In recent years, I’ve learned that the Nintendo Switch is a great platform for card and board games. Many games shine on the platform because of their ability to use both the touch screen and controller mechanisms, and to collect and play games that are ideal for players like me who are on the move. The latest version happened to catch my attention, mainly because of the strikingly beautiful logo; Faeria is the name, and Card Battle, hexagonal board game strategy is the game.
I have to admit that normally, later in my reviews, I like to talk about the visualisation of the game, but here I am about to turn things upside down, because with Faeria, it’s almost impossible not to end up with the stunning aspect of this game. The game looks great… Wait, I already said that. No, it’s true. Immediately after loading, the loading screen comes to life with a subtle animation and a beautifully drawn fantasy landscape welcomes you. In the main menu of the game, the interface elements are located at the edges of the screen, with a striking forest scene and a majestic deer-like creature under the spotlight, while the sunlight shines through the breaks in the trees, around which a fine particle animation floats. It’s fantastic art in its purest form, and it immediately reminded me of a board game I played in the past called Mystic Valley.
I had a visual rush when I was on my way to this game, that’s for sure. If you land on a hexagonal grid in the regions of the board, the art is carried just as beautifully. The surrounding artwork is characterized by perfect contrast and colour tones and by the right amount of subtle secondary animations and particles to avoid the feeling of excessive statics. The design of the card is no less high quality, and fans of Hearthstone or Magic : The Gathering (MTG) will certainly appreciate the visual accuracy in this part of the game as well. So what does Faeria have to offer in terms of gameplay to make players want to stay in this beautiful world from the beginning?
The Faeria combines the mechanics of the CCG (Trading Card Game) with a reliable turn-based tile-based combat system and offers newcomers and fans of card games a lot of strategy. The positive side is that the game for these newcomers is very progressive until they become more experienced players. When you enter the game for the first time, you will go through several tutorial games that will familiarize you with the different elements and basic functions. I’ve played several board games that had a hard time teaching them mechanics, but fortunately it didn’t fall into that trap. They gave me a nice green starting game, taught me the basics of card layout, which fortunately is as simple as most card games (attack, health, drawing and text with special skills of each card), and started a number of introductory games against AI.
You enter the field with your 30-card deck and face an opponent. Unlike most card games, whether real or digital, you have a hexagonal playing surface that comes to life when you play. MTG players will play better at home with a general experience, as the first step is to play efficiently on landing. However, the country is excluded from the choice of the static pool you have. It is allowed to place either two main hexes in a bend, or special land in the form of forest, mountain, water or desert. There are several other options that you can choose, such as drawing an extra map or getting an extra Casting Mana, but this will allow for more advanced strategies.
If you place a clay tile on the board, you can throw the creature’s card onto the active battlefield. By simply pulling or with the right movements of the button and the rule of thumb, you launch your creature as long as you have enough mana balls for it. Mana balls are generated every turn, but additional mana balls can be earned by placing the creature in one of the four mana holes on the game board. Hearthstone players will know how to make the best use of this mechanism. Since this game is played alternately after you have exhausted your mana balls in one turn and you have attacked or moved all units that have no causal disease (creatures launched in the next turn can’t actually do anything), you pass your turn on to your opponent, and he will do the same.
The game continues with each of you placing the pieces of the game so that you can reach your avatar on either side of the board. Then you can move or launch creatures to directly attack the specified avatar, and when one of them reaches zero health, the game is over. Now, there are tons of strategies, card skills, amateurs, spells, etc., all part of this dynamic battlefield at every turn, and I would spend all day here trying to explain them all if I wanted to. Simply put, this game has a lot of depth and strategy, and as soon as you play different individual missions in the game, you really start to understand how things are going to work.
As I said before, the game offers a pretty solid tutorial, but once it is finished, you have access to a much more important part of the game, but not everything. Many of the game modes that we will discuss after a while remain at the level of the player lock, and this is because they are intended for more advanced players who are familiar with the game, the cards, and especially with making a card game. Play individual adventure missions that I recommend as soon as possible. You get a few legends, but you’re also freed from the use of new decks if the orientation of the player is affected by the standard XP performance, and the game will really start to unlock for you.
There is a whole range of single-player/Internet games that you can usually play. The adventure mode is divided into four campaign subgroups, which include a large number of basic missions: Auversky mode is a cooperative mode with a friend or AI, World Boss mode includes some of the toughest battles in the game (but a more fun art form), and Dragon’s Lair mode is a mode for everyday events that you can also play in the henhouse or on your own. That in itself is a ridiculous amount of playtime, but wait – there’s more! When you return to your choice of high-level modes, you’ll also find Battle, your typical head-to-head mode. They can be played by casual multiplayer online games, online ranking games or AI training games. The Pandora game mode is a place where deconstruction veterans will have a lot of fun, because it is a competition for the design of the bridge construction. Finally, the last main mode is Puzzles. These puzzles I found were pretty tricky, but they were in the form of regular one-way puzzles, which, if you do the right thing, will make you win the game. It may be a bit strange, but I liked taking care of some of them!
