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Thanks to the internet and the free to play gaming model, some game developers have put it upon themselves to develop many of their own trading card games in a digital format. This is where Card Monsters come in and its a very accessible and fun to play online trading card video game. So if you dont have much disposable income to spend on expensive trading cards, Card Monsters is here to help you out.
The game starts off by making you select one of the five cards that are presented in front of you. They are five monsters that you can choose to play as that specializes in melee style of attacks. I chose to be the Tridentite because it not only had more health than the other cards, but it looked like a goblin from any of the Lord of the Rings films.
At first glance, Card Monsters setup looks a lot less complicated when compared with other card games. This is because you only have three slots where you can place your monster cards onto as opposed to six or more with other trading card video games. To make things even more interesting is that the middle slot is usually reserved for melee attack monsters, while the rear left and right positions should be left open for monster cards with magic or long ranged weapons.
You will also have to take note of the power crystal located at the bottom right hand corner of your screen. This is because each card you place on the grid uses up power from the crystals and some cards take up more energy than others. If you run out of crystals, it will become the enemys turn. Later on in the game though, you can sacrifice your cards and turn them into crystals to allow you to place more cards in one turn. You have to be careful about using this method too much or else you might run out of card to play with!
Aside from the various monster cards you can play around with, there are also weapons, armor and items cards that you can use in battle that will help you out in some sort of fashion. Some of the items you can use during battle include health potions, weapons that increase your attack power and armor that protects you from enemy attacks. You have to make sure which weapon is best to equip for a specific monster though as some monsters specialize in long ranged weapons as opposed to short ranged ones.
Another thing you have to take note in this game is that some enemies are immune to specific attacks. For the longest time I wasnt sure why this specific monster didnt get damaged from my attacks. I then realized that only magic attacks are effective against him so I had to reposition my cards on the grid to accommodate this.
You have up to 12 cards you can use in your deck at one time, although four cards are visible during each turn. Once you place one or more cards onto the grid, the cards will get replaced until you have used all of the 12 cards you have in your deck. The game usually ends once you have killed all of the monster cards from the opposing team, or if they manage to kill all of your monster cards.
The single player mode in this game is accessible and very fast paced. I remember breezing through the first few chapters in the game fairly easily. That is until I advanced a little further and the difficulty level suddenly increased tenfold. No matter how hard I tried, there was a specific moment in the game where I was stuck for ages because I was using all of the wrong strategies. I managed to get past it in the end, although dont say I didnt warn you that this game does get quite difficult to play the further you progress! If you do get sick of the single player campaign, you can always visit the duel tab and play against real-life players instead.
Thankfully, to make your job a little easier is that you can purchase new cards and improve your deck by using the in-game currency. You can even sell some cards you already have in your deck in order to have more money to purchase more useful cards you may want in the future. Its a pretty decent set up and its save people from using their own real money to purchase cards like you often have to do with most other trading card video games.
One thing I did not like about the game is that you cannot command your monsters to attack a specific enemy. They usually just attack and try to kill the card that is standing in front of them or the card/monster that has the most health. This was annoying because there was one monster I wanted to target that kept healing his teammates, yet my monsters kept attacking another monster instead.
Another thing I did not like about the game is the fact that you can only place three cards onto the playing field at one time. I understand this game is aiming for simplicity, although it would have made the game easier if you were able to place more monsters onto the field.
Graphically, Card Monsters bright colored decks and overall card design is commendable. The monsters look like something you may see from an RPG video game and the cartoonish look of the game really shines as well. The only downside to the games visuals is that the monsters dont come to life as you would see in the Yu Gi Oh cartoon. The music is great to listen to as well and adds drama and intensity to the battles when you are playing.
Trading card game veterans may not like Card Monsters due to its simplistic approach to the genre. They are likely to find battles too easy and may not like the child-like design of the entire game as a whole. If you are a casual gamer, Card Monsters is easily the most accessible card game I have ever played online. Sure the learning curve gets steep, although its more tolerable than in other games Ive played. Overall, this game is fun to play if you are seeking short and fun card matches to play.
Card Monsters Gameplay