Apr 10, 2013

[Games] Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer


Back in the day, I used to play a lot of Magic: the Gathering. It remains to be a very well thought-out game which allows for a lot of different strategies and thus a heck of a lot of fun. But over time I found the game a lot less fun since they kept releasing more and more cards and thus the game become more about how much money you had instead of just how well you played or something. That was just crazy.

I came across this game on Tobie's iPad, since I continue to exist outside of the iOS universe. More than just a card game, Ascension is actually a deck-building game where players use the cards at hand to create a deck as the game goes along. This may sound a little strange but it does make for a lot of fun. And annoyingly enough, the makers of the original card game only have an iOS adaptation available at this time so Android users like myself are unable to play the game.


Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer is available as a free download as a Lite version or for about $4.99 if I'm not mistaken over on the iTunes store. Regardless, the free version alone is a lot of fun to play, and looks great on a tablet. Other folks online have mentioned that it still plays decently on an iPhone though.

The prince of the game is simple enough - each player starts with a fixed set of 10 cards. As the game begins, each player takes turns laying out the cards in their hand (you get 5 at a time) and trying to acquire more cards to add to your deck from the common areas and adding them to your discard pile. When you run out of cards to draw, your discard pile is reshuffled back into your library and you continue to draw as normal. Thus over time, you end up with more and more cards.


So what are all these cards for? Well, ultimately you want to gain victory points from a fixed pool that is based on the number of players. Once there are no more victory points to claim, the game soon ends and then scores are tallied based on the points you scored during the game and the total value of your cards.

While I have never played the physical version of this game, I definitely feel that this app version looks to be a very effective adaptation of that original concept. The game factors in all the little quirks of the different cards and their special effects that can interact with other cards in rather surprising ways.

The cards appear to have factions as designated by their colors, but long-term Magic players don't have to worry about needing the right type of mana to play cards or whatever. The colors are really just there to help you distinguish the card factions from one another.



The card art is a bit of a mixed bag with some pretty interesting pieces while others seem not quite as polished as they could be. And while you might argue that Magic cards didn't all look that amazing at first, I'll still contest that they looked better than this.

The game is a lot of fun to play and it requires a different variety of strategic thinking in order for you to advance your cause. I've only played against the computer AI so far and that alone presents a rather formidable challenge. there's also the option for online play but the robustness of their platform isn't quite there yet and finding matching players is a little tricky at times.

The game does eventually tempt you to purchase more cards in order to expand your gameplay, but at this point we have not fallen into that trap. The computer AI alone is rather infuriating especially once you get into 3 and 4 player games. Then the cards fly a lot faster than you'd like and the resulting diversity of card draws gets rather annoying. But that's part of the core design of the game and not necessarily a problem with the app.

Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer is a great little app and clearly a well thought-out adaptation of an original card game idea. I strong recommend it for players who like card games especially those who came from a Magic: the Gathering background like myself. Thus this iOS app rates 4 screaming Cultists out of a possible 5.

1 comment:

Matthew Gill said...

Ever give Shadow Era for android a try? It's not bad and reminds me of how Magic used to be!

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