Cardpocalypse is the brand new trading card game from award wining indie developer Gambrinous. If you are a child of the 90’s you are gonna love this game. If you love trading card games then Cardpocalypse is the perfect game for you!
Cardpocalypse is a perfect blend of unique artwork, deep gameplay and an extremely weird storyline. Throw in a plethora of 90’s pop culture references in nearly every scene and you get an absolute gem of a game.
Cardpocalypse sees you take on the role of 10 year old Jess as she begins her first day at a new school. She is a massive fan of the Mega Mutant Power Pets TV show and the card game is a massive hit with every kid her age.
On her first day at Dudsdale Elementary, Jess accidentally gets everybody’s favourite collectable card game banned, forcing the kids to take their card battles underground. Troubles arise when mutants from the game invade the real world, and it’s up to Jess and friends to stop them
As a side note I think this is the first time I have ever played a game with the main character in a wheelchair. I think it is fantastic to have a wheelchair bound protagonist (especially some of the dialogue around her been in a wheelchair) I’m also shocked and saddened that it has taken over 30 years of gaming to do so. Please feel free to correct me in the comments.
Cardpocalypse starts of simple. Incredibly simple. So much so that I was worried this was going to be a title for extremely young gamers. Oh how wrong was I!!
Your school day is spent completing quests in and around the school grounds. The quests are generally simple. Talk to people, beat them in battle, return to quest giver, collect reward. What makes them interesting and fun is the sublime, funny and down right weird dialogue and story.
You do have a map of the school to help you find where you are going but it doesn’t show you where people are. This can become frustrating when you are going round the school room to room because you cant remember where one of the 20 plus people in the school were. Even more so when they move from where you last spoke to them.
The core game mechanic of Cardpocalypse is of course the card battles. It becomes apparent quite quickly that this simple card battler is in fact deep and tactical. one false move or mistake can indeed cost you the battle.
As well as been deep and tactical the card battles are extremely versatile. Depending on your play style you can build a deck to suit. Whilst playing for this review I ended up with multiple decks. One defensive and healing. One straight out over powering attack. One built primarily on mutations (trap cards). It honestly feels like the options and customisation for personal preference are endless.
On top of this great card battle mechanic you have stickers which can be used for all sorts of tweaks and improvements to cards. Such as adding +1 health or attack, -1 deploy cost, rename etc. Stickers can also be used to add abilities such as Lethal, Ambush, Charge etc. Used properly these can really change the impact of cards in battle.
There is even the option early on in the story to create your very own card. The art work for which is amazingly hilarious. This obviously becomes one of the most important cards in your deck and I ended up building my deck around my personal card.
It didn’t take long for me to build an absolutely awesome deck that took care of battles quickly and with ease. But this didn’t last long. As soon as i beat the first champion you change the reality of the game and enact a rule change.
Turns out the rule change I enacted completely and utterly broke my badass deck and I am know in the process of building a new deck in order to to progress.
I absolutely love the fact that just as the game was becoming easy and I felt somewhat overpowered it flips and now I am completely useless.
Cardpocalypse is extremely deceptive. It starts off looking like a cute simple card game for young gamers. Sort of like an introduction to the world of trading card games. What you actually get is a multi faceted, complex and amazing card card game that both newbies and veterans will enjoy.
The story and dialogue in Cardpocalypse is brilliant. Seriously it is mental. From a schoolkid who things he is a vampire to weird kids in general all the way up to the cards coming to life to take over the world. it is brilliantly weird and beautiful. Throw into all this a raft of 90’s references in the background throughout the game and you have a wonderful, amazing and satisfying game. Hell at one point you play a choose your own adventure book that features amazing puns and hamsters.
If you are a 90’s child and have ever played any type of collectable card game then Cardpocalypse is a must buy. Heck, even you if you are not I implore you to give this a go. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Overall Score – 9/10
At the time of writing Cardpocalypse is £19.99 on PSN store and on sale at £15.99 for PsPlus members.