Card Hunter: Roll For Initiative

If you miss playing tabletop roleplaying games with your friends and like fine-tuning your decks, then Card Hunter might just scratch that itch.

Card Hunter is a free-to-play card combat game that’s set up like a traditional table-top RPG: You customize your characters, take on adventures and then dive into dungeons to slay all manner of monsters, golems and wizards. The battles use a turn-based card system, where you play cards to attack and defend, each with their own effects like damage buffs, healing or burning. Once the dungeon’s cleared out, you get to collect the loot and continue your quest through the lands.

What makes Card Hunter work is its speed: The cards and their synergies are all taken care of instantly, without having to roll the dice or keep track of them yourself. It’s a great way to make a game about dice, cards and figurines not feel agonizingly slow, and the adventures can be digested as quick ten-minute diversions. It’s a perfect lunch break game.

However, those adventures are mostly all cut from the same cloth: Eliminate all the enemies, capture a base, repeat a few more times and you’re done. For a game that fashions itself after pen-and-paper roleplaying games, there’s very little roleplaying to be done, and all that’s left is the combat. Even then, sometimes the combat can be kind of mindless as well, where you simply pick out whatever attack cards you have – or curse the random number generator for giving you lousy cards turn after turn.

As a free-to-play title, the game also features microtransactions, giving you extra loot and more adventures to go on if you’d like to pay for them. These are thankfully not too obnoxious, even though the game does constantly tease you about the rare goodies you could be earning if you paid for it. I myself did not pay a penny, and didn’t feel significantly hampered or annoyed by it.

Card Hunter has some novel ideas and as a free-to-play game it makes for a fun diversion. Just don’t expect too much out of it.

Platform: PC (also available on iOS as Loot & Legends)
Developer: Blue Manchu
Publisher: Blue Manchu
Release date: July 13th, 2015
Ingress: Card Hunter offers fast and simple D&D-style fun, but gets samey pretty fast.

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