My introduction to Trading Card Games, (TCGs for those not nerdy enough to know,) was actually not Magic: The Gathering, World of Warcraft, of Pokemon. I knew OF these, but did not play them. Then one day I got the itch to start playing cards. I had been playing poker and such as that on the computer, and somehow came across a Macworld article about Shadow Era when I was doing research about cards.
I began to play Shadow Era, which was still in beta testing mode. I jumped in apparently after the second big update was pushed out. I had a hard time figuring the game out. I mean, I read the rules, and sort of knew what to click…the game lights up the available cards, and in about two weeks I had it down. Before we knew it, I climbed the ratings ladder up to near 200.
Then, I would get knocked back down every time they updated the game. This happened sort of frequently. What struck me the most was that they were still evolving the game as people were playing it! My favorite card then (and now!) is Majaya, but poor Majaya started out as too good of a card, then they weakened her too much, until finally finding the right balance…..
You see, I can’t really explain this game without just talking about my experiences with it. Basically, you have your cards, you draw a hand, make a sacrifice, which becomes your “mana pool” (to use a Magic term, Shadow Era calls it Resources) and you can play your cards with the resources you build up. Only certain cards go together, so Human and Wolf cards won’t share the same weapons and armor, etc.
The creatures you play in this game line up with their hero’s card type. So Majaya can play “Shadow” creatures. Boris, on the other hand must play Human creatures. DarkClaw must play wolves, etc. These creatures are called “allies,” and can attack. Your hero, in my case Majaya, can’t do much of anything except use Shadow Energy, which builds up every turn….
So there you have it….You are confused already….But this game isn’t confusing. Just hard for me to explain. It is really very deep.
I ordered some of the physical cards last year….They had sort of a “kickstarter” thing going on, where you could pre-order the cards and you would get bonuses. This was the GREATEST VALUE EVER. These physical cards were great, and perhaps I will review them one day, but they sent two whole sets of foil cards in addition to all that I ordered! And slowly but surely, I received even more stuff, both by mail and on my Shadow Era digital account. I still have a ton of “Shadow Crystals” to spend, which brings me to the next point.
This game can drain your real money, for digital goods. It is a FREE game to play, but if you want better cards, you have to either grind against the AI, (boring,) or fork over the cash for shadow crystals, which you can use to buy digital cards. So warning there! But this isn’t sooo bad. In fact, it makes it more like the card games you can buy at the store!
Shadow Era was my jumping on point. After I started playing this, I introduced the boys to the correct way to play Pokemon, then we went on to try YuGiOh (didn’t like so much) and Magic the Gathering. (Love it, but stink at it!)
So, get on over to this site and start playing! They just recently released their first expansion to the game, called “Dark Prophecies.”