Many of us spent our younger years playing Dungeons and Dragons, and various table top games in our parent's homes, and enjoying the work that comes with building a great set of characters to play with. You pick your strategies, classes, and abilities, hoping you can take down anything that gets in your way. Card Hunter, a free (and we really mean free if you want) game by Blue Manchu, distills this experience into a free-to-play online game that you can play anywhere you have a computer and internet! Pick your three heroes, and level them up as you clear out dungeons, caverns, and towns, collecting new cards and items as you go. If you're a fan of dungeon adventures, this is a browser-based game that everyone should at least try...it's well worth your time! Without further delay, Tech Raptor's Card Hunter Review!
The gameplay is a mix of Dungeons and Dragons styled "story" played with you being person playing the tabletop game, instead of the usual playing as a character in the game. The game perfectly captures the look and feel of a tabletop game, and thrusts you right into the action, as you pick your three adventurers, a choice of a warrior, mage, and priest - choosing from three (Dwarf, Elf, Human) races as well, with each having their own bonuses. As you proceed through the game, you are even able to swap out characters, playing with more than one class at a time if you wish!
The game is turned-based card gameplay with some dice rolls mixed in. Each class has specific abilities/items they can equip, and they have cards assigned to them, granting the adventurer abilities. This is different from most card games, as the player is equipping items instead of choosing individual cards, giving the game an action role-playing feel to it! You are collecting equipment to collect cards and augment your deck, instead of focusing on cards!
Each player draws cards at the beginning of each round (Always one move card mixed in with other abilities), and can only have two cards left in your hand at the end of a round or you must discard. Each player takes a turn, and you are able to use the same adventurer a few times in a row if you have available cards. The goal is to either defeat all enemies, or in certain scenarios, hold certain parts of the map to gain points. Once you get all of the points, you win the scenario and get to collect your loot and move on! Most "Adventures" have at least two scenarios within them.
Personally, I've been playing the game for at least 10 hours, and have unlocked about 12 or so dungeons/adventures. Every few adventures you complete unlocks even more to be explored and conquered. The beauty of the game is that it truly is free if you want it to be, unlock most free-to-play games requiring you to purchase content to keep going. The game even gives you free game currency as you go! Mmm, Pizza! With shops, and tons of content, the single player campaign is full of awesome adventures, scenarios, items, and enemies. Your adventures reset every day, allowing you to come back and re-tackle your most challenging fights again!
If you can't seem to beat a particular adventure, or just want a change of pace, you should make your way over to the multiplayer! The same idea and feel of the campaign, multiplayer gives you the opportunity to test your Card Hunting skills against live players! Pit your three adventurers against other people's using upgraded equipment, or choose the default starter multiplayer team to take them on! Either way, the game is scaled so that players are both the same level! This is a great way to get better loot and equipment to tackle the challenges of single player, as well!
Yes, there is some monetization but they have bills to pay! It's a massive game with a ton of free content, and you can pay for extras like costumes, if you want! The beauty of Card Hunter is that the devs don't want Card Hunter to be broken by monetization, but hey, hear it from them:
Some free to play games are designed that way, but our model is that we want to provide you a great free experience with the option of purchasing stuff if you like the game and want to enhance your experience. We are striving hard to make sure the game isn’t “pay to win”. With the exception of the Treasure Hunts and the costumes, you can access everything else in the game for free. - Card Hunter FAQ
Art and Music
The art and music are perfect for this game. You play each scenario on a game board, with your adventurers represented as miniature cutouts with the enemies also represented in the same way. As you start adventures and proceed through them, you are presented with the "story" of the scenario as well as commentary from your girl-shy GM Gary and his older and wiser brother Melvin. The animations are simple and effective, with the game board being laid out on a grid, allowing to show what can or can't be done with each ability. The music is great ambiance music, with crackling thunder and slicing sounds accompanying your usage of abilities. Melvin and Gary aren't voiced, but make sounds as you win, lose, or Gary gets scared of the pizza girl. High School, am I right? #NerdsUnite
I usually shy away from free-to-play browser-based games. Not because they aren't good, but because they are so focused on making money, that monetization breaks the game. Card Hunter does an incredible job of bringing a card-based role-playing game and putting some monetization in that really only needs to be paid for if you want to do more than what the base game gives you. If you like strategizing, collecting, and role-playing, Card Hunter is the free game that will occupy your time for a long, long, while!
If you like strategizing, collecting, and role-playing, Card Hunter is the free game that will occupy your time for a long, long, while!