+Astonishingly well done card art
+A plethora of cards to work with while building decks
+Offers a unique take on both board games like Monopolgy and trading card games
+Solid and fast paced online gameplay
-The story can be somewhat dull due to the constant focus on amnesia
-Characters are quite easily forgettable
-Dice rolls can be harsh and quite painful to deal with during early stages of the game
It’s my typical early Tuesday morning. I have some random Twitch stream running on my screen, my 3DS in my lap, and my Samsung XE303 Chromebook beside it. Given a few of my favorite activities are going on, I’m ignoring them, and not because they are bad options. Instead, I’m not paying attention because my eyes have become glued to my New Nintendo 3DS’ screen thanks to the new boards I’ve finally unlocked on Culdcept Revolt.
It’s been nearly two hours since I started. I’ve played through a match of Paragon while working on the same board for several hours. The bad part on my behalf? I have bad luck it seems. Luckily for me as well? None of this is in my control. It’s all about the role of the dice and seeing if I can can get past my computer based opponents who seem to be outdoing my rolls rather easily. Sadly, for some, my challenge may be a turn off for a few people, causing them to look the other way, while a few others my actually jump in for the challenge.
It’s been nearly a month since I got the code to share with my David for a review. After a few struggled attempts, he gave up, and moved on. Never had I seen him wear that thin while working on a review, but this game is by no means easy. It’s a game about luck, patience, and the willingness to try, try, and try again. Unfortunately for me, that’s been my entire time with this game, willingness, patience, and reluctance.
For my David and I, this has been our first outing with Culdcept Revolt and the main characters. But here’s why this game is actually hard. If you land on an opponent’s spot, you either have to pay the toll or fight the creature that owns the spot using one of your own characters. If I win, using my cards I own, I get that very space the enemy posses. If I lose, I’m out of those cards, plus I have to pay that toll. There are also magic cards I can use to my advantage when before I roll my dice. These cards can either help me or her my opponent or opponent’s depending on how many I’m facing down.
Luckily, the scenery never gets old. With every chapter comes a new board, which features new elements to each of them. This means new warp points, new magic circles, and even new challenges that lay in wait for the player. Especially those warp challenges and magic circles. They are introduced in order to offer a new set of challenges during a players time with the campaign.
But what’s surprising about this game? For an extremely niche title, it’s one of the most enjoyable I’ve gotten my hands on, and the character I play is even more intriguing as a Cepter who can wield the power of these cards. As a first time explorer, I’ve come to find my nerves on edge, and luckily, even with my frustrations, I enjoy it. I enjoy this challenge that has been placed before me. I like knowing that it’s a game about luck, it’s a game about persistence, and remembering what cards you have to turn the game into your favor.
But we can’t discuss the game without further discussing how deep its mechanics go. After all, this game is purely about mechanics, even with its moderately thought provoking story. The games basic gist, is quite simple, so here’s it works: I choose an opponent, I challenge them in a match. The goal of the match is to see who can procure the set amount of magic and reach the gate first.
On each board are multiple creatures, one’s that have been assigned to each specific placement. Each of these creatures also come with one of the four elements placed on the board. These elements are Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. While I can place any creature I have on any space, I’ve been better off matching their elements to the spot they are on, which allows me to give creatures a bonus as I create links or buy more properties upon each of the space. Since I can upgrade them using magic power, I can make the toll for my opponent to use that spot, a bit more costlier to them than before.
But that’s only if I have a creature card, which makes it so I can buy almost any space I manage to land on based upon my roll of the dice. The downside is, if I land on an opponent’s spot? I either have to pay their toll or fight said creature with one of my own. If I choose to combat my opponents creature, I can equip my own with a weapon, but in retaliation, my opponent can choose to give theirs a shield or armor. Just as I stated earlier, if I win, I take that space. If I lose, I end up paying dearly for my endeavor, which means I still have to pay the toll, AND I lose my card(s).
But what’s worse? The game isn’t even as simple as it sounds. It’s not a game that;s just going to hand you a victory with ease. Instead, it will punish you, just as a game of monopoly would, if you had creatures protecting it, and could lose them. In order to offset that, the game does give you a chance to earn more card packs with your winnings from each match. This way you can create new books (decks), try them out, and see just how well they work for you across each of the games boards.
Due to the plethora of cards available, you may find you cutting your teeth on your fingernails, or yanking out your hair. Trust me, the deck building is actually quite fun, and actually exciting once you see your deck in action. I, myself, found it to be quite enjoyable, and rewarding when my pairings lined up to serve their purpose.
