Deck Casters is a game you might have seen before under a very similar name. Originally released on console under the name of ArmaGallant: Decks of Destiny, the developer claims that this has merely been “based” on his previous outing. In truth, little has changed and the few alterations made have definitely been for the worse.
The core idea behind Deck Casters is a good one - Combine together Collectable Card Game and Real Time Strategy mechanics to construct a hybrid. Many typical CCG tropes are present, with a variety of elemental card types, support and engagement versions, and RTS elements such as large-scale battlefields for units to manoeuvre about in and terrain modifiers. It’s a good start, but its problems arise once you start to look beyond this.
While the game openly promotes a lack of micro-transactions, it tries to offset this by having all cards unlocked from the very start. While this is an idea which looks good on paper, it lacks the proverbial carrot on the stick to keep players going, and a real reward for each victory. As such, it hinders the engagement of players and limits its ability to build-up a player base each of its modes sorely needs in order to work, especially the much promoted 2 vs. 2 battles. Worse still, many details and core mechanical functions are remarkably difficult to read, especially the terrain of the battlefields. Combined with the obtuse nature of certain cards and a complete lack of a tutorial, many players will struggle to get to grips with the system.
When playing alone, the game’s AI might as well be set to random at times, as its strategic competency veers between Colonel Klink and Grand Admiral Thrawn every other turn. It’s wildly unpredictable and seemingly directionless, and player losses will more likely be down to the lack of feedback in terms of monster abilities.
Matters are only made worse by a clearly botched attempt to adapt a console focused game to PC. The UI has obviously been built with controllers in mind, as it’s not only bereft of hotkeys but has large unit buttons dominating much of the screen. The settings menu consists of only the bare minimum needed for some players, while basic functions such as full-screen have been so poorly implemented you can accidentally disable them at a moment’s notice.
Ultimately, Deck Casters is a very bare bones effort to translate a console game to PC, and it’s impossible to recommend this one in its current state. Unless you are hell-bent on finding a brand new RTS-CCG combo game and you’re willing to ignore its clearly unfinished elements, ignore this one entirely.
DECK CASTERS / DEVELOPER & PUBLISHER: ROCK NANO GLOBAL / PLATFORM: PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW