I had a bit of a Magic: The Gathering habit in the late 90s. Fortunately, I burned out before I went ENTIRELY insane, but it takes very little effort to recall the little hit of euphoria that came with buying some new booster packs, the crinkle and smooth tearing of the metallic foil wrapper, the smell of new cards freed from their wrapper, the hopes that this might be The Pack, the one with The Card that will make your deck into An Unstoppable Juggernaut…
Anyway, it’s a good thing that I have COMPLETELY KICKED THE HABIT and am in NO WAY CONCERNED ABOUT A RELAPSE, because the iOS App Store is full of collectable card games, most of which sell themselves rather heavily on cards featuring Cute Girls in Improbable Fantasy Outfits or Unlikely Pirate Costumes, or Manly Men with Massive Shoulderpads on their Improbable Fantasy Armor, and so forth.
As an ENTIRELY RECOVERED FORMER FAN of the genre, I know how fatal the siren’s call of the in-app purchase button would be in these things, and I have stayed far away from them.
I was, however, recently convinced to download Playdek’s “Tanto Cuore” (apparently, if I am to believe the in-game help, Italian for “Much Heart”), a card game that is, as far as I have been able to tell, entirely paid for with your initial $2.99 outlay and which does not feature any in-app purchases at all.
Wow, I can’t even graph that last sentence. Is that two subordinate clauses or three? Should “apparently” be capitalized?
Anyway, it’s a card game where you play some sort of landed gentry type who is competing with another landed gentry type to build a better maid collection. This is not creepy at all.
OK, yes. Creepy. Because Japan, that’s why.
I haven’t played much more than the tutorial, but it seems a pretty basic affair involving collecting resources to hire maids who can be played to gather more resources which are used to hire more maids and on and on. Some of them have special abilities, some give you extra turns, etc.
There’s no direct conflict between you and your opponent. You can occasionally play a penalty card against his maid army, which has to be removed either by spending resources or by using a special ability, but that’s about it. It’s all about hiring the most and the best maids until the employable candidates are depleted enough for the game to announce that the match is over and one of you has won.
There’s a physical version which seems to cost about forty bucks, and two expansions to that which are both in the $40-$50 range, so three bucks for a virtual version is pretty hard to complain about. I expect that, if it does well, they’ll put out the two expansions.