Shadow Era reminds me of the game, Magic: the Gathering so much. When I play this game, it always bring me back to the good old times in high school when I still had my life gaining plains deck and I would play with my buddies during lunch breaks.
I have spent a lot of my free time playing this game and I all I can say is that this free iPad game should be an app for the iPad of every Magic: the Gathering fans worldwide. In fact, since its launch early this year, it had received more than 400,000 players already.
The game Shadow Era gives you that familiar setting of good vs. evil, archers, mages and warriors setting. Much like any other TGC’s like World of Warcraft or Magic
or Yu-Gi-Oh or any other good looking TGC’s. You also get a hero card (which represents you), the usual allies, items and abilities and a slot for graveyard.
Shadow Era differs from other TGC with it’s rules. In Shadow Era, you have to sacrifice any card you have in hand in order to regenerate mana, or with what the game calls it, resources. The game system is actually simple, it is turn based and each turn is consisted of sacrifice, cast and attack, all of which are optional. Sacrificing your cards to a maximum of once is a good mana system that prevents players from playing powerful card early in the game.
The game boasts a breath taking artwork, with quality at par with Magic: the Gathering. And that alone wins the hearts of TCG fans.
One bad thing about the rules is that your hero cannot defend or attack unless they are equipped with a certain weapon. Hows that for a hero? Another shortfall of the game is the lack of limit to the number of cards you can have for a deck. That means even if you have just a 30 card starting deck, there is a chance to fight some guy with 70 cards. Like I did once.
However, the game requiring you to think, strategize (not a word) and prepare cards in advance appeals to the TGC and strategy gamer in me.
Shadow Era at a Glance:
Pros: Awesome MTG style play, amazing artwork, play against AI or human via internet
Cons: Starter decks suck and paying for shadow crystals to buy cards is inevitable if you want to play competitively
The Point: Although not completely free, this game is so good, it is one of the very few freemium games that convinced me to spend on premium items.
Price: Free to download for both iPad and iPhone
Download Shadow Era (Universal)
PS. Tap the gem on top of the screen. It brings down the menu. It do not remember the game saying anything about its interface.