I’ve been a huge fan of single player card games since SNK vs Capcom: Cardfighter’s Clash on the Neo Geo Pocket. It is a great way to have some fun when you don’t have any friends around to play a game of Magic with you. Ludosity is working off this idea with their new title Card City Nights for Android, PC and iOS devices.
Read on to see if those designers over at Ludosity crafted the next great card game.
Card City Nights works off a 9 grid system similar in concept to Triple Triad from Final Fantasy VIII. Instead of having just one board to work off of however, there are two dueling boards with decks of up to 40 cards. Each player is set up with 7 defense points and you have to duel to either reduce the player’s life to zero, or make it so they have no space left on their board to attack. You do this by chaining cards together and attacking points or disabling cards. What it all boils down to is setting up either a passive or aggressive strategy in your decks.
The way you attack is by pairing 3 cards together. Each card has a number of corresponding arrows to match the 4 corners and 4 sides of the card. Building your deck evenly so that cards match up is important. Once 3 cards are paired together they are removed from the board and you can then activate them using their inherent attack, defense or restorative properties.
Sadly, Card City Nights isn’t all that complex since all you are really trying to do is connect three similar cards together. After the first match, I was very aware of how to use the system and what I was doing wrong when I lost. Managing your deck appropriately means you will get fewer bad hands and understanding defense and placement is all that is really required.
The game’s basic strategy makes most games fairly quick. Bosses might be a bit more of a bear to take down as they are best of 3 scenarios, but usually you can finish most matches in a few minutes. This means there has to be a bit of an exploration mode set up to go alongside this.
Unfortunately, this is where it gets pretty light for Card City Nights. The engine used here is a customized adventure game engine. Mostly though, you’ll either be talking to a person in an area or clicking around to find a scattering of coins in the background, and that’s about it. While the character models all have some personality to them, the writing doesn’t lend anything more than getting you to your goal of collecting the 8 legendary cards.
Card battles also have little consequence. You don’t lose anything for a loss, and winning can net you a booster pack full of 5 cards or a bit of money. You can spend the money on more cards or a new board, but at the end of the day, that’s about it. There is no trading to find something illustrious, nor is there any real personality behind the cards themselves so every battle or opponent starts to just blend together.
Inherently, this is where the game begins to fall apart. It’s system is simple so that their isn’t anything to really make the game pop. You could build some high risk decks, but when the strategy comes down to manipulating 4 options, you quickly realize the game just never had that big chance to go somewhere. You can either attack your opponents hand, their cards, defend or restore your cards. If you play your cards right (literally), you’ll have a hand presented to you almost at every turn and that takes a lot of the strategy out.
Card City Nights should be commended on trying to do something a bit different with the card battle formula. They crafted a unique game that works surprisingly well. Unfortunately it doesn’t ever get to a point that it will do anything to really hook you. As a mini-game to go alongside your favorite Ludosity title, it works nicely as a means of providing a bit of fan service.
For anybody looking for a complex card game however, Card City Nights just didn’t quite deliver.
[+Great Art Style] [+Solid System] [+Lots of Ludosity Characters] [+Cheap] [-Lack of Depth]