Right now, I have somewhere around 4 decks built and a fifth in the works. Of course, my decks don’t compliment one another. Each deck functions differently depending on my luck of the dice. This is why I’m building a fifth deck, one that won’t hurt if I have bad rolls of the dice, and see the game turning in favor of my computerized opponent. I’ve even had bad enough luck where my opponents ruled all the most important parts of the board. This giving them control over the entire match and the gate itself. Think I won that match? Nope. But it allowed me to see the weak points in my deck, losing a minimal amount of cards, and seeing how I could have better counteracted my opponent.
But that’s what I love about Culdcept Revolt. I’m still playing it, even though my review is completed and headed out the door. I’m enjoying this cozy little title that features a standard six-sided dice. One where the “6” is painted to match the Culdcept game’s logo. I’ve managed only a few times times to roll a perfect 12 and skip my opponents over. But the interesting part? I’ve rolled a five before. The follow up pairing? A six. Guess what? I only moved five.
A good healthy amount of my rolls have been like this; moving three-to-four spaces at a time, sometimes five or six if I’m lucky. Not that I’m complaining. It gives me a chance to try and take advantage of the board so that I may set up a containment area against my opponent by buying up properties. That’s – of course – if I’m not trying to just pass through enemy territory and lose my cards or land on their creatures. While this does feel cheaply made, it is actually quite the opposite. The game is intuitive in its design.
Mostly due to the AI who helps make up for the simplistic design on the surface. While the game does sound tough, it’s really not, which is why I keep coming back. I rarely see the AI having a huge advantage over me, if an advantage at all, and that’s simply since I rarely see them take up the board as they would need to in order to run me over. They even rarely are able to take over the entirety of the board, maxing out the levels of the spaces they may own, and forcing me to pay the maximum tolls.
Sadly, I did learn quickly that I can’t play this like my standard game of Monopoly. I lost too many times because of it. I have a lot of tools to help me win, but even now I’m still learning how to utilize them properly. I’ve recently learned I can mow straight through each of my opponents by using my creatures to take theirs, make theirs my own, and lock down a spot on the board. I’ve even learned that some of my accessories to victory – creatures that is – can help me take over enemy spaces clear across the board, and even make victory more feasible. Don’t get me wrong, I still get bent over, and tossed overboard sometimes.
But this also proves that you will need to prepare your deck build with a solid strategy in mind. It also means you will need a bit of luck. The dice aren’t always on your side and don’t expect them to ever be. Seriously, don’t. Unless you have better luck than I do. Unfortunately, I found myself addicted to this little board game, enough so that I found the story-based cutscenes forgettable, shallow, and sometimes truly dull. Long story short, Count Kraniss of the city is trying to kill every Cepter just like yourself.
To help bring this to life, the character (your character) has amnesia. Sadly, this is where the writing truly falls apart. Even for someone such as myself who likes cringe worthy plots, I was cringing my way through each of the cutscenes that were filled with a single question: “Did you get your memories back yet?”
Again, chapter-after-chapter, these lines came forth. The most annoying lines I would ever come to know. Lines that would begin to drive me mad every time they flashed across my scream in the subtitles. It eventually got to the point that I wanted to knock the NPCs out and duck tape their mouths shut. Sadly, even after my twenty-three hours with the game, I’m ready to start over, and re-approach the game from another angle. Building decks to how I see fit and working my way through them with ease.
Putting the games flawed writing to the side, I can opt to play in single matches, ones where I can take on opponents from the campaign if I so wished. I even took some time to play a bit of online multiplayer, but opted out of local since I know not one person with the game. But the online actually works quite well. I was able to play with a couple of other players on the game. Unlike the story mode, the matches are actually a bit more difficult, and pose a bit more challenge than previously. expected.
Culdcept Revolt – Nintendo 3DS
Developer: Omiya Soft
Publisher: NIS America
Release Date: Now Available
This is nice, to be honest, having a challenge I wasn’t ready for. But it works well enough, well enough I’ve decided to take on a few other matches and show down against those that opposed me. Unfortunately, I’ve only come close to victory, being that my opponents were able to one-up me when I least expected it. The matches are even faster paced than one would expect, causing players to stay on their toes, and at the edges of their seats. That’s what does make this inventive and – at times – archaic game quite delightful, but also agonizingly painful.
Due to just how niche the game is, don’t be surprised if few people play it, and even fewer meet you online to enjoy it. Culdcept Revolt is an acquired taste, one that took me numerous games to come to enjoy and overall find the overall appeal of. To be honest, I can’t tell you if it’s a game that you must absolutely give a whirl, or if you actually will find as enjoyable as I do. To be honest, I’ve come to enjoy it more than expected and plan on taking it on the go with me.
Our review is based upon a retail version that was provided to us by the games publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 7 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.