I got to try out the new game Atlas Reactor by Trion Worlds and it's pretty interesting. Atlas Reactor is a turned based competitive multiplayer game. The way the website puts it, "TURN-BASED MULTIPLAYER WITHOUT THE WAITING AROUND" The game plays out it four phases. Prep, which lets players lay traps. Dash, which lets players move before attacks happen. Blast, which is when the attacks play out. The last phase is Movement. It takes a bit to get used to but it's easy to use.
I was interested in the game because of it's simultaneous turns which work really well. To play the game well you really just need to predict where the enemy is going to go. I played a game as each of the four starting characters which all play entirely different from each other. Each character has a few skills that fit into the four different phases of combat. The are multiple skills under each phase for each character so there are a lot of options for picking the right skill for the right situation. The character designs are neat and each one has a fair amount of personality, at least among the human characters. At this point in the game the environments are basic but provide all the of the extra strategic game play they were set up to provide.
The game made a good first impression for the early stage that it's in, although I had a few issues. Getting into multiplayer games takes a little while to load, which is probably something they'll fix in the future. I also found the decision time for turns to be a little too quick. I know they wanted it to be a game with no waiting around but they already solved that problem with simultaneous turns so 20 seconds per turn feels a bit short. Another minor problem was having the movement phase at the end. I found it harder to attack with the melee character because by the time I got to move, all the other characters had moved away. Most turn based games have characters move then attack and it was hard to get used to it being the other way around. I know they did it to give the characters a Dash ability but it felt limiting in a bad way. Which brings me to my last minor gripe: The ability cooldowns felt too long. After I did two or three moves I would not have much to do for a turn or two. I realize it's in place to balance abilities, but for a fast paced game I would like to see more frequent, weaker abilities then powerful, slow abilities.
All in all, I had fun with the game and would like to play more of it. The game tries a bunch of new ideas which work to make something new. The game is quick and free so if you can find a way to get the game, I would recommend giving it a shot.
I tried making my own decks in Duelyst. Right now I'm limited in my options due to a lack of cards but the game has been pretty good about showering my with gold to get more packs. To truly make some good interesting decks, I'll need more cards. The deck making interface is pretty intuitive and I've mostly got the hang of how each faction plays. As for taking my customs decks online I did good with some and not with others. The Provoke mechanic works well with my Magmar at any rate. I'm still having a great time with Duelyst and remember, it's free so go try it now.
I found the game Duelyst yesterday and after playing it for most of the afternoon, I'm a big fan. The game is a mix of trading card game elements mixed with a top down strategy game. If you like Hearthstone, Advance Wars, and free things you should try this game. Each game is a battle between two generals that summon minions and use spells to bring the other's health points down to zero. Generals move around on a grid and summon units around them. What make Duelyst unique is the units that are summoned are drawn from a deck of cards adding a trading card game layer to grid based battling.
The art in the game is a mixture of pixel art units in front of hand drawn backgrounds. It makes everything in the game very readable. The music and sound effects are good at conveying the clash between units on the battlefield. The game play is where the game really shines though. Each faction plays differently from a ranger, to a melee monster, to a necromancer. Every card is readable through gratuitous tool tips. The game is complex at first and I would suggest running though the games challenge modes to get a hang of unit effects along with some practice rounds against coms to really wrap your head around the game. Jumping online was a great experience even with just the starter deck. The game will pair you with someone your level in under a minute in a lot of cases and the chat options are limited to simple emoticons which mitigates trolls.
The game is great for being in the middle of beta. It's entirely free and gives you a good helping of in game gold at the start for making your own decks. I've gotten some good cards out of the little booster packs and the game gives you options for purchasing more. I'll give an update once I build some of my own decks. Otherwise, Duelyst is free and awesome so check it out.