【Forgotten Myths】 First Impression Review

It’s been a while since I posted about this game.  Couple reason for this.  One I really did not have much time to try this out.  Two I gave up on this game couple times (reason to follow), yet came back as I thought this game needed some fair review.

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12 points analysis

for some reason, I am now getting emails from developers to review their games (not that often but occasionally).  So I foresee myself continue reviewing more dTCG in the future.  As much as I don’t believe in the single score based review, it does provide easy comparison for some.  So I have developed my own way of scoring the dTCG.  If you find intrigued by any of the game, please read actual text and more importantly, try your own.

Multiplatform

If your device is not included here, there is no reason to even read on.  So it is important what platform the game supports.  Fortunately this game supports pretty much all the major formats. PC, MAC, iPAD, and Android.

Score: A

User Interface

In digital game, it is easy to make the gaming experience unplayable with UI, navigation and of course game’s its own stability.

Those of you who are following my blog should know about HEX well at this point.  But this game also uses the rotating panoramic interface as the home screen.  I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed this interface.

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Good news here is Development Team believes this as part of what make Forgotten Myth sets apart from others.  This means they are planning to put more effort in this aspect.

Q. What do you think make your game unique or appealing to the future potential players?
TCGs are mostly gateways to other worlds, there is a fantasy world out there, and players engage with that world only through the cards they play with. Most TCGs therefore do not offer a real world that the players can interact with. We are trying to become the first TCG to offer a complete fantasy world, with living cities, characters (NPCs) and environments. (Cryptozoic is also doing an extremely good job on this front with Hex. 🙂 This is of course an ongoing process and it is our ultimate ambition. The only way to get there is to establish a solid community and develop things step by step. Doma City (3D scene in our game) was the first step towards this goal, and we will be adding more and more as we go along. This I think is the biggest difference and the unique aspect of Forgotten Myths.

Click navigation of world map is nothing special but well built.

Not so tablet oriented control.

I gave up on this game couple times before actually able to play real games.  The main issue here was control during actual duel.  My primary device for testing this game was Nexus 7 2013 model.  Either the device or the game itself not sure, but clicking buttons are somewhat insensitive.  I often have to click several times before it recognizes that I clicked.  Add to the problem is in order to even look at a card, I have click to select a card, then click right corner button “Examine” to have to it zoomed.  This type of action would be much easier to control if it was double click, or perhaps one click and pinch and zoom etc.

To play a card, I can click the card then if it was creature/soldier card, I can then click an open slot.  If it was Energy card, I can click on the energy slot.  Shadow Era used had similar control, but later they added drag and drop to play.  I enjoyed the newer control much better.

This may sound a nit picky and indeed may be but it is easy to get frustrated, and even give up on a game when navigation/control is not easy particularly when you don’t know if the game is worth your time or not.

Stability

As far as the game’s stability, it have crushed several times when pausing and coming back into the game, but never had issue (so far) while actually playing the game.

Score: B

Graphics/Visual

Art is one of the critical component of the trading or collectible card game.  Poor art form does not even catch initial attention.

For this game, the art of the game is pretty good.  I won’t say the best I have ever seen but it may well be the difference in personal preference/opinion. These do not look like cheap art that were drawn by elementary kids. I would say this is on par with many other professionally built dTCG out there at the least.

Score: B

Ease of learning/Tutorial

Tutorial in this game is succinct, but the game itself is not complex by any means for anyone who had played TCG in the past.  So I believe the learning curve is very similar to any other purely turn based (PTB) TCG, and far easier than typical more complex dynamic interaction play (DIP) TCG like Magic the Gathering.

Having said this, there are some small points of the game that differ from other TCGs, and despite story mode being there it missed the oppoturnity for potential use of those to introduce step by step game mechanics.  So anyone who is playing TCG for the first time may still have a slight learning curve as with other TCG.

Score: B

Depth of Strategy

For hardcore gamer, I believe this is the most important part.  The game incorporates some interesting mechanics.  Generally, speaking this is simplified Magic style dTCG.  Let’s take a look at building pieces of the game.

1. Resource System

Just as in Magic or HEX, this game will have dedicated resource card, called Energy card.  Whenever you have more card type, you have a potential to expand the game with that e.g. special effect possessing energy card can be a theme of new expansion.

Those who don’t like dedicated card based resource system (CBRS) implementation for resource, they typically states “mana screw” i.e. not being able to draw resource card when needed or too many resource card in hand without playable card as the main argument.

