Tabletop gaming is making a comeback, and collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering are a part of that resurgence. A digital revival of card games has come as well, allowing people to trounce their buddies half-way across the world and carry an entire arsenal of cards with them in their pockets. One of the newest digital CCGs is Tridek: Creatures of Galena, and with its full cross-platform compatibility and innovative resource management system, it’s shaping up to really make a name for itself when it comes out of beta.
Tridek places you on the planet of Galena, a terraformed, yet wild planet where all sorts of dangerous creatures roam. There’s a championship tournament that takes place on the planet called Tridek: of course, you’re participating in that tournament and you want to be the very best (like no one ever was, perhaps)? Players will travel the planet battling various creatures and other tournament-seekers on your path to glory and monster-battling success. This can happen in either the expandable single-player campaign or through cross-platform multiplayer.
Tridek’s single-player campaign isn’t just a series of random battles; each region explored in Galena is home to its own style of creatures and people who battle them. The quality of the AI and diversity of monsters will vary based on the location being explored, allowing players to get familiar with new cards as their released. But perhaps the most exciting part of Tridek is its complete cross-platform support; with the game premiering on iOS, Android, and PC, players can actually start a game on one device, then quit and resume it on another. This is great for when you’re in the middle of a match on PC, but need to leave and catch a bus; you could pull the game up on your Android phone or your iPad and pick up right where you left off. After trying it a couple times in beta, I can say that it’s much more convenient than even I’d expected.
Tridek’s main hook is in its gameplay. The goal is to gain 30 victory points by either destroying the opponents creatures or by attacking the opponent directly. One of its biggest innovations is in its resource management system: though most card games require you to draw and play certain resource cards to bring your fighters into play, Tridek starts you off with a pool of resources and forces you to manage those resources by playing monsters.
Anyone who’s played Magic, Star Wars, Pokémon, or the like knows what it’s like to either draw a hand of all resources and never get any characters to bring into play, or card after card that ISN’T a resource and never get the tools to bring the cards in his/her hand on to the board. Tridek fixes this by giving you a resource pool from the get-go consisting of 3 different types of shards: red, green, and blue. Each card you bring into play consumes resources from one of those colored pool, but you also GAIN resources in another color at the same time. This forces players to build a balanced deck that uses either two or all three colors of resources in play; Tridek’s big focus is in card balance and making sure that every card is valuable in play whether it’s a little, common creature, or a hulking mammoth of a rare. They also are willing to have a little fun with their card design, giving folks a reason to look forward to new expansions.
Mobile developer Dreamfab, responsible for the 2013 Best Mobile Game of the Year award at the German Computer Game Awards, is pushing for this game to become huge. Not only does it have its own unique style, blending feelings of prehistoric Earth with a futuristic edge, but because the card game itself is quality. Christian Dickert, part of the Dreamfab team, says that, “It’s not a game that was designed on some drawing board, but a game that’s been played over years.” It’ll be free-to-play, and players will be able to use currency either purchased or earned in gameplay to buy new cards and decks. “I wanted to make a game that’s able to be free-to-play, but didn’t want to treat my players badly,” Christian said. “This is supposed to be a player’s game where the more you play, the more fun you have. I think trading card games are perfect for that…they are effectively the real-life free-to-play format.”
For a detailed look into Tridek and what it has to offer, check out the Twitch.tv broadcast featuring some of the Tridek team as well as myself. You can also register for the Tridek Closed Beta on the Tridek website if you’re looking to get in on the action yourself. Check back here at GotGame for a more in-depth look at Tridek, it’s gameplay, and future development coming soon.