Game Reviews

How does Skylanders Battlecast compare to Hearthstone, Clash Royale, and more?

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| Skylanders Battlecast
How does Skylanders Battlecast compare to Hearthstone, Clash Royale, and more?

Skylanders Battlecast snuck up on us a little bit. But it was a good sneak. A surprising sneak. The sort of sneak that ends with an engaging card game featuring some nice animations and a pretty tight compulsion loop.

It's not as complex as other collectible card games, but there's still scope for deckbuilding, both physical and digital, if you want to put the time in.

Games are reasonably short and packed with action, and while there are a few niggles here and there, overall this is a great game of throwing down cards, battling beasts, and generally having a lovely old time.


The game sees you taking control of a team of three Skylanders, then engaging in turn-based battles to the death. Your equipment and attacks are all based on a series of cards, which are drawn at random from a deck.

The battles themselves play out in impressive 3D. You hurl spells around, setting off gouts of fire, giant sparks of electricity, and all other manner of sparkly effects. It breaks the game out of the sometimes staid look of other card games.

There's a huge range of characters to collect, and you can nab them in digital card packs or by purchasing physical ones. Each character has different attributes, skills, and strengths and weaknesses.

Building up a team and a deck is the core part of the game - balancing things out, and making sure you've got as many bases covered as you can. There's a meaty single player campaign that you can tackle, or head online to beat up strangers.

As well as powers, you've got gear to equip that can boost your stats and affect your foes. Your team has a frontline and a backline, with one active character at the front and two inactive ones at the back.

Backline characters heal, but they're still vulnerable to getting mashed by certain powers, or getting swapped into active service by nefarious cards.

Throw in a bunch of daily quests and 300 cards to collect and you're left with a massive game that won't cost you a thing to download. You can buy packs of cards with in-game currency, and doubled up cards level up.

Is it worth my time?

I think so, yeah. If you're a fan of card games or Skylanders then there's a lot here to like. This isn't some throwaway licensing grab either, there's dragon meat on these bones and if you're willing to put the time in you'll find an awful lot to enjoy.

It might not suck you in like Hearthstone, and the community playing online might not be as massive, but there's still plenty here to waste some time with.

How does it compare?
  • Hearthstone - Blizzard's digital CCG is still the one to beat. There's so much more depth to it than anything else out there, and while that might put some off, it's still top of the table.
  • Clash Royale - A different beast to Battlecast. Clash Royale is a shorter, flightier experience, at the opposite end of the scale to Hearthstone. If you're looking for something inbetween the two then Battlecast is a good bet.
  • Card Crawl - A card game without the collecting. The central mechanics in Card Crawl are more interesting, but it's very much a solo experience.

How does Skylanders Battlecast compare to Hearthstone, Clash Royale, and more?

A bright and surprisingly deep card game that'll keep you going for a good long while
Harry Slater
Harry Slater
Harry used to be really good at Snake on the Nokia 5110. Apparently though, digital snake wrangling isn't a proper job, so now he writes words about games instead.