Collectible card games can be a lot of fun. Especially if you don't have to worry about actually spending money on cards. At least that way you won't have to worry about becoming addicted to opening boosters and have to remortgage your house to pay for them. Cardpocalypse is a fusion of a CCG (collectible card game) and an RPG. Putting you in the shoes of a new student at a school completely obsessed with a card game based around a popular tv series. It's like they've captured the essence of school in the late 90s/early 2000s.
The Feelings of Nostalgia Brought on by Cardpocalypse
As you can probably tell, Cardpocalypse is gunning for nostalgia right out of the gate. Literally the opening scene pictures a child sat in front of the TV before school. If you aren't feeling all whistful at that point than you might want to check for a pulse. It only intensifies when you hit the school bus on the way to your new school and discover that everyone is obsessed with a brand new card game. Your main character, Jess, is familiar with the show, but not the card game. She is introduced to the game on the bus and then every minute in school is also spent playing the game.
There's a decent amount of plot going on, mostly about the game being banned at the school. The plot does a good job of keeping that nostalgia train rolling. In fact, combined with the art style and the main character herself it all feels just like being back in school again. Specifically, a school in the 90s judging by the clothes people are wearing and the lack of smartphones. There's also a sort of comic book overlay that makes everything seem totally geared towards taking the player back to a certain type of childhood.
How The Card Game Actually Works in Cardpocalypse
Cardpocalypse's card game will seem pretty familiar to anyone who has ever played a CCG before in their entire life. The mechanics are pretty basic, mainly revolving around a single stat and a health bar. Certain cards have special abilities but the text never gets particularly complicated or anything. In general, if you're into the idea of a nostalgic-feeling card game then you'll probably have a good time. If you're more of a veteran of the genre, then you're probably going to find yourself pretty bored before too much longer.
Luckily there is more to the game than just playing cards. The RPG elements basically have you running around the school completing quests. You can go gunning straight for the main quest if you want, but there are many side quests to distract you along the way. Often times your best way of getting new cards is to complete these side quests, which can have loads of steps before you complete them. Not that you really need the cards, to be honest. Your starting deck is generally powerful enough to carry you through most encounters if you use it right. You do also get cards from the main missions anyway, so it's easy enough to just play through without stopping.
Wrapping Up Cardpocalypse
On the whole, Cardpocalypse is a pretty polarizing game. If you're looking for a new card game to play and haven't got the friends, money or inclination to pick up a physical game then you'll probably have a good time. If you're a CCG veteran who has an extensive real-world and virtual collection, then it seems unlikely that you'll find much new or exciting about the mechanics. The art, plot, and characters are certainly very nostalgic. If you're just looking at reveling in the past a little, then you may find the card game elements interesting enough to stay the course. If you're looking for something with deeper mechanics then you'd be better off with Hearthstone or Magic Arena.
TechRaptor played Cardpocalypse on PC using a copy purchased by the player