Blue Manchu’s Card Hunter is a game that started out as a browser title in 2013 before hitting Steam in 2015. The game is a mix of collectible card game through elements of attack, defense—like Magic: The Gathering—and movement. There is also a tabletop RPG element which serves as the overall setting for the game with a titled board that determines attack distance and board navigation—like Dungeons & Dragon.
You will gain experience points for completing a story of several fights which are leveled. From there experience points are applied to your active party members, gradually leveling them up. You are also able to revisit previous stories or modules if they want to grind for experience or get more loot—items gained after completion that can be applied to your characters’ equipment and skill slots.
The game makes it so that you have to really invest time in building your characters up. It’s a bit stingy with gold and you don’t open up the ability to actually sell items until later on. You’ll probably notice that you’re accumulating loot and some of it is very useful for your characters at early levels—equipment gives a variety of attacks, movement, and defense choices depending on your characters’ level and class—but it just sits there for awhile. You do get access to a party keep where you can store equipment, but would be nice to sell items early on.
As far as story goes here, it’s pretty straight forward with you playing the in-game game for the very first time and your friend Gary also trying his hand at being Dungeon Master. The game’s tutorial starts you off using powerful characters and Gary using monsters before you have to start from scratch and build your own party of adventurers which I thought was a very good in-game way to introduce someone to Card Hunter.
The combat is turn-based in that you can select where you move and what you attack if you are close enough. If you have armor cards in your hand, the effectiveness of a blocking attempt is determined by dice roll. Gary’s monsters on the board will also have their own attacks and blocking ability governed by the same rules.
The graphics are 2D, but go very well with what Blue Manchu wanted to present with Card Hunter and it means that the game should play on most PCs and laptops. The sound is pretty minimal here with board movement sounds, attack sound effects, and Gary and brother’s grunting—it barely passes as a grunt, but what else could I call it—being the main thing you’ll hear here. The game features online multiplayer, so you can here chat so that’s something.
It should be noted that there is a pay feature to get more slices of pizza—an in-game currency—which can then be used to get a variety of things.
This is a very fun game, Card Hunter is easy to get into since there isn’t a complex rule set to learn and remember—everything is simplified from its inspirational games. Card Hunter doesn’t have grease slick 3D graphics and sound, but that means it runs smoothly on even recent lower end laptops and PCs and will allow you broadcast without strain—actually that means it will run period without you fretting if your specs are up to snuff to run it. Also, the game is free so if you can’t get into the game or it proves time exhausting you didn’t lose any money. I can’t recommend this enough. RATING: 4.5/5