Updated Thu, Feb 06, 2014 by Lee B.
It’s seems like digital Trading Card Games are coming to the market in force this year and one in particular has caught my eyes: Infinity Wars. Will we see this new game, created by Lightmare Studios, become a strong contender for the digital throne?
Infinity Wars is a digital Trading Card Game (dTCG) that is hitting the ground running and is making itself know to those who are paying close attention to the dTCG market, which is impressive considering the game has only been in its current Beta state since early September. The game is even slated to be released onto Steam within these next few months which will be a first for the Australian-based company Lightmare Studios. Finally they even have dates semi set for a new expansion release called Infestation which will add an impressive 100 cards to the 220 card pool they already have.
I like Trading Card Games. I was that nerd in High school who played Magic: The Gathering during lunch, I went to Friday Night Magic for three years after High school, and I even participated in the Naruto Trading Card Game Tournament circuit for a year. When I saw dTCGs starting to become popular I totally got behind it and I’ve played the full cast that’s been out so far. The reason I say this is so that you know when I say “I have fallen in love with Infinity Wars” you can grasp the full weight of that statement.
There is much to be said for the card mechanics, but all the dTCGs on the market have some interesting mechanic or another in their cards. What stuck out for me was the mechanics of the game beyond the cards. The core rules behind building a deck are something I’ve not encountered before and partially take away that dreadful feeling of being entirely screwed over by the luck of the draw. Drafting is likewise satisfying in the way it offers you to build a deck, but also how they offer you the ability to purchase that deck at the end of the run just in the case it might have a few cards you need or some premium, foil cards you just absolutely need to have. The playing field itself absolutely shines in how it fluidly handles character placement and actively is involved with the strategies of the game rather than just being a place mat; and they already have work in progress to improve the visual appeal of the field, too.
I’m not going to say the game is without flaws, however. Some glaring issues like the field crashing due to some bug, or the fact that all the information on the game is spread out almost three different sources, can be chalked up to the game being in a beta state. However, in the deck building interface I wish could adjust the individual windows so that the card library is large enough that I don’t need a preview screen to the left. I find myself wishing I could see what cards I have aren’t account bound by clicking an option that hides all of the account bound cards. Minor inconveniences but after clicking through each of my individual card sets to find I didn’t have a single card that wasn’t account bound made me kind of frustrated.
When you do master the mechanics the game gives you a massive amount of rewards that are meant to encourage you to participate further. Playing your favorite faction actively rewards you with faction-related rewards and the occasional account reward for your dedication. Excelling in draft cuts down the price of the deck you made so that you can add a nice collection of cards to your library if you’re so inclined. Weekly quests tend to reward you for simply playing out a normal game in most cases (the exception here being where I heard that one quest involved losing to a bot that literally does not play a single card). Even losing grants you some in-game currency and experience as if the game is saying “You tried champ. Don’t give up”. Compared to other dTCGs I’ve played this is absolutely fantastic and doesn’t necessarily feel like you’re slamming your head over and over again against a wall just to see some progress.
I can’t pass up this opportunity to talk about these cards, mind you. When I first encountered Infinity Wars I noted some pretty amazing still images, however getting in the game I have found that every single card is animated in some form or another for an absolutely enjoyable experience. Not all the cards are super exciting with grandiose movements or actions, but each one is seriously packed with detail. I found it quite surprising when Teremus, the Community Manager for Infinity Wars, told me that the reason such a thing wasn't plastered all over the place as a selling point because he felt that would be an awful gimmick, and he’s absolutely right. Players who initially experience the game through fresh eyes will be completely blown away with that simple feature, but that isn't the feature that is going to keep you in the game.
Teremus mentioned to me that these animations are ten months old and there are plans in place to completely rework the older sets of cards to bring them to the standard that Infinity Wars has set for itself. Even the playing field is in the works of getting a revamp to be more visually appealing. These guys are staying on top of their game, and it's setting a huge bar for their competitors.
I do highly recommend this game if you’re looking for a new dTCG that will test your abilities, offers a rather extensive metagame, and is growing literally as you play it. In fact now is the time to pick up the game and get accustomed to it as Infestation is just around the corner so you can start pre-ordering cards and getting familiar with all the mechanics. Getting caught in Infestation with no prior experience just means you will be learning 320 cards and the meta associated with them, and all of the mechanics on top of that.
If you want to see the game in action before trying it out I highly recommend you go to twitch.tv/novablue353 or twitch.tv/chesspieceface. They will certainly give you a full run down of the game and absolutely introduce you to the game's deeper mechanics as well as keep you in the loop with all things Infinity Wars. The official forums at www.lightmare.com.au/forum/ also being an excellent place to get any questions answered.
After that head on over to www.infinitywarsgame.com with the activation code 338ED to get yourself set up and in game!