(Editor’s Note: A�We missed our first publishing deadline of the new year. A�But, we promise not to make it a habit and will continue to crank out at least 3 new articles every week!)
We’ve been meaning to do a Duelyst article for some time now. Several factors have kept us from doing so. A�Most notably, I haven’t played the game much. A�When I first learned about it, I loved the concept and played through all of the tutorial missions as quickly as I could. A�However, I haven’t had the time to explore strategy in any significant way, so playing live opponents wasn’t that much fun, even with the gold rewards.
I still have played many live opponents. A�I’ve played against a few now and then to clear out my quest log, butt I still have no real grasp of the intricacies of the game. A�Therefore, this article will mostly be an introduction. A�I will also talk about my current favorite game mode, the daily puzzle.
If you’ve never played Duelyst, it is a difficult game to explain. A�It might also be difficult to understand the appeal of the game. A�Well, I’m doing a heck of a job selling it, that’s for sure. A�As I often say, there’s a reason that I’m no longer a salesman. A�Many reasons, actually, but the main reason is that I’m a terrible salesman. A�Though, I’m sure you deduced as much from that lame attempt.
In spite of my evident handicap, I will try to make a case for the game. A�First, let me see if I can even explain it. A�It has elements of a card game, but it isn’t exactly a card game. A�It plays like a miniature game, but it isn’t exactly a miniature game. A�It combines these game types into a not quite perfect conglomeration.
In an age where video games are pushing graphics, sometimes over story, Duelyst has chosen a different trend. A�The graphics have an old school 8-bit feel to them. A�This is charming and comforting to an old man gamer like me. A�It speaks to that part of my brain that responds to the “nostalgia” that I discussed in an earlier article. A�Your results may vary and the style might even turn you off.
As if all of that isn’t enough the game has (what I assume to be) a robust story and lore. A�I say that I assume because I have not actually read any of it. A�However, apparently the designers built a puzzle into the lore that took a few months to solve. A�So, they seem to be proud of their work. A�Perhaps I will read it one of these days.
So, what do you think? A�Old school (like way old school graphics) and an odd combination of card and mini strategy, all with a possibly decent story. A�Sound like your kind of game? A�Well, if you’re like me (and judging by the traffic, not many of you are), this is just about the perfect game. A�Even so, it has take some time to grow on me. A�But, it does finally have its hooks in me with the puzzle mode.
Before I give specifics on that, though, I should probably explain the general gameplay better than it is an imperfect combination of card and mini games. A�Okay, here goes nothing. A�There are factions similar to Hearthstone’s classes. A�Each faction has at least one general that acts as your proxy on the battlefield. A�Therefore, destroying the general effectively destroys the player. A�Now, here is where Duelyst plays more like a miniature game.
Once the minions have been summoned to the battlefield, they can move around and attack. A�The board is not a simple one tier, or even multi tier, playmat style. A�It is a chess or checkers like gameboard that allows for movement in 4 directions by both your general and minions. A�If this seems like a huge departure, it is. A�It adds so much strategy to the game beyond spamming minions or spells and pounding the opponent in the face. A�It is simultaneously a reason that Duelyst interests and intimidates me.
As a result, I have spent much of my time in the game playing through the daily puzzle mode. A�You are faced with a, seemingly hopeless, situation and expected to solve it by the end of your turn with the resources available to you. A�It reminds me of the Magic the Puzzling page that I forget about for months at a time only to remember again randomly, like right now. A�That reminds me. A�I have a few months of puzzles to solve. A�The nice thing about the Duelyst puzzle mode is that you know right away if you have solved it or not. A�Also, there is a tangible reward at the end instead of just your name in lights on a web page.
I’m also pretty sure that the puzzles are supposed to show off mechanics in the game and potential combos in the game. A�It might also intend to give deck ideas. A�I’m not sure why, but my brain hasn’t been able to wrap itself around the first two in any reliable way. A�Sure, I understand how the cards work together and most of the time I can figure out the situation based on how those cards work, but I can’t for the life of me make those things happen without the guidance offered by the game right now.
However, I will say that I started to research (Google) different deck types in the hope of getting some ideas to start building something. A�So far, I haven’t gotten any farther than clicking a link or two, but it’s a start. A�I’d really like a practice partner where there isn’t any judgement or pressure. A�That way I’d be able to do what I do with the puzzles and make mistake after mistake until it finally clicks into place and I can figure out the different ideas that I have. A�For now, though, I guess I’ll just work on the puzzles and reintroduce myself to the MtG puzzles, too.