In this game, the developers seem to eliminate this issue by two methods.

5 cards hand

This is interesting approach.  Your hand size at the beginning of the turn is always at least 5.  So if you use many cards during your previous turn, you will draw multiple cards to make it up to 5.  As long as you make statistically reasonable deck, this system will eliminate mana screw.

The potential downside though may perhaps be the challenge or power of drawing extra card is no longer present in the game.  However, there is still a potential such as card that allows you to replenish hand back to 6 instead of 5 each turn may still be a strong advantage and people may able to enjoy the strategy.

Single energy type

You don’t have to worry about multicolor issue with this game.  There is only single energy type.  There are cards that give only 1 energy vs. 2 or 3, but energy is a energy.  There is no specific type i.e like red energy vs. blue energy.

These must sound good as they will certainly eliminate the mana screw including color screw.

However, current energy cards are somewhat disappointing in my opinion.  There are three +1, +2 and +3.  +3 can only be included 2 copies per deck so its like special energy card.  +2 has no restriction so what happens here is basically as you collect more +2 energy card, you will replace it for +1 since there is no penalty.  This will make the game much faster paced, but it introduced a concept I really don’t like, which is “complete inferiority of a card.”  Basically, +1 energy has no place.  Personally this is a bad model because unless you are beginner, once you got enough +2 energy, you just won’t ever need +1.

Better implementation in my opinion had been +2 give some penalty over +1 such as you lose your health when use it, or +2 won’t have its effect until the following turn i.e. you can be one turn resource short etc.

2. Card Types

As I always state this, generally more card types more potential for future expansion and strategy.  Here are currently existing card types in this game.

Energy Card

As discussed above, these are like land card in magic or shard card in HEX.  This is how you build your own resource i.e. provides opportunity and challenge of own resource building along with the potential of evolution.

Creature and soldier cards

Typical permanent card that can attack/defend with its own health.

Spell Cards

Typical one turn, immediately effective cards.

Enchantment Cards

Typical cards that attaches to your creature/soldier to enhance them.

Fortification Cards

Somewhat a unique implementation due to its slot based design, but essentially these are what other games call “artifact” or perhaps “mini field” card type.  These cards are permanent i.e. stays until it is destroyed and continue to provide its effect.

Hero Cards:

I have not had a chance to play these card yet, so not sure how they exactly differ from creature/soldiers, but looking at the card on online library, I assume these are just powerful version of creature/soldier cards.  It certainly isn’t hero/champion card in HEX, Shadow Era or WOW TCG.

So it looks like they cover most of the basis here with missing.

3. Simultaneous Turn

The game uses simultaneous turn system.  This is a different type of simultaneous turn that is used in the game Infinity Wars.  In this game, each turn composed of essentially 3 main phases: Phase 1 where you can cast creatures/soldiers and fortification, Phase 2 where you can use creature ability or cast enchantment, or spell. Then lastly attack phase.

Phases alternate i.e. Player 1 takes Phase 1, then Player 2 takes Phase 2, then Player 1 takes Phase 2.  Next turn Player 2 does these first.  The attack occurs from left of the screen to the right.  This game has dedicated slots for where you can cast creatures for total of 6.  So each creatures facing each other will attack together.

This system attempts to provide some degree of counter mechanics where traditional purely turn based (PTB) like Shadow Era lacks.

Example is opponent may cast a creature during his Phase 1, but you can kill it during your Phase 2 before opponent can really do anything with his newly casted creature i.e. essentially providing counter mechanics to some degree.

4. Dynamic Interactive Play option?

If you are avid reader of my blog, you know PTB vs. DIP.  I put this as one of the main classification/separation of the dTCG.  Forgotten Myths is a PTB but with their simultaneous turn, they are trying to achieve some counter element i.e. DIP like feel.

However, this is still not a true counter mechanics because if Player 1 takes Phase 2 first, his killing your creature spell cannot be countered.  The hope is however out there.  Here is a word from developer.

Currently, we don’t have any instant effects that can interfere an opponent’s action like in Magic. However, we have two other mechanics that add some flavor to the game. The first one is alternating turns, where player A leads and player B follows in one turn, and then player B leads and now player A follows the next turn. This alternating structure forms a lead-react strategy during the game, on top of your deck strategy. The second mechanic is one that we are implementing at the moment, that is trap or interfere type of cards. A player will be able to play these cards, face down, and the cards will simply interfere or counter your opponent’s actions during his/her turn, allowing us to bring a glimpse of the dynamic interactive play without making the game feel a lot like Magic the Gathering.

