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SpellSword Cards: Origins review - "A card-based dungeon crawler that's well worth checking out"

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| Spellsword Cards: Origins
SpellSword Cards: Origins review - "A card-based dungeon crawler that's well worth checking out"

Solitaire card games have, in the past couple of years, offered up some of the best dungeon crawling that mobile has to offer. You don't need to have speedy fingers to get the most out of them - instead they're games of tactics and brain smarts, designed to be simple but ever-so-wonderfully addictive. And now we've got another in the shape of SpellSword Cards: Origins.

It's a fantasy game in the western tradition, filled with rogues and orcs and chests filled with hoards of gold. But there's such a variety to the characters you can select, and so much world to go out there and see, that it's going to keep you playing long after the sheen on its window dressing has faded.

Rogue, like?

Every time you start a game the world has been reshuffled. You choose a race and a class, and then where you want to start your adventure. There are four levels to complete every time you play, each of them finishing with a boss battle. The game isn't all about fighting though.

You'll also find shrines, blacksmiths, and random events. You'll use these, and stores, to build up your deck, adding new cards to the starting hand you've been dealt. The more you play, the better you get to know those cards, and the more you can tailor your build to suit the way you play.

The cards you've got cost energy or mana to play, both of which can be refilled if you're smart. The first thing you're going to have to learn is that sacrificing cards to get more actions is essential - especially when it comes to fighting against the big bads in later levels.

Spellsword Cards: Origins iOS screenshot - The middle of a fight

Picking a different class to play does change the game as well. You'll have different cards when you set out, and you'll need to learn which of the new ones you're offered as you play are worth keeping, and which are going to bulk up your deck for every reward. But then you can exhaust a card for another action, so you need to balance that as well.

There's a lot of balancing here all told, and the game understands that. There are shops where you can clear cards from your deck, rather than adding them, and that's often a godsend when you're struggling with cards that just aren't helping you.

Throw in a solid aesthetic that's all parchment and black lines, and you're left with a changing adventure that you can fit into mobile-sized play sessions. It's not without its problems, and once you've reached the final boss it's going to be 50/50 on whether you decide to play again.

Not the original

SpellSword Cards: Origins might not be the most original game in the world, but if it does settle into your brain there's not much you can do about it. It's taxing when it needs to be, and easy when it doesn't, leaving you to develop your skills at something resembling your own pace.

Yes some fights are too hard, and yes once you've finished a run with one class you might not try and repeat that feat with another, but for less than the price of a large coffee, there's enough card-based RPG here that you're not going to be too upset.

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SpellSword Cards: Origins review - "A card-based dungeon crawler that's well worth checking out"

It doesn't quite live up to its early promise, but Spellsword Cards: Origins is still well worth checking out
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.