It’s good to see NEC getting back in to the game making business. Although after their last effort Tube Slider on GameCube I was starting to wonder if they had lost their spark. It’s good to see that isn’t the case with Culdcept a new card/tactical game. Cross one part Yu-Gi-Oh with one part Magic the Gathering and one part Monopoly and you’ve got one of the more interesting titles of the year.
Once there was a great goddess known as Culdra, and she was the creator of the world. Cepters are the people out there who can wield her power in the form of monsters in cards. One Cepter in a generation is able to receive Culdra’s power of creation and make a new world. One Cepter would not have it so and it’s up to you, a fledgling Cepter to destroy this would be menace.
First off, ignore the graphics; they are really only a simplistic means to an end. Same can be said for the sound, the gameplay is where the meat of the game is, and the card system works surprisingly well too. At first I was thinking, oh great, another card game where I’ve got to learn a ton of nuances but thankfully Culdcept keeps it nice and easy, and entertaining to boot.
When you start the game you are given a basic deck and when you go up against someone you have to meet a goal, whether it be to acquire a certain amount of mana, or capture enough lands to make your opponent go magically bankrupt. Each player takes turn rolling a die, and what you roll is where you will move to on a Monopoly-esque board. Once you reach your destination you can lay down a monster on that land if you have one in your hand, and these monsters can be fortified in battle with item and magic cards, which will give them the upper hand while defending.
If your opponent should land on one of your spots on the field then they either have to pay you a toll or they must fight for that position on the field. This is where a battle would take place and a lot can be factored into this battle. Say that the plot of land is a forest, if you put a monster in there with a green affinity then they will get a bonus. As you move around the map you can level up the lands, think of it as putting more houses down on the Monopoly board, as you do this the toll to land or your property becomes greater.
NEC has taken the concept of Monopoly and put an interesting slant on it. Needless to say this could be one of the best niche titles to come out in a long time. Yu-Gi-Oh Duelist of Roses got the console card game started with a whimper Culdcept looks to blow this niche into a gaping hole.
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