Peripheral devices are all the features you need for a competitive and reliable digital CCG. Do you want more tickets? There are several full purchases that open the possibility to get many more cards, new cosmetics and new adventures / bubbles / etc. via paid CSDs. Although the game uses the in-game currency to buy additional cosmetics, you won’t be flooded with micro transactions, which is certainly a courtesy I expect from many players.
There are a number of unlockable/accessible cosmetic products that you can use to create your own personal experience. There are dozens of Avatar icons, many of which are animated. A whole series of orbic containers that are beautifully decorated, many of them partially animated. The drawing on the back of the card – as expected in large quantities. And finally, the adapted orbital trees that appear on the playground. I really like the number of configuration options available in this game in general, and of course there’s a visual load that should appeal to almost everyone I can imagine.
Series also uses thieves boxes, but in what I represent as generosity. Right now, you can’t just buy simple pirate boxes, and they’re only assigned to you based on things like daily quests or steps into adventure mode, etcetera. The unlocking of these maps brings progress in one of the above aesthetics, but also in new maps. The store really offers the Mythical Chest, which guarantees 4 mythical items in the form of the best cards or the rarest aesthetics. However, you have to earn your money by playing to buy it, because there is no direct purchase of currency. Although some prices in the store can be interesting, I am quite satisfied with the general installation here.
You can also consult your collection of cards you have collected, as well as a deck of cards you have put together as you wish. The construction of the bridge is divided into two parts: Pre-engineered bridge construction, which you can choose if you have met certain requirements or levels that unlock them, or fully customized bridge construction. Bridge building in the game Faeriais somewhat rudimentary in the sense that it does not contain the bridge building instructions/recommendations found in games like Magic Arena . However, they do have enough tools and filters to start playing and building, and this should not cause too many players to stumble at the beginning of the game when making a 30 card pile, although the presence of unlocked cards is certainly useful when choosing a pool.
However, the fairy on the Nintendo Shuffle Switch does not disappear completely intact. The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was that this game always requires an active internet with a good connection. If you don’t have Internet, you can’t even get past the home screen, but even in single-player modes, which I hoped the game wouldn’t need a network, it will. My personal network at home is also bullshit because I live in the woods, so any attempt at movement or action comes up against a fairly long delay. Even throwing the creature on the board takes a few seconds to record an action if you only play in single-player adventure mode. Now, in this competitive CCG style of play, I fully understand that content server controls, etc. are necessary, but it would be a missed opportunity to say that I want to launch this game in airplane mode and just have fun offline, with a seamless experience in one of the many single-player modes. But for me it wasn’t like that at all, and for me it was a little disappointing. So it is almost impossible to play this game on the move unless you connect the switch to your mobile phone.
Despite the network problems, Nintendo Switch has done well with the game. I had no trouble communicating with live players when I was playing on a good network and wanted multiplayer action, and a game that offered both touch and controller input methods like that has always been a big chudo in my book.
Faeria is a fantastically balanced CCG/fashion kit. I think it can stand easily, with the exception of the Hearthstone and the Magic Arena. There is a huge amount of content you can play with and many different game modes. Artistic style and visualization of the highest AAA quality and creating an excellent landscape to play in. In the coming weeks and months I plan to spend countless hours with the Faeriahaving fun and perfecting my deck building skills.
- Graphs – 10/10
- Sound – 8.5/10
- Course of the game – 9.5/10
- Late appeal – 9.5/10
Final remarks : EXPLANATION
Faeria is an AAA quality that combines the space of trading card games with strategic board games. It contains some of the most breathtaking works I’ve seen in this genre. Accessible and easy to digest, but difficult to master, the gameplay was almost perfect, and the game modes and rewritable games are enough to play forever. The only thing that really prevents the game from achieving the perfect score, in my opinion, is that the game needs a good and constant internet connection to run smoothly, even in single-player mode. I wish I could have a trouble-free offline experience. However, for fans of Magic Arena, Hearthstone or other fantastic deck builders, Faeria is a must and, with a handful of excellent DLCs for a little more money, it certainly won’t blow the bank at $19.99.
Alex has been actively involved in games since the release of Nintendo. After turning his hobby into a profession, he spent just over ten years developing games and is now creative director of the studio.
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