Gary Games’ SolForge Gives Digital Trading Card Games Promise
I’m not going to rehash my love of Magic: The Gathering. I have always respected the team which created something so simple yet so damnably addicting. Suffice to say, I have many fond memories stemming from long games played down to the very wire.
I will pause here to honor my dear mother, who pointedly did not throw a fit one summer afternoon when I called and said I wouldn’t be home for dinner as a game, which ended up being almost seven hours long, played out. Love ya, Ma!
But I, as many have done, long ago bid adieu to my boxes of cards. What we didn’t sell/pawn/gift/donate though, was our fondness for TCGs. Sadly, quality digital equivalents are hard to come by – even now. MTG has long had a PC equivalent, but it did not enjoy broad appeal. Ultimately, contenders for the crown in the digital space have come and gone with no one title planting the flag. Perhaps the closest contender, Duels of the Planeswalkers, was eagerly anticipated by many. A digital multiplatform TCG with decent graphics and mechanics with mainstream online support? Do not tempt me! But instead we got premade decks where the only way to get other decks was to buy them, premade. Bottom line, DotP became another cash-grab via DLC. (Since I’ve already mentioned in my typically calm, reasoned manner my thoughts on this, I will pass on doing so again.)
Now, with the advent of mobile gaming, the environment is quite ripe for a resurgence with smartphones providing the near ideal platform…or one would think. On a recent train ride to Chicago, I shuffled through the myriad offerings posing and offering their wares not unlike a bargain-bin practitioner of the world’s oldest profession. What I found was not unlike cheap cake frosting. It will give you that sugary jolt, but the cut-rate ingredients will quickly leave you dissatisfied and vaguely nauseous.
Enter Gary Games and their free-to-play digital card game: SolForge. With an obvious TCG design, it still appears to be a different animal from the herd. Nobody can question its pedigree. SolForge is the result of a collaboration between Gary Games and none other than Richard Garfield himself. SolForge is pointed squarely at the crowd who looked at the dragon whelp in their hands, then thought of the Shivan Dragon lurking in their deck and wondered: “Why can’t this cut-rate flamethrower grow up already?”
The artwork and animations are of decent quality and the mechanics themselves are actually pretty simple, lending handily to anyone familiar with Magic: The Gathering. Cards fall into one of four groups, each with their own overarching orientation/theme (sound familiar yet?). Basically its pick five, play two. The kicker is that played cards trigger upgraded versions of themselves, which are shuffled into the discard pile to be added in next round. With this mechanic, the aforementioned whelp could indeed have its big brother make an appearance. It also makes which card to play an even more strategic decision. Short-term gain or foundations for long-term victory? It’s all up to you.
So coming down the pipe we have the introduction of a quality TCG created by industry veterans on the huge mobile platform market. With the combination of the aforementioned along with this being a release on iOS and PC, with Android just a step or two behind, it is almost certain to generate mass appeal. As of this morning, the $250k goal was long in the dust with the final tally clocking in just shy of $430k! So the project is “Go” and we’re one step closer to getting an up-close-and-personal look at SolForge.
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