Not that long ago my old colleague Filip told me about a game called Assassin’s Creed (1) and got me hooked on a franchise that would set the standard for all of my future gaming experiences on console and pc! Ever since that day I have bought every major AC release from 1 tot AC:R and I am obiously looking forward to AC 3 which should come out in October this year. (Taking place during the American Revolution, judging from the early cover releases!)
Assassin’s Creed Recollection
This is something totally different from the acclaimed action-adventure stealth video games although it does take place in the same universe as the games, comics, movies, cartoons and so on.
In a nutshell, it’s a digital Collectible Card Game (CCG) or Trading Card Game (TCG) on iPad, which allows player to battle each other using agents, spells and terrains for control of certain areas using their own strategies and techniques, very similar to other famous CCG’s like Magic The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, Legend of the Five Rings, …
According to Luc Duchaine, producer of the game, it is a way for Ubi to bring AC to the iPad (iPhone and Ipod version coming soon) so players can learn more about the universe, watch new artwork, get more involved and so on. He goes on praising the iPad and tries to compare AC with it which to me sounds like a lot of marketing rubbish to make up for the fact that this game does not run on Android. But being somewhat of a mobile developer myself, I can understand why it isn’t.
EDIT: iPhone and iPod Touch version now available!
Obviously, gameplaywise this isn’t your regular AC game, there is no stabbing, jumping, climbing, killing or any live animated action whatsoever so undoubtedly many people will not like this type of game and label it as ‘dull’, and that’s OK. (If you are one of those people, you should probably stop reading now…)
But if you’re still here and you’re really into the AC universe, you might want to try something a little more strategic and if you don’t mind the ‘no-action’ part, it’s sure is worth a try!
For the people out there, who love games like Magic or any CCG for that matter, this is just amazing! It’s got all the things you would expect from a CCG: a great variety of possibilities regarding strategy, a solid set of rules, 288 different cards in the first expansion (Renaissance), color factions and much more.
The big difference is, it’s totally digital, and it’s done incredibly well, like one would expect from an AC game! The UI is great and works like a charm! I went trough the included tutorial once and everything became obvious in an instant. If you played CCGs before, you will hit the ground running with this game! It’s the type of game that’s all about strategy and deck (or sequence) building guided by a wonderful backstory and tons of amazing artwork.
Like most CCG’s you need to buy booster packs to get more cards. You can buy the cards from the in-app store provided with the game. You can either use credits you obtained while playing the game or you can buy them using your apple account in the in-app store. Depending on what package you buy, an Assassin’s booster pack costs around €1.2 or $1.5.
Ubi is currently working on an ‘auction house’ -feature to let players trade and sell cards among themselves but for now you’ll have to hope for the best when buying boosters.
There are 2 main types of cards, Templars and Assassins. Strangely enough, the Assassin-cards cost 9 times as much as the Templar-cards, but they’re rarely 9 times better, although there surely is a difference. I find the Assassin-cards more focused on certain strategies than the Templars are, therefor a complete Assassin sequence should perform much better than a Templar one. In most cases players mix both groups together to form their sequence but I expect that to change when the auction house opens.
Besides the two main groups, the cards are divided into 6 more factions, each with it’s own color as can be seen above. The factions are:
Unlike Magic, you can only use 2 factions + ‘Golden’ to build your sequence so keep that in mind while figuring out your strategy. Every faction has it’s own specific characteristics, making them suitable for certain types of gameplay. One thing to remember is that a powerful sequence does not rely on a few cards but on the combination of your entire deck. You need at least 50 cards to make a sequence and you can use 5 copies of the same card per deck. You can build as much sequences as you like, using the same cards across different decks.
Getting the game
You can find the game in the App Store for a very reasonable price, by the time I got it, they allready priced it down to €0.79 or $0.99 which is just ridiculous if you consider the amount of work that went into it and the hours of gametime you can get out of it. Buy now and face me on the sands, if you dare!
EDIT: The game is now FREE to download so what are you waiting for?