By Benny Carrillo / July 1st, 2017
When NIS America announced its entire release schedule at the beginning of the year, I was pretty much on board with everything they were bringing over. While I didn’t throw every title into the “Limited Edition Preorder Pile”, I found myself anticipating the majority of the games. One of the few I was on the fence about however was Culdcept Revolt. While the idea of Fortune Street crossed with a Trading Card Game was an interesting idea, I’m really not a fan of TCGs. I tend to find the genre tedious and just overwhelming. So you can imagine how an already strategically complex game like Fortune Street crossed with one might feel to me. However, the game was at E3 and I might as well give it a shot, right? So let’s take a closer look at Culdcept Revolt and see if the game won me over.
As I mentioned, Culdcept Revolt plays like a cross between Fortune Street and a TCG. For those of you who have never played Fortune Street let me explain what I mean. Fortune Street and thus Culdcept Revolt play out similarly to Monopoly. As you roll your dice you’ll move around a board and land on various properties. These properties can be bought for a price. Once owned, if a person lands on that space, they then have to pay the owner a fee. So far, pretty similar right? Where things differ though are in the overall goal and strategies used to get there.
The goal of Culdcept Revolt is to obtain a certain amount of “G” then reach a “gate” first. While you start with a certain amount of “G” you’ll gain some each time you go through a gate and each time another player pays you. You can also buy property using G, however, this doesn’t count against you. The reason being is that there are two totals. The first is your G on hand. This is how much you have to spend. The other is basically your net-worth. This is the sum of the value of all your properties on the board plus your G on hand. This second total is the one you need to reach the target goal. While this sounds simple, there’s actually some pretty deep strategy here.
While waiting around for people to land on your properties can eventually get you enough G to win, it’s a rather slow grind. As such, Culdcept Revolt allows you to invest in your properties. If you land on a space you own, you can then choose one of your properties to upgrade. You’ll have to spend some G, but you can in turn charge more when a player lands on that space. Another way you can increase the value of a property is by owning multiple properties in a district.
Blocks of properties are assigned colors. You’ll see several properties that are next to each other that have the same color border. These form a district. Every time you gain another property in a district, you’ll automatically charge more at each of those properties. This means it’s not just important to upgrade but to collect properties in the same area. This plays a big part in your overall strategy. Do you only go for one mega-district where you max out everything and hope for a big payday to win, or do you try and spread out what you own? Not upgrading at much, but making sure to claim each piece of real estate you can. While these mechanics are essentially the same for both Fortune Street and Culdcept Revolt, Culdcept Revolt adds another wrinkle. The TCG elements.
Instead of just buying a property you’ll place a card from your deck to defend it. When another person lands on that spot, they can either pay the regular fee or try and take the land from you by challenging your creature with one of their own. Each creature gets one attack, however, the damage is persistent to a degree. Every time a player goes through a gate, their creatures will recover some HP. This means you’ll need to carefully think about what creatures to put where and what ones you want to hold in your hand to attack others. Adding to this is the fact that each creature also has a color associated with it. If a creature matches the color of the property then they’ll gain a bonus. As you can see this means a lot of thought needs to go into deck building. What creatures to lay down, what ones to hold in your hand as attackers, etc. This is where TCG fans will fall in love with the game… and where people like me will normally back away. This can get rather complex. Thankfully the game does offer some aid.
For one there is a tutorial which will teach you the game one step at a time. Also, there is an assist you can turn on where the game will tell you which move, upgrade, or card it thinks would benefit you the most. This is immensely helpful and it’s rather unintrusive. Rather than a bunch of textboxes, it’s an arrow pointing at a particular option. This keeps action quick and you’ll start developing a feel for how the flow of the game works quickly. This doesn’t mean that the game always knows the best move, however.
A good example is the tutorial match I played against the computer. While it recommended me to take a more conservative approach and upgrade my properties only a level at a time, I decided to go all in and upgrade several levels at once. While it left me with very little G on hand, my gamble worked. The CPU was passing right through the area I upgraded and landed on one of those freshly upgraded spaces. This quickly led to a bit of a curb stomp as the goal was 8000G and I reached beyond that while the computer barely scraped together 3000G despite us owning roughly the same number of properties. It just goes to show that while the assists can help, a person who understands the mechanics and knows how to exploit them can often come out on top. So in the end, what do I think of Culdcept Revolt?
I am going to pick this one up mainly to play with a few friends whom I play Fortune Street with. While I’m still intimidated by the TCG elements, I felt comfortable enough playing the game that I think I can get by. At the least, I instantly was able to dive in thanks to my experience with Fortune Street. In addition to local play, the game will also feature online matches and a single player campaign, so there is a quite of bit of content here. Is it for you though? Well, that depends on your type of game.
If you like TCGs I think you might want to keep an eye on this. The board game mechanics add an additional wrinkle to some already deep strategy elements. If you’re a fan of Fortune Street then I can also recommend this as well since you’ll be familiar with the base game. While the TCG elements can be intimidating, the assist feature should help you learn things and you can always consult online resources as they become available for additional help. Outside of those camps though, it’s a little harder to give a yay or nay. All in all, though there’s nothing at all wrong with Culdcept Revolt, it’s really just going to come down to your own particular tastes regarding the genre’s here.
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