Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

Get in touch by emailing thegameshelfblog@gmail.com

Thursday 6 February 2020

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Epic Digital App

White Wizard Games know how to put together a great app! Star Realms was the first ever game I bought in a board game store and I downloaded the free version of the app soon after. I've been playing it ever since and have been happy to simply make the most of the free content - even though there's a lot of paid for content too.

I've never played the physical version of Epic, but on February 18th, White Wizard Games will be launching an app implementation and all of the content will be free. This includes a tutorial, campaign, AI and online play, as well as the ability to use standard decks or customise and deckbuild.

Epic is a 2-player, fantasy themed, dueling card game. Within the app, there is a tutorial that guides you through the basic rules of the game, but I don't feel as though I learnt a great deal about the game during that tutorial. Sure, I could play the game, but not particularly competently, and with a lot of questions about new keywords. Epic is certainly more complex than something like Hearthstone - there are many more phases in a turn where you can interrupt and get extra gold coins to spend. Each turn you can play cards, and any creatures will be dormant, however surviving creatures from previous rounds can then be assigned to attack. Your opponent can then counter the attack with spell-like abilities. They can also assign blockers and then attackers and blockers will effect a comparison of their stats. Without blockers, you'll hit the hero and the first to whittle their opponent to zero health winds.

I've won some games in Epic, but I don't think I applied a whole lot of skill. In the tutorial campaign, I easily succeeded in the first mission and then I've been stuck trying to win the second mission four times - I just can't get my head around the sequence of the game and the different clever moves I can make, in order to get into control in a game. There's no doubt if that I read the rulebook or played the physical game, I'd understand a lot better. The app actually has a great user interface and really guides you towards what are your available plays by highlighting cards and buttons on screen. This is what really allows me to play the game without deeply understanding it.

I wish I could play the campaign, because campaigns are always my favourite part of card game apps, but I'm just stuck. Right now my favourite aspect of the campaign is that I don't have to read all of the story - the choice of reading more story, or just beginning the mission is perfect for non-narrative focused gamers like me. With effort, I could get into Epic, but I think it's a game to sit down and play in some dedicated time, rather than something light and fun to pass time on my commute - more like the Terraforming Mars app than the On Tour app.

For a free app, you get a huge amount of content here - the online play, different AIs and campaign mode are all unlocked. There's no sign of paid for content yet, but I can imagine a potential for more campaigns in the future. Epic Digital is a pretty complex card game - it's probably one of the deepest board game apps that you can get for free and if you are into games like Hearthstone on your digital device, or Keyforge or Magic: The Gathering in the physical gaming world, then Epic is certainly an app you'll get a whole lot out of.

Epic Digital is slightly too tricky for me to get to grips with on a smaller iPhone screen. I'd recommend playing the physical game to really get to grips with the strategies before being thrown into the app. Epic is a well implemented app, but it's not for the feint hearted - it's an app that I think is best suited to experienced gamers. For me, I prefer the lighter apps for my digital gaming, but Epic Digital is certainly well done. For the Yellow Meeple it's a 6.5/10.

We were given early access to Epic Digital App by White Wizard Games.

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