Has anyone fooled around with the beta for this game?

It’s a card-driven strategy game, much in the same vein as the old Sid Meier version of Magic: The Gathering. It’s being developed by the same folks that did Astral Tournament, with a little help from Richard Garfield and others.

I’ve been fooling around with the campaign in the beta; you only get to play one character class. The “cards” uses resources based on the usual earth/air/fire/water plus one unique resource type depending on your character class. The AI can be pretty smart. Of course, there will also be the inevitable multiplayer & tournament play.

Downloading now.

[Edit]: The gameplay is pretty good, but I’m not really keen on the art style.

Whoa, so this is what the Astral folk have been upto…didn’t ever think Mr. Magic would step in, interesting. I love how they have completely dumped the “collecting” aspect of this card game!

My one question, what does I gain if I up the difficulty?

I loved Astral Tournament but never played Masters. Was it pretty good? Anyway, this looks interesting, but I dislike betas. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I’ll keep an eye out for it when it is finished.

SWEET!!! I too played Astral Tourney a ton, but Astral Masters was a bit too similar to suck me in. Garfield helping out can only be a positive. I am a sucker for card based games like this without the money vacuum attached.

Hmm. Interesting system. Inherits many of the good bits of Astral Tournament/Masters. (Incrementing mana per turn, monster slots, etc.) But the switch to having five pools of power, each depleted as you cast spells of that type but slowly recovering? That’s pretty cool. As is not having to draw cards. I find that the two main weaknesses of the traditional CCG are mana or the equivalent thereof, and random card draws. Both tend to introduce far too much luck into what’s essentially a strategy game. There have been a number of elegant solutions to the mana problem, but nobody’s really fixed the other until now.

Not so keen on the lack of deckbuilding. It’s actually probably better suited to my own play-style, as I have a really hard time coming up with deck designs. But it removes a lot of potential strategy. And it prevents designing elaborate combos, which are probably my favorite part of CCGs.

I’m getting impressions of the other classes from facing them in combat, but it’d sure be nice to be able to play them. Oh well. When it releases…

The beta is pretty much as polished as a demo imho. I will be buying it for sure when it comes out very nice. I wish there was a bit more deck building/ choices between stages but its certainly a good game as is.

Just had a quick crack at the demo to distract me from some work - and, yeah, good fun actually. Enough to make me want to go back later, certainly.


Also, it certainly doesn’t lack for challenge. Even on easy. I did steamroll the first few encounters of the campaign, but at this point I lose as often as I win, easy. The enemies get some really fricking nasty cards. (Which I assume you’d have access to, playing those classes. At least once you earn them.)

Also been playing this, very cool. (Also, it’s named Spectromancer :P)

(I admit, when I first saw the thread name, I thought it was some kind of Warren Spector-related game. Perhaps even a BEING Warren Spector game. That’d be quite the thing.)


The mechanics are fairly interesting. I do wish there was a deck builder, but maybe there will be for the multiplayer game. If there is, it is definitely a cool game. As is, there is some deck building if you pay attention to what you get for progression, since you can’t go back and do all the combats. Pretty limited, though.

Adding to the deck builder complaints, is there anywhere that I can see the pool of cards it draws from?

Each game seems to have a different set of cards for each “level”. Even if I can’t change it, I want to know what the possibilities are. It would also be nice to influence the possibility of getting certain cards - I want my “Wrath of God” card, dammit!!

Looks pretty good, but it’s essentially Astral Tournament plus the campaign feature. A small casual game that will be worth the money.

Anyone else having trouble with the game running correctly?

It installed for me, and runs, but inside a game (duel or campaign) it won’t show me card descriptions, and won’t let me place/summon any monsters or cast any spells. All of the UI buttons stop responding to clicks around the same time, though they still show hover animations.

Tried it out, pretty addictive in its own way. Campaign was very difficult to finish, but I like how they switched things up with special rules and circumstances for each encounter. For example, in battle with one mage in an underwater arena, he starts with a card called “Rebellious Mermen”, or something like that. Their motive is to play off two sides against each other. So, at the end of each turn the card flips to whoever has the lower health. What makes this card so important is it provides +1 water mana per turn and lowers your opponents water mana generation by 1, effectively freezing it. Hence, you have to balance loosing health and damaging the opponent to having this card on your side. Most campaign battles have similar unique set ups.

Still, I’m not liking how cards seem to be chosen at random for any given confrontations. There is a lot of strategy that can go into choosing which cards to use, and when, so it’d be nice if all the cards you had collected so far in a campaign were available.

I know all you CCG players hate the random decks, but in the Astral Tournament tradition, many of these cards are terribly overpowered in particular combinations, and if you could choose your cards the game would be mechanical and very dull – cards aren’t drawn off the deck during play, after all, so there would only be a few possible good decks, and they would beat each other every time in some simple rock-paper-scissors way.

If you like, the system is flawed for this reason. but the way they’ve set up the game, the fun is supposed to be in finding a new way to win with your suck cards, not composing the optimal phoenix/fire-priest deck or whatever it is you think is cool.

Anyhow, I don’t claim this is the best possible card game implementation – far from it, the game will get a bit old once you’ve played through all the paths – but I do think they’d have to do a complete redesign from scratch if custom decks was a feature.

This is IMO a good game for playing at work for 10 minutes if you get bored, not so great for a dedicated gaming session.

Yeah, the mechanic is very similar to the Astral games. I dig it. We’ll see if it holds up, but so far so good for me.

I get the reason that you can’t pick the exact 20 cards you have in a given match, but it would be nice to be able to construct a deck of say 40 or 60 distinct cards that the match deck is constructed from. Or else to have some other form of choice between the matches- maybe which bonus items to equip?

Well, if they are terribly over-powered then they need to be balanced, either by providing counters or by toning them down/upping their costs.

I disagree that the game would become rock/paper/scissors. There is enough complexity, given enough cards, that the distribution of possible opponents would prevent you from being sure what was going to happen. Essentially, the tournament decks would never settle down because of what you said (that I’d be able to calculate my deck’s exact path to victory over yours if I knew both lists).

Even if you wanted some randomness to the set up, having the player choose 5 cards for each column and then selecting 4 of them at game start, or every X number of turns would make more sense than completely removing any deck planning.

I think for the campaign, having the decks essentially be puzzles with a slight customization element works well, especially given that the scenarios have their own starting and ending conditions. Since that layer isn’t available to multiplayer, I think deck customization would add a lot.