Spellsword Cards: DungeonTop
The land has been plagued by the Steel Curse which has ravaged the population throughout the Kingdom. Only the strongest survived the Curse, and now a new threat has appeared in every city in the kingdom, in the form of iron gates, where hordes of terrifying monsters seem to come up from deep below the earth. Only the strongest and most fearless heroes would dare to enter these gates and investigate the dungeons. Find the source of these outbreaks and eliminate all monsters. You are the next hero in line; welcome to Spellsword Cards: DungeonTop!
Spellsword Cards: DungeonTop is a rogue-like deckbuilding/turn-based strategy game developed and self-published by One Up Plus Entertainment and Surefire.Games on the 16th of January 2020 on Steam as an early access title.
As you launch the game for the first time, you’ll be prompted to complete a small tutorial, which is basically to show you how the combat phase works. From there you’ll be all set to create your hero and adventure into the Dungeon.
In this early access version, there are two out of three classes of heroes for selection: Warrior and Mage. Only the Warrior will be accessible to play until you manage to unlock the Mage, which will require gold to do so. The third class is the Rogue, but it is not available in the current game status. The classes have talents, which include weapons and additional skills to unlock when levelling up. After selecting your hero, you’ll be choosing the alliance (minions) or a deck of cards that you will take into the dungeon. Each of the alliances (5 in total but only 2 available in the early access version) has three decks of cards for selection, which consist of 10 cards as a combo of units and spell cards.
As you start your first run, your hero will be in a room with four dedicated paths, but three of them will be blocked by gates. Your goal is to find the two-sided portal to unlock one of the three gates and move onto the other pass. But before you get there, you’ll need to navigate your hero within the dungeon. It will have multiple rooms from where you start, and the portal. Some rooms will be empty, and some will have a question mark inside, which means that you’ll trigger a random event. You’ll see anvil icon for the blacksmith, where you can upgrade a free card on each floor (three in total) and/or buy an upgrade with gold or treasure. You’ll also see a lot of nasty monsters within other rooms and when you walk through, you can choose to either sneak past or fight the monster.
If you decide to fight, a grid from 4x4 to 10x4 will appear, and the combat mode will proceed. First you’ll receive three random cards from your deck. You’ll be able to keep them all or select one, two or all of them to redraw. Next, you’ll need to place your unit cards on a tile next to your hero and if you have an offensive spell available, you might want to strike the main enemy monster and start inflecting damage straight away. Each of your unit cards will have power points (yellow) and hit points (red) and your hero will have a weapon icon as well; you can change to a better weapon before or after a fight (if you have a better one, of course). Anyway, power points will represent how much damage the unit card will inflict to an enemy card, while the hit points represent your health and how many hits the card can take before vanishing from the grid. Your task is to eliminate the main monster to win the battle. What is interesting is that depending on which unit card you place on the board next to one of your cards, combinations will start to take effect and you might increase power and hit points. In each turn, you’ll receive three cards, some of which will have a blue number, indicating that the card cost of that card is 1 or 2 mana points. These cards are usually better, but if you decide to use one, you’ll not receive three random cards on the next turn. If the card costs you one mana, then you’ll receive two cards in the next round. The good news is that if you don’t use all the three cards you receive on that turn, you’ll have an extra mana point and therefore an additional card next turn. There are lots of cards with a variety of skills, which make each playthrough fairly unique.
After winning a battle, you’ll earn experience points to level up, as well as receiving loot in the form of upside down cards. You’ll usually have 3 minion cards and a spell or weapon cards. Occasionally, you’ll also have a treasure card which you can see automatically. For the other cards, you’ll have 2 free reveal cards each time you win a battle and must use and 3 flarestones. You can use one or all the flarestones to reveal the other cards if you wish, but bear in mind that it will take a few battles to get one back. After the chosen cards have been revealed and you are happy with them, you can add them to your deck cards.
It is a challenging game, and at the time of writing this review, I have not yet managed to get to the third floor, but I am thoroughly enjoying the game, that’s for sure.
Great artwork and the sound effects are good. I like the gamepedia library where you can see all the cards you have already found or unlocked, as well as those yet to be discovered. There is a huge amount of replayability and it will take you time to figure out the winning combinations. I must say that it can be frustrating, especially when facing a boss who has 50 hit points and takes four tiles on the grid. I was close once! A solid early access title.
Positives+ Great artwork
+ A good number of units, spells and weapon cards
+ Good variety of enemies
+ Fun to play and challenging
+ Great replay-ability
Negatives- No trading cards as yet
- Can be frustrating at times
Choose your deck cards, be a hero and dive straight into Spellsword Cards: DungeonTop. I am hooked!
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Zeepond Rating: 8/10
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