Culdcept Revolt Review (3DS)
It was a combination that would be extremely difficult to refuse – a videogame that is a board game containing card based collecting and combat. The fact that it has legions of loyal fans meant it could not be a flash in the pan. There was only one thing that could possibly go wrong here. What if Culdcept Revolt was like a board game you didn’t like?
Culdcept Revolt is the latest in a series that is celebrating its 20th year in 2017. It is also the first time the series is being released in Europe. Culdcept Revolt is indeed a board game but in also has an intricate story mode where players will take control of Allen as he fights alongside the Free Bats to free the world from the tyranny of Count Kraniss. The story is dealt out in quests which also contain a few matches of the board game. Completing these quest will also reward you with currency which then allows you to buy new cards which you will need as your opponents become stronger and more skilled.
Describing the gameplay of the board game in Culdcept Revolt is rather easy if you’ve ever played a game of Monopoly. The map or board you travel around on is divided up into spaces and each space has a certain colour on it – much the same as the board in Monopoly. On your turn you roll the dice and proceed to move around the board. The board also has certain spaces – normally, but not always, the corner spaces – that earn you the game’s currency when you land on them. Once you have passed all of these checkpoints you are considered to have completed a lap – much like passing go and collecting £200 in Monopoly. Instead of placing houses and hotels in empty spaces as you do in Monopoly, you can place monsters from your hand of cards (which are replenished at the beginning of your turn). Should you land on a space that has an opponent’s monster, you need to either pay the toll or battle the monster by playing one from your hand. All of your actions either generate or cost magic, the game currency, and the first player to reach a specific number of magic wins the game. It is a simple to learn game that is best described as Monopoly crossed with a collectible card game like Yu Gi Oh or Magic the Gathering.
Culdcept Revolt as a full package is fairly impressive. The presentation is top-notch as you are immersed into the world where this strange board game is now the main reason for anything you do in the universe. It’s an old trick that has been implemented really well, where the leading up to the game is just as important as the game itself. The effort put into the collectible card side of Culdcept Revolt is also astounding; the artwork of the cards would not look out-of-place in a real world collectible card game. You can easily spend hours buying new cards and constructing your deck of fifty cards to suit your particular playing style. If designed correctly, this part of collectible card games can sometimes take more of your time than playing the actual game. Culdcept Revolt knows this and is happy to suck your spare time away in a multitude of ways.
Then there is the wealth of modes / options available to consider. Play enough of the story mode and the online multiplayer is unlocked. This allows you to test your skill against players all over the world. Another neat touch is the ability to play solo games against characters met in the story mode. You can then customise the type of match you wish to play with by selecting special conditions and rules which are unlocked throughout the game, so we will not spoil what they are here.
At this point, you are probably wandering what the downside to Culdcept Revolt is. Well, its downside is also one of the things that makes the game – the roll-and-move gameplay a la Monopoly. Most of our time playing matches in Culdcept revolt felt random. It didn’t matter if we had a decent monster to play on an empty square if we couldn’t land on it due to the roll of the dice. Similarly, it doesn’t matter if you have an entire row of monsters on the board if your opponent just rolls dice to go straight past them. The game does allow you to alter the rolls of dice with certain cards but, guess what, these are drawn randomly from your deck of fifty cards.
The complete randomness of the games mechanics meant that some games were very boring with little to no card combat whilst others ended quickly because we bankrupted our opponent. We also suffered our first loss in the story mode at a point where the AI characters do get stronger. However, our loss was purely down to luck; every time on our turn our roll ended landing us on squares that we either had a monster on or one that limited our actions. On a replay of the match we had the exact opposite luck; our opponent landed on our most expensive squares every time and the match was done in no time compared to the forty-five-minute snore fest of the first match. We had a miserable time playing most of the matches in Culdcept Revolt. This, however is not down to an AI fault with the game or anything like that. In terms of a roll-and-move game Culdcept Revolt does what it is meant to; it’s just that it might not appeal to everyone.
To summarise, I am really torn when it comes to how I feel about Culdcept Revolt. The game is faultless up to the point where I need to play the board game. This is completely down to personal preference though. I am not a big fan of games that rely solely on dice rolling. but just because you do not like a particular game or game style does not make it a bad game. So, whilst Culdcept Revolt is a good game, I probably will not play more of it after this review. Whether or not I would recommend Culdcept Revolt depends. To experienced board gamers, it could be a hard sell; but to video gamers with a fondness of Yu Gi Oh videogames and family feuds over Monopoly, Culdcept Revolt may be exactly what you’re looking for.
7 torn reviewers out of 10