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  • craig duncton

Curse of Curdle Hill from Realm runner studios

‘It is a time of chaos. An unnatural, dark cloud hangs over Curdle Hill. Those below are drained of Chroma as a sickness begins to spread.


The High Coven of Ludlam City, certain this is the result of dark magic, have dispatched a team of the Magus Elite’s best detectives to uncover the truth.

As Achrom falls from the cloud, The Occultists rise from the shadows. After years of secrecy and careful planning, it’s finally time for the next phase in their grand scheme.

A society of those who call Curdle Hill home have vowed to protect it and the secrets it holds... Even if this means interfering in Magus Elite business.’


3 words to describe this game: beautiful, sleek, intriguing

Gameplay: In this card game, you are playing as vying forces in a town called Curdle Hill. You have a palette (deck) of cards and are trying to play cards onto your canvas (playing mat) in order to gain shards for yourself or reduce the shards of the opponent. Each card has unique abilities and scoring conditions and you can have no more than 2 cards of the same type in your palette. Each turn consists of draw/trade card - this allows you to grow you hand or replenish shards. You can then attack your opponents characters, deploy cards, resolve effects and then finally draw/trade card ending your turn. This continues until either you lose all your shards or you gain 30 shards.

Components:

Deck of cards - this is a living card game and you can use an app to track cards, use the augmented reality function to see 3D versions of your characters and purchase upgrades at the shop. We were sent a box containing two palettes so that we can have a two player game. It says that you can choose your own palettes in the rules but that these are ready to go.


Overall thoughts:

When this game arrived, we loved the look of it. The box almost made it look like you were opening a book to another world. The artwork is fab and it looks so well thought out and sleek looking. It was inviting and I wanted to play it straight away.

However, things were not the straight forward and it pains me to write this because it should be so good and I feel like I’m missing something. Firstly, there were no instructions with the cards and so we had to watch the Instagram videos and try to read the rule book online which is easier said than done on the phone. The app is fine once you work out how to navigate it but there is no help with this initially from the box or components. Initially, we didn’t play this game because we were under the impression we had to load up all the cards. I think you do if you want to play online but I’m not sure about that - more on that later! Having loaded up all the cards, we were still confused! Eventually after scouring the app, we found the rules. A link is provided on the bottom of the box, had we known this would have made things easier! We then decided to play a two player game. Turns out you don’t need to upload the cards for this, so we could have just played straight away. This card game is one where you kind of need to know the value of the cards in your palette and what kind of strategies you can employ. My wife was a little lost and everytime she played cards, she’d end up with hardly any shards meanwhile I was laying cards in my canvas allowing me to steal all her remaining shards. We played a few times and even with my wife trying to employ a strategy to her cards and discarding to her dregs to replenish shards she was still at a loss. The game play felt a bit sour and not very fair and even though I won every game, the victory was a little hollow. I’m disappointed because it looks like it should be so good but with very little out there to help in the way of gameplay, it’s hard to see how to deploy the cards to great effect. It feels like I’m missing something and I’m not one for giving up with a game especially when the visuals are so good and the production so sleek but it’s missing something for me and I can’t put my finger on it. If you play this game and love it, I’d love to hear from you because I want to get it! I want to understand what I’m missing.



So I mentioned earlier about the app, for gameplay with others online. I tried to access this thinking if I could see others playing then I could improve on my strategy and learn from them but clicking onto the online match element of the app only takes you to a loading page (where the word opponent is spelt wrong) and no matches are ever produced! Perhaps this is because not enough people have the card game at the moment but I just feel more guidance and playthroughs would help plus a hard copy of the rules! A lot of the terminology is made complicated to fit with the theme but is quite straightforward when you actually look at it but it felt annoying to keep referring to my phone to scroll up and down to look at what we needed to do or what a symbol meant.

This one fell short for me and I’m not sure if it’s one I will play again but something in me is not writing it off just yet!



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