win the battle. If you have a powerful deck, you are more likely to win and collect Crowns which shows other players your ‘skill’ level.
You can test your might in the Gauntlet after you have collected 200 Crowns. In the Gauntlet you’ll face off against up to 100 opponents and Gems are awarded to the players who have acquired the most Trophies from their victories. The effort can be worth it as many of the premium packs in the card shop require Gems to purchase them.
Storm Wars looks very impressive for an alpha build. The simple casual card battle mechanics are going to appeal to those that prefer this style of gameplay. However, players looking for something highly strategic will not find it with Storm Wars. That said, as a break from games that require intense thinking, Storm Wars should fit the bill.
I encountered zero bugs in the alpha version despite being warned that there may be some, and I find this to be very encouraging. It shows that there is attention to the finer details and that the developers aren’t overly reliant on their testers to catch all the bugs.
Storm Wars should fit into the genre very well and has plenty to offer the casual gaming crowd. There is a lot of competition, but many players are tired of overpriced in-game purchases. Storm Wars’ fair pricing and decent acquisition of in-game currency will give it an edge over competitors.
For more information on Storm Wars, check out their website here.