There are a lot of card games out there. The space is being populated almost on a regular basis at this point. With games like Hearthstone, Magic The Gathering: Arena, Eternal, Lightseeker, and Mana Rocks, the list goes on and on. You have your pick of the litter when it comes to card games, and that’s not a bad thing. But I recently came across a new card game (I know right?) that has piqued my curiosity and the thing is, I am not sure why. The game is called Skyweaver and it is being developed (and currently in private beta) by Horizon. One interesting thing about Skyweaver is that is built on blockchain technology. So you trade your cards over a highly secure Ethereum network. I am not going to pretend to know too much about this so I highly recommend reading all about the set up. Blockchain aside, Skyweaver has definitely grabbed my attention more so than other card games. Let’s dig in.
You are a Skyweaver, and you have come to a dimension called Sky to collect cards and battle other players. While the story behind the game is not revolutionary storytelling, it oddly sets a sort of atmospheric tone for each match. The overall aesthetic is really cool and it paints a nice futuristic light around the game. While we are on this aesthetic train, the card art is top frickin’ notch. You can really tell the artists put some heart and soul into the art on each card. A cool little thing about the card art is that the unit cards sort of overflow off the card, making the cards look that much cooler. Presentation-wise, Skyweaver is definitely on the right track.
Now to the good stuff: the actual gameplay. Like any other modern game you have different card types (or prisms in this case) such as strength, wisdom, agility, etc. Each deck has different cards and play styles. You can also have dual prism decks allowing for some interesting card synergies and combos. The turn-by-turn gameplay is pretty typical for the most part. You choose your starting hand, you can lay down units and cast spells. Each card takes mana to use which increases by one each turn (some cards can alter this) and you try to whittle down the other player’s hero card from thirty-two hit points to zero. Unit cards can have keywords and also have elements attached to them. Keywords can be things like “Guard” which makes enemy units attack that certain unit instead of the hero card. You can use elements for more powerful combos with certain cards and can play a big part in deck building.
The gameplay, in my experience, is very strategic and I found myself looking for ways to combine card effects to really give the other player a hard time every turn. It’s fun in the fact that every time I drew a new card it could potentially open up tons of play options. Some of the card effects can get pretty wild and I have seen some really crazy plays. Some cards can wipe the whole board and allow you to put more cards down. Some cards can passively do a great amount of damage to the hero card directly. As the game goes on the gloves come off and cards get crazier and crazier as each player has more mana to work with. Each game for me has been fun because I see something new each time. And the team over at Horizon are constantly working on gameplay elements as the current focus of the private beta is gameplay, balance, and user experience. They are looking to tackle the in-game economy after those elements have been properly ironed out.
Now one of the coolest things about Skyweaver is that you can play it in your browser and it runs great. I can not tell you how nice it is to just click on the bookmark, click play then I am queueing up for a game. It is really awesome to just jump in that fast. You can play the game on your mobile device and actually, the way it works on your phone is pretty cool. Although I did play one match on my phone, it just wasn’t for me. For now, I’ll stick to my laptop but I could see it working on a tablet.
Overall, Skyweaver has been enjoyable. It is not revolutionizing how card games work but it is bringing something fresh to the table in terms of aesthetic and gameplay, and I am having fun with it. The devs are very active on the public Discord server and the community there is thriving. You can also sign up to get into the private beta on their official website (tell em Parallax Media sent ya). I would definitely recommend trying it out and seeing if you are ready to become a Skyweaver.