Now I do not know if these will be like that of Shadow Era i.e. passive trap or Yu Gi Oh’s active trap.  The difference is whether trap user can decide if to flip and use the trap or not.  But for now, I am assuming its more like Shadow Era i.e. passive trap.  It still is a good addition.

5. Slot based i.e. positional element, including Fortification

Slot based game provides some unique element, which is related to positional data the game provides.  You have only finite place where creature can be placed so there is a information from this.  Example would be a creature facing you lose one attack power or creature next to you gain power.  This game certainly uses this.

In addition, it has back row with card type called”fortification” which are like artifact type of card i.e. it stays on board until destroyed.  These cards affects two cards in front of it.

6. Unicolor restriction

Currently there are 3 factions and also neutral color.  Your deck can only consist of one color, with possible including of neutral color.  In upcoming expansion, they plan to add 2 more factions and perhaps sixth factionless type.  So basically it is like Shadow Era, Carte, there are card combinations that can never happen (at least in the standard format).

Score: C+

Although it uses card based resource system (CBRS), and tries to give some dynamic interactive play (DIP) like experience through simultaneous turn implementation, its core remains to be purely turn based (PTB).  Also unicolor restriction severely limits the potential of deck variation.  At the least, this is and can be as deep as Shadow Era, Solforge etc.  but certainly not Magic or HEX.  Having said this, with introduction of trap card can certainly improve this rating.  I really want to see them reconsider complete inferiority of +1 energy card.

Cost

This is extremely important point for the success of dTCG.  Many claims free to play (F2P) model but in the end you won’t be able to compete against other players who spends money.  Developer spends time and money to make a game, so it make sense for them to eventually get revenue from the game, but making high cost booster pack is not a way to go. The general standard now a days for dTCG is $2/pack based on games like HEX, Solforge, and Infinity Wars.

Here there is a great news.  This game seems to provide relatively good in game currency acquisition model but even actually buying booster packs are very reasonable.  With bulk purchase, you can go as low as 50 cents/pack.  They even provide a pack with Epic & rares only (of course with a higher price).  Adding to it further, they plan to implement a market place where players can purchase individual cards like Shadow Era.

Yes, booster and deck prices are relatively low compared to other dTCGs. The main reason for that is, we don’t want to sell boosters ultimately. We are planning on adding new tables that go with every faction, new cities to be unlocked (both with game play and with premium currency) and many other customized objects in the game. Boosters and packs are just one of the elements that can be purchased in the game, although not our main revenue focus. As a result, we see no harm in lowering the prices of boosters and packs.
As I’m writing this e-mail, we are  preparing to release our next update, which will bring a more complete marketplace in the game, allowing players to buy any specific common or uncommon card for a very affordable gold (free in-game currency) price. And an auction house that will allow for card trades or sales between the players. With this new addition, I think $25 will be enough to complete the current set. Still the booster draws are random, so it may take slightly more or slightly less for different players. 🙂

If above statement is the true, it is extremely generous pricing scheme.  It certainly isn’t pay to win model.  Only catch here is that this game won’t let you use a card  in multiple deck i.e. you need to have 6 copies (3 copy max per deck) if you want to include a card in two different decks.  Considering how cheap this game is, it will compensate but still I rarely see this model now a day so a bit wrong decision here.

Score: A

I have not tried to complete set by any means here but taking the word from the developer, this is extremely affordable model in fact it could be the best out here.

PvE

It has a single play campaign mode which seem to have decent amount of content already but there is no true story to follow.  Just click to get into the world map, and click to play against AI.  This is like Shadow Era. Based on the statement above by developer e.g. NPC, fantasy world etc.  this may change in the future.

Score: B

No true story to follow here, but at least has graphic set up that I can see future expansion potential.  It is certainly couple notches up from Shadow Era, and perhaps most other dTCGs where they completely ignore story or PvE anyways.

PvP/Multiplayer

I haven’t had chance to play PvP yet.  But the game certainly has one.  It even mentions about Co-op/Raid mode.  I don’t think there is a draft mode as of the moment, but wouldn’t be surprise they will add this in the future.

