Cards and Heroes: A Review of Hero Realms digital

Greetings to all readers of the Gumbo, Bryan is back, this time with a look at a digital implementation of one of his favorite card games.

In the modern day, the limitation of having to physically sit at a table to play board games is very much a thing of the past. There exist many mediums for playing your favorite board games digitally, anytime, any place, and with people or AI opponents.

Wise Wizard games is no stranger to this, as they have digital versions of Star Realms and Epic. So it is no surprise they are bringing Hero Realms to the digital world as well. We were lucky enough to get an early copy of the game to review, which I was excited for as I enjoy Hero Realms.

Note, the project has already funded as of July 22 with seven days left in the campaign, and according to the Kickstarter page, backing the game now grants you Beta Access to start playing Hero Realms Digital in August before the game is available to the public. The project creators promise play will be available on iOS, Android, and Steam.

So let’s take a quick look first at the layout of the digital game.

Screenshots can also be found on the Kickstarter page. I like the simple layout. There is some design flourish but not as bad as other digital card games that I feel put too much effort into having an animated background when something like the above works great for me. The card art is straight from the game, and as such is great.

For those not familiar with Hero Realms, it is a deck building game that uses a two-resource system. There are coins used to buy from the market, and also attack which is used to stun champions and attack heroes. The game is decided when one hero loses all their health. Sounds simple but with the card synergies, the random market, and guards, the game always leaves the player with options.

What makes Hero Realms more unique from other card games is the heroes. They each have unique abilities, deck cards, and health pools. This helps each hero have a different feel. Hero Realms also has a boss fight co-op mode that according to the Kickstarter is going to be in the digital version.

The digital implementation of the gameplay boasts simple interaction. Simply drag cards out in the order you want to play them or there is even a “play all” button in the corner which becomes the attack and end turn so a player can’t accidentally skip a turn. There are also warnings if a player attempts to skip a turn without using a triggered ability or if there is something on the market the player could buy.

The quick fight games can be played against AI or player opponents, which are fun, but I really enjoyed the pit fight mode. In the pit fight mode players fight multiple fights against the AI but your hero will level up with each victory, upgrading cards or health pool. I may have played several hours of this already and I’ve only had the review copy for a day.

There are some minor problems I will mention but I am also giving Wise Wizard the benefit of the doubt because this is an alpha version. Lots can change in a Kickstarter project. First, there is no warning screen for not selecting a target of a skill when it is an option. There are times I burned abilities when going too fast. Second, the game only has five heroes at the moment. Expansion packs will help but the card pool is mostly static. Third, and this is a problem which exists in every deck builder ever made, sometimes you just get unlucky in your card draws. Finally, it was not clear to me the difference between pit fight and pit fight arcade, which needs to be addressed as the project moves forward.

Final Thoughts

As a general whole, the digital version of Hero Realm looks like it going to be very enjoyable if you like deck builders. The gameplay is smooth and the game looks good. If Wise Wizard keeps putting out content it will be worth getting into the Kickstarter, as it comes with lifetime access to future content. I am excited to have an ever-increasing digital platform to play games on when things like weather, schedules, or global pandemics stop in person gaming.

So grab your swords, staves, bows, and shields, for tonight we battle with cards.

Always remember to have fun,

–Bryan

Our thanks to Wise Wizard Games for giving us a free sneak peak at the digital implementation for this review.

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