Should I be excited about… Tridek: Creatures of Galena (PC)
I will start this preview with a confession. I have little experience with collectible card games (CCG) other than a brief spell of playing Magic: The Gathering around 15 years ago. When the chance to preview Tridek came along I decided it was time to give CCGs another shot.
Tridek: Creatures of Galena is a completely digital collectible card game being developed for PC, Android and iOS devices. Tridek is being published by Dreamfab and developed by Munich based Bit Barons. There is also currently a kickstarter running to help fund the development of the game.
The build I have for review is an early Beta client for the PC. It is obvious that the game is being designed with mobile devices in mind due to the portrait orientation. The interface is clean with large buttons which are clearly labeled to avoid any confusion. The music is all synth with very clear influence from chiptunes. This is the work of Bit Barons audio designer Filippo Beck Peccoz.
At the heart of every CCG is the deck and building of that deck. In Tridek your deck consists of 30 cards which can be chosen from any of the cards you own. Upon starting the game you can pick which starting deck you would like from Aqua, Avis or Flora. These represent the three families of creature on Galena, the planet which is the focus of Tridek. The deck builder allows you to create new decks from your available cards. These decks can be named allowing players to create different decks for different play styles.
Bit Barons have declared that Tridek will be free to play. All cards can be bought with the in game currency, shards, which can be earned by playing matches. These shards can also be bought in packs through the in game shop. Shards can be used to buy the starter decks, booster packs or any of the cards from the special offers menu.
There are a few different options for playing matches in Tridek. The game is designed for both online play against human opponents and for offline play against an AI
opponent. For online play the options are quick match, league, tournament and challenge. Quick match is pretty self explanatory allowing you to find a quick match against a human opponent. League is for competitive play where players can face off against others in the league in an attempt to boost their ELO and climb the league ladder. Tournament lists any upcoming tournaments including the required ELO and shards to join and the prizes for each one. Challenge allows you to add your friends and start matches with anyone on your friends list.
For offline play there is also the option to play a quick match against an AI opponent or play through the campaign. The campaign sees you up against different types of opponents with different types of decks meaning you will have to adapt to each deck type to win comfortably. For me the most invaluable part of the campaign is the tutorial. The tutorial explains each type of card, the different parts of the game UI and the phases of the game. It does this is three different tutorials starting with the basics and building up to the trickier aspects of the game.
So now we get down to the actual card game mechanics. The game board is split into two halves with the top half showing the opponent and the bottom half being yours. On each half there is a deck, rest zone, resources count and field. The deck is where new cards are drawn from and the rest zone is where defeated creatures or used cards go.
There are three resources in the form of red, green and blue crystals. In a typical match each player will start with three of each resource. Every card costs a certain number of one resource but when placed on the field or used it will give back a certain number of a different resource. For example a card may cost three red crystals to place and give back two blue crystals.
The field is where creature cards are placed. This is an area of six card slots divided into 3 attack (ATK) and three resistance (RES) slots. Only creatures placed in the ATK slots can attack the opponents cards, the others are there for defence.
There are three different types of cards in Tridek. Creature cards are the main type of card, these are the creatures of Galena that are used to attack your opponent or defend against your opponents attacks. Each creature has an ATK and RES value associated with them and some of them have abilities which can be activated once the creature is in play.
The second type of card are hack cards which can be applied to both your own creatures and the opponents. There are many different hacks including some with change a creatures stats or buff one stat while making another weaker.
Thirdly there are support cards. These are one use cards that can either be applied immediately on your turn or they can be set to be activated if the opponent takes a specific action on their turn. An example of a support card used in the tutorial is one which removes a creature from the board when the opponent places it. This card activates as soon as the opponent places a creature and sends both the creature and itself to the rest pile.
Now we come on to the game phases. The game is played in rounds. Each round is divided into five phases. The first is the draw phase where cards are drawn from the deck and placed into your hand. On your first round five cards are drawn from the deck to make up your hand. On each subsequent round one more card is drawn from the deck.
Next comes the first action phase where you can place creature cards, apply hacks and use support cards. The number of creatures that can be placed is limited on each turn but as long as you have the resources you can use as many support cards and hacks as you want.
In the third phase (the combat phase) you can use any creatures in your ATK row to attack enemy creatures or attack the opponent directly. You can’t attack the
opponent if they have creatures on their field and you can’t attack enemy creatures in the RES slots if they have creatures in the ATK slots.
The fourth phase is another action phase which can be used to place or use any cards not used in the first action phase if you have the resources available.
The final phase is the block phase. This phase allows you to set support cards to trigger if the enemy takes a specific action. You can set a support card to trigger when the enemy attacks, when the enemy uses a support card or when the enemy deploys a creature.
Each creature card also has a victory points (VP) stat. When a creature kills another creature or attacks a player directly its player gains VP equal to the creature’s VP stat. The winner of a match is the first player to make it to 30 VP.
I played through the excellent tutorial, some campaign matches and a good few quick matches to get a feel for the game. The game mechanics described above along with the different opponents made each match unique. Tridek Feels like has been created by a team with a great passion for the CCG genre. With the different options for online competitive and offline casual play together with a set of game mechanics that will enable many different strategies. I believe Tridek is a strong contender in the CCG market and definitely one to watch out for.