  • “Duel” Mode – We’re designing a hard core duel mode, where players will be able to bet cards from their collections against other players in a “winner takes all” duel.
  • “Multiplayer Co-op” Mode -You will fight against dreadful monsters and sinister characters in a co-op mode where you will be able to fight in groups of 2 or 4.

Score:  B

With Coop, once they add draft mode, they got all potential multiplayer mode support in there.  Of course how well they are implemented may be another point to assess but I haven’t had a chance to test this part.

Background Story

The game can be build from ground up based on some central theme/story, and each card can reflect that.  Alternatively, cards are made first then add story to it.  I’m not a big story reader but I know some people enjoys it.  Certainly good background story can help single player campaign mode where you can be immersed in the world by following the story.  Currently even if this game has one, I don’t see it is well shown to players.

Score: C

Expansion Plan

dTCG can become stale if no new card is added for too long.  Alternatively, it can become too much when too frequent updates.  The ideal is 3-4 months with 100-200 cards based on other successful dTCGs or perhaps learning from the lessons the other games failed to follow these numbers.

Frequency and number wise, we are planning to add a new expansion every 3 months or so, adding about 100 cards. In between the expansions, we will also be introducing promo cards, some seasonal and holiday cards, and a few mini sets that consist of about 10 cards.

 Score: A

Multilanguage Support

Many of you may care less about this, but it is important not only because I like to see Japanese support but also to have consistent community.  No matter how good the TCG is, it can die quickly if not enough people plays.  It’s like vicious cycle.  You become online and see noone to play against, you stop logging in.  The game needs to have enough people online 24/7, and more the people better because that will creates more variation in deck i.e. net result of your play experience variation.  One of the way to achieve this is to support world server so no matter what time of the day, you always have someone to play against.

Currently the game is in Turkish and English.  Probably not a high priority, but developer plans to support other languages in the future.

Score: C 

It has a plan but likely not in foreseeable future.

Potential

This is just a speculation and unfortunately my speculation include my hope and which tend to not come true.  But in any event, it is important the game has space to evolve rather than just a pure addition of card numbers to the game.

Based on the fundamental of its game design, there is a potential this game can add true depth such as by introducing active trap card.  The use of CBRS is great idea since it can add its own depth. This game certainly is not restricted at its fundamental design.  There is enough to expand in the future.

Particularly, I am looking forward to see there implementation of the statement ” We are trying to become the first TCG to offer a complete fantasy world, with living cities, characters (NPCs) and environments. ”

Game is priced very aggressively.  Currently very small number of players but with good advertisement and continued effort of evolving the game, this game has a potential.  The only major issue unfortunate to these guys is the recent announcement of HEX.  HEX seem to have very similar design and goal, but Cryptozoic went for more depth driven game, and detail PvE.  This may be due to difference in amount of the budget.  However, Forgotten Myths will certainly be compared to HEX in every aspect and players are likely to pick one over the other.

Score: B

Conclusion

Bronze Award

Forgotten Myths has its own potential.  Great decision on design for using card based resource system, and simultaneous turn system as these will allow continued depth built into the game. First 3D Panoramic screen in dTCG beating HEX’s official public release is also good.  The designers aspiration for making “the first TCG to offer a complete fantasy world, with living cities, characters (NPCs) and environments” sound extremely intriguing.   Extremely aggressive pricing with possibly the best out there.

As of now, the game seem to lack the depth not because of the game design itself but rather coming more from the card implementation.  The game’s design itself seem to have a space to accommodate more depth.  In fact, the game already has a plan to add “trap” card to implement potential more dynamic interactive play like experience.  So things can certainly change.

Overall, this game sounds like simplified version of the HEX, which is good and bad.  The good is HEX has the great concept so sounding similar to it is a great thing.  The bad is of course this game will always be compared to the HEX which already has huge community following.  So doing the same won’t cut it.  This game is supposedly out since January 2013 i.e. not a copy of HEX but publicity wise, it may be thought of such by many.  The game essentially has couple months to evolve quickly before HEX’s alpha start, and this may be used as advantage because once the game add a bit more depth with trap card, and perhaps correct design of complete inferiority energy card, I can recommend Forgotten Myths until the HEX release for anyone who is looking for something to fill there time.   During such time, Anchora may be able to grab those players addicted to Forgotten Myths and may have those player think HEX is actual copy of Forgotten Myths when the HEX alpha starts.

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One response to this post.

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    Reply

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