Sunday, June 2, 2013

Want ALL the [Digital?] TCGs!

When I think of TCG, I immediately think of Magic the Gathering. It was my introduction to TCGs, almost fifteen years ago. Since then I've been on again, off again, with my latest return about three years ago. There are also Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon, both of which are still popular today, as well as some lesser known TCGs.

But all of these are traditional physical card-based games. This past year has also seen two powerhouses tackling the digital trading card game, which is what I want to focus on in this article.

Those two games are Solforge and Hex. Both are Kickstarter projects. Both have great development teams. And both stand to break open the digital TCG genre.

Solforge is from Gary Games, the makers of Ascension, a deck building game that I also recommend taking a look at, and the legendary Richard Garfield. The Kickstarter ended last September, with a release slated later this year on PC and iOS, and a later release on Android. What's notable about it is that its cards evolve as you play them - each card has 3 levels, and as they level, they grow in power and ability. This is probably the first real foray into having cards change on the play. A demo is already publicly available for iPad, with the PC beta available to Kickstarter backers.

Hex is being made by Cryptozoic Entertainment, the company that brings you the WoW TCG. Their Kickstarter ends on Friday, so take a look if it sounds interesting. Hex is even more ambitious than Solforge, with transforming cards (similar to Solforge), card-specific equipment that changes a card's powers, and champions that have their own powers that can affect the board. Each card also tracks how it's been used, with achievements that unlock extended art and experience points that can level the card into a foil. With less than $200k to go until basically all backers receive early access to Alpha, we may be able to play this sometime this year as well.

I'm excited for both of these games, having backed both for some amount of money. Will these games be the push the digital TCG genre needs to establish itself over its mature physical older brother? Let me know your opinion in the comments! And I'll see you in game.