GENRE: Free to play TCG-Arena Battle
PLATFORM: Web Browsers, PC & Mac
DEVELOPER: Counterplay Games
Duelyst allows players go fight against each other in one on one duels where they take control of powerful Generals in a fantasy based battle where they can summon their Minion allies, powerful artifacts and devastating spells to defeat their opponents. With various game modes and six different factions sporting their own unique cards to be collected this free to play browser MMO offers intense battles with high level of strategy.
- Six characters/factions to choose from
- Tactical grid based battle arenas
- A huge amount of cards to collect
- Craft your own cards to complete your deck
- Multiple game modes
- Purchase Soul Orbs to acquire new cards
- Browser gameplay
- Completely free to play
At its core the game has elements of card collecting games where the cards collected represent the Minions and spells used in fights, players must build up their decks using these various cards and have the ultimate objective of trying to destroy the enemy General by depleting their hitpoints. Unlike other TCG style games the combat takes the form of a gridded battlefield where each Minion unit played is represented by a piece on the strategic game board and each turn can be used independently of other Minions, changing positions to block enemies or surround them to deal excruciating amounts of damage. Players earn Gold whilst playing games and completing Daily Quests and in turn can use this gold to purchase Soul Orbs, booster packs that give them 5 random cards including a rare or above to add to their decks.
Each player starts with a set amount of mana at the beginning of the game and they spend this mana to play cards that are in their hand, those random cards drawn and revealed from their deck, with each card having an individual mana cost to be played. Minion cards are put directly onto the battlefield and have hitpoints as well as an attackvalue and are used to try and destroy other Minions as well as target and destroy the enemy General unit who also has their own independent unit that moves around the map.
The combat is turn based and each turn the players mana pool is fully replenished but also increased by one point, so as the game goes on players get the chance to play more powerful cards that typically have higher mana costs or alternatively they can simply play numerous low cost Minions. The ever changing battlefield means players need tactics and strategy that shifts based on their opponents’ choices. Many minions also have their own trait that gives them certain qualities or actions in the game such as Zeal that providing the unit is next to their General then they gain a personal bonus each round such as healing them up or increasing their attack, or Backstab that increases damage when attacking from behind an enemy unit.
Aside from Minions players can also have a variety of Spell cards that can cast friendly spells on their own team or hindering and destructive spells on their opponents, whereas Artifact cards are equipment cards that can be temporarily equipped to the General units to boost their abilities.
The game has 4 primary game modes starting with a Training Grounds that puts players through tutorial modes then leads them into various challenges where they enter a specific setup with two Generals, certain units and a few cards and are tasked with killing the enemy General in one turn (or they in turn are killed and must try again). The primary game mode is the Season Ranked Ladder to compete with other players in 1v1 to gain rank position, as well as a Sandbox mode where players actually face off against themselves controlling two teams and working out strategies, tactics and different plays. The final mode is The Gauntlet which requires players to pay out some earned Gold to enter the Gauntlet where they have three lives, allowing them three defeats, as they play against other players taking turns to build up a deck and must try to reach a maximum of nine games before completing the Gauntlet; the further they get the better the prizes.