Reviews - Updated on April 14, 2022

Hearthstone didn’t just set the standard for digital CCGs. She showed what mobile card games can be in principle. If adaptations of Magic: The Gathering for devices have remained entertainment for fans, then Blizzard has managed to democratize the genre, making it accessible and interesting for everyone. That is why the Faeria developers did not try to invent a new CCI from scratch, hoping for a “suddenly shoot”, but took familiar mechanics as a basis.

The characters in the Faeria setting are gods.

“Sit down if you find a free chair!”

It is not a very noble and exciting thing to tell, and even more so to read, about the rules of a card game. Therefore, I will not delve into the intricacies of Faeria – its solid single-player campaign will teach you everything.

In addition, if you are familiar with Hearthstone, then you already know almost everything. Cards are divided into creatures with indicators of cost, attack and health, and spells: all sorts of fireballs, shields, and so on. Each turn, the player gains mana and draws an additional card from the deck. Creatures attack either the hero whose destruction is the main task, or other creatures.

The familiar card mechanics are immediately striking: “taunt” acts as a “provocation”, and “gift” is an analogue of the “battle cry”. Almost all familiar skills are disguised here under other names.

There are three familiar modes to choose from: a single player campaign, ranked matches, and Pandora, an Arena-type tournament in which we form a deck by collecting cards from three options. There are also daily tasks, and treasure chests, and the familiar “crafting” system. In general, Faeria in its basic principles gives the impression of a Hearthstone clone.

Go on horseback!

However, judging by the screenshots, the creation of Blizzard will certainly not be the first in the associative array that has arisen in your mind. And this is not surprising: the tactical mechanics here are complemented by strategic elements.

In Faeria, there is no split table on which cards are laid out. If a battle in Hearthstone is a fight in the ring, then a match in Faeria is a whole war. The playing field is marked with empty cells. On their turn, a match participant can “cement” two of them, which are located next to your possessions. It is allowed to lay out creatures on any of the assigned lands. In addition, there are four sources of local mana on the field, which will provide additional income if your creature is next to them.

Bad cards at the beginning of the match can be changed.

Faeria already at this stage takes on a strategic perspective: cards become like “units” that move and perform different functions. Someone attacks, someone collects resources, someone guards the hero. The player also needs to decide on match plans as quickly as possible: build a bridge directly to the opponent and try to destroy him early on, or expand his holdings, accumulate mana and prepare for a long battle? The unique card mechanics associated with the segmented field also complicate matters: creatures with a “jump” can move two cells, and “flight” makes it possible to overcome undeveloped space.

But this is only the beginning. Soon we are introduced to the main feature – instead of creating two standard lands, we can perform one of the actions: draw an additional card, get a mana point, or lay out a unique land.

There are four types of the latter: forests, lakes, mountains and deserts. All cards, in addition to neutral ones, are divided into groups corresponding to a certain type of land. This is a kind of reworking of the class system. The heroes here differ from each other only visually – they do not have any creatures, spells or skills. But each card has an indicator of the number of specific lands needed to play it. That is, before you can play any Ancient Boar from the green set, you need to spend two turns creating forests. Thus, when forming a deck, the player must take into account not only the cost of the cards, but also their class.

You will receive ready-made decks by going through the campaign and gaining experience. The simplest of them consist of cards of the same type. With their help, you will quickly master the specifics of each land. For example, “blue” creatures are mobile, many of them can overcome several cells at once per turn. More complex sets already consist of cards of different types, which allows you to create completely unexpected combinations. However, the complexity of their implementation is also growing.

Fate or chance?

Hearthstone, no matter what anyone says, is a rather “casual” game, which ensured its popularity among the masses. It creates the illusion of control and the importance of the player’s decisions. However, in practice, the value of randomness is too high in it. And it’s not just the abundance of cards with an indefinite effect. In most cases, the optimal solution always lies on the surface, and the skill of the user comes down to the ability to add two and two. Have all the creatures central to your strategy ended up at the bottom of the deck? Don’t worry, better luck next time!

Psychological pressure on the opponent is very important.

In Faeria, even with an unsuccessful starting hand, you still have a lot of opportunities to correct the situation. If the match goes hopelessly, you are left without cards in your hand, and the field is littered with enemy troops, there is a chance to win. For example, once I dominated my opponent for twenty minutes and was sure of my victory. But the enemy cunningly lured my troops into one zone and dropped a meteorite on it, which destroyed all my forces.

Faeria doesn’t feel like a typical card game – it always feels like you could get from some StarCraft. It is difficult to say whether this is an advantage or a disadvantage, because this format is close to consoles and PC, but does not quite correspond to mobile entertainment.

Although the search for opponents is quite fast, and the duration of the match is about eight minutes, in practice, battles often drag on for almost half an hour. In the second half of the battle, the opponents use the entire time of the turn, because there are too many factors and opportunities on the battlefield that need to be evaluated and calculated.

Faeria only at first seems like a clone of Hearthstone – later you begin to treat it as an independent strategy game that requires concentration and analysis. The opponent’s moves here must be calculated in advance, almost like in chess. The difference is that you don’t know the set of its shapes. Not without reason, in the single-player campaign, some of the missions have a “puzzle” format. Remember, in all sorts of magazines with crosswords and puzzles, they used to publish chess problems like “checkmate in two moves”? The same is true here: we are given a certain arrangement on the battlefield, and we must destroy the hero by performing several actions.

Faeria constantly makes you nervous and feel insecure about the right choice. It is for this reason that she has a great chance to repeat the fate of many other card games. After all, it was simplicity that ensured the success of the Blizzard project on mobile platforms.

However, the difficulty here is not “technical” in nature, as in MTG. There are no heavy mechanics and rules. As in chess, you can master all the principles in an hour of playing, but knowing the rules is not enough to become a professional. The strategic potential here is, if not infinite, then very large, the value of the random factor is minimized.

The cards are tastefully animated.

***

Whether or not Faeria gains mainstream user acceptance, it’s great on its own. The old and new mechanics are perfectly combined here, the strategic and tactical aspects interact remarkably, and the maps are perfectly balanced.

This is not plagiarism, but a creative development of familiar ideas. The developers, on the one hand, tried to make something similar to the “casual” Hearthstone in order to reach a wide audience, on the other hand, they complicated their creation so much that the result was a completely different game.

To give our readers a slight edge in the world of Faeria, we’re giving away twenty bundles, each containing four War Chests and two Pandora Coins. If you want to win a prize, just unsubscribe in the comments. The winners will be determined by March 24 inclusive.

Pros: Harder than Hearthstone.
Cons: Harder than Hearthstone.

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