MSRP: $7.99 (free demo available)
Platforms: PC, Mac, Wii U
Lucadian Chronicles is a puzzle game with strategy elements masquerading as a collectible card game. If you are looking for another Magic: The Gathering clone, this isn’t it. There are currently so many CCGs out there, I’m glad to see that this one is doing something a little bit different.
The early campaign (available in the demo version) is an extended tutorial. You start with three cards, and are taught how to build your team. The first surprise comes in the first combat – you do not control your cards. You can not decide who attacks and who blocks. Abilities – when charged – are used automatically; they cannot be held for an optimal moment.
So then, the entire strategy of this game is in the team creation. You have a limited number of points to spend building your team, and different cards have different point costs. You can assign cards with ranged abilities to the back, protecting them from attacks. Cards come in different colors, and only compatible colors are allowed to be next to one another.
One should note that this is also not a collectible card game in the sense that you must spend a lot of money in game to be anywhere near competitive. There are no microtransactions – cards are unlocked only through game play. Successfully completing battles will reward in game currency, which can be used to buy more cards, and sometimes grant cards for a victory.
In addition to the single player campaign, Lucadian Chronicles has a multiplayer league mode, as well as a multiplayer draft mode. Unfortunately, even the single player campaign requires an active internet connection at all times.
The free demo is generous enough that you should be able to determine if you feel the game is worth $8. There is certainly enough content to warrant the cost, however, the unique style of game play might frustrate traditional CCG players, and may be confusing to puzzle gamers. It’s a strange hybrid that doesn’t feel like what it is.