I first saw Culdcept a while back, when it was just released. The back of the box made it seem pretty interesting, but the price just wasn’t right for the game – I’d seen maybe one review and it was lukewarm at best.
The other day, though, I saw it for $10 and thought, “Perfect.” I snatched it up and I think I’ve found a new addiction.
What makes this game most interesting is, naturally, the gameplay. It’s perfectly suited to the card-collecting aspects of Magic: The Gathering (or pick your favorite new CCG), while it retains some of the feel of classic board games like Monopoly. The artwork on the cards reinforces the former, while the cartoony feel on the game board complements the latter.
If you’ve played Monopoly and Magic: The Gathering, this is somewhat of a combination. You obtain territory by summoning creatures, and upgrade the territory to increase its “toll” for any enemies who land there and cannot kill your guardian. The goal is to obtain a certain amount of total magic power (which your territory counts towards) and reach a point on the board.
In a single turn, you can cast an effect spell, roll the die, move, and either take a (normal) territory you stopped at or pay the toll there.
Some elements make the game more complicated. Creatures have different special abilities and elemental affinities, obtaining lands of the same element increases their toll, and there’s even a sort of stock market system which I’ve only just started to touch on in the campaign. Different buildings, varied paths on a board, and the ability to change a terrain type make the game perfect for the obsessive-compulsive in you.
Culdcept has enough of an “easy feel” to keep the beginner interested, but contains enough depth that I’m sure I’ll be playing for a long time yet.
I have only played a few matches single player so far, but the campaign looks like it’ll be interesting. Character design is pretty well done for some characters and I’m hoping the story will remain engaging. If you have difficulties with a certain match, you still get new cards afterward, and you can play earlier matches over again to get cards as well.
Not only is the single player excellent, but the game seems built for multiplayer. Up to 4 players can play – potentially on teams – and you can even save replays of any “match” to watch later. It’s clear that Culdcept was built to be an addiction, which is why it is so sad I hadn’t heard much about the game before.
Maybe everyone who tried it just didn’t want to stop long enough to tell anyone about it.