SolForge is a digital card game (DCG) in the works by Gary Games, the development team behind the recently successful deck building card game Acension: Chronicle of the Godslayer. At the moment, Gary Games is looking to crowd fund SolForge and to develop it with the help of Richard Garfield, the father of the Trading Card Game genre and the creator of Magic: the Gathering. If they succeed, this game just might revolutionize the way we look at iOS games.
Whether Apple meant to or not, their industry disruptive iOS devices changed the entire market. The perceived value for certain genres plummeted while other genres got an unexpected resurrection. Puzzle games are definitely a genre that’s a hard sell for the average consumer and it’s unconceivable for publishers to sell them for the standard retail price of $59.99 or even $39.99. Planet Puzzle League for DS was one of the last Puzzle games to retail for normal MSRP and still receive a positive reception. That was released in 2007. Now-a-days it’s fairly common for the iOS marketplace to have an assortment of puzzle games for .99 cents to $4.99.
While Puzzle games must sell more volume to maintain the same level of success, Shoot’em Ups have simply received another source of revenue through the iOS and Android marketplace. Before the success and popularity of the Xbox Live Market place, Shoot’em ups were in a strange place. Few made it over stateside with a positive impression. Einhander, R-Type Final, and Ikaruga are the only ones to come to mind.
With all of that being said, certain genres have flooded to iOS devices simply because ‘it makes sense.’ The down fall of this is that the App Marketplace has become filled with games that ‘core players’ consider ‘casual,’ or simply lacking depth.
SolForge on the other hand is promising a League of Legends type of experience on your handheld devices. SolForge is being crafted with the competitive scene in mind. Traditional tournaments, draft tournaments and sealed deck formats have already been promised. Like traditional trading card games, SolForge players can purchase booster packs, starter decks and can alter their game decks in any way they please to find the most effect strategies.
Also like League of Legends, the game promises to be free-to-play. While it’s safe to guess that micro-transactions will be involved to allow players to spend real cash on cards, they have promised that earning in game currency for said cards will be achievable ‘reasonably’ just by playing the game. With regular updates and balance patches this could become a game that the theoretical ‘core gamer’ keeps on their radar and plays regularly on their iOS device.
While the majority of the game is under wraps, we can gather some information from the Kickstarter and screen shots from the game in development on how the game is played. Players alternate turns and draw 5 cards when their turn comes up. They play 2 of them and discard the rest. Every 4 turns their discard pile and their library get shuffled into one another.
Players have a 2×5 field in front of them consisting of 5 ‘lanes,’ each lane can hold two creatures. Creature can likely attack creatures in opposing lane, and like Magic: The Gathering, if a player does not have creatures in the targeted lane, then the player themselves take the hit. The objective of the game being to reduce your opponent’s health to zero. Specifics of deck size and player’s life have yet to be revealed, but Justin Gary, founder of Gary Games, promises the game will be easy to play, but difficult to master.
If you are a fan of traditional table top games or collectible card games I’d recommend pledging on this Kickstarter. As of this writing the game needs another $150,000 in 25 days and $350,000 to reach their Android device stretch goal. For now, I’d expect this game to get released one way or another and when it does, expect it to change the way we look at our iOS devices.
Currently at: $108,123 out of $250,000
Promised Platforms: iPhone, iPad and potentially Android Devices
Beta Pledge Amount: $5
Want more information: SolForge
Expiration Date: September 10th
About Carlos Reyes:
When Carlos isn’t busy being Operations Manager to a small business, Carlos is sitting awkwardly in a social gathering or playing video games. He lives in game design purgatory as he works from time to time on his strategy based card game trying to figure out what will make it ‘work.’ He also digs the use of the word ‘dig’ and can be found 50% of the time with a rum and coke. See more of his work at TapTapStart.com.