Duel of Fate is a tactical card game by Gamevil that's easy to learn but hard to put down. Use the powers of water, fire, and nature to defeat your enemies in fast paced matches.
The main challenge with traditional tactical card games such as Magic the Gathering is that it only appealed to a very niche market. I was always fascinated by these games but saw the initial investment in time to learn the game and money to invest in cards to be a barrier for me. When I got my iPad and noticed a few of these same games making the jump to the digital format I decided it was time to take a look.
So how do I play?
Duel of Fate has a very basic ruleset to the game. You choose a character persona which determines what initial set of cards you are given: you can choose to be more offensive, defensive, or a mixture of the two. There are three types of cards: monsters, items, and magic. Each monster card will have an element type(fire, nature, and water), a strength value, and sometimes a power. Each item card can provide an offensive, defensive, or healing bonus and magic cards can change the rules for that turn. You start out with a deck of 12 monster cards and 6 magic/item cards to play with.
During your battle, you are dealt 6 cards from your deck. On your turn, you and your opponent choose two monster cards to play. Once the monster cards are revealed you have a short time to pick the one you want to actually battle. Then you each choose up to two magic/item cards to play. The winner of that turn is determined by the element in rock-paper-scissors fashion incorporating the modifiers and rule changes from whatever magic/item cards are used. The strength value of the winning card does damage to the opponent's HP. The match continues on until someone runs out of HP or cards. In the event of cards running out, the person with the highest HP wins.
How 'free' is the game?
Duel of Fate is a freemium game which means that while the game is free to play, you can use real money to pay for in-game items. Other games such as Urban Rivals require you to pay for packs of cards, much like you would in real life. Duel of Fate takes a different approach to this model. At the end of each match, you are given experience, gold and sometimes runes. You can use gold and runes to upgrade your cards or you can use gold to purchase packs of cards. You can also purchase cards and runes with real money through in-app purchases.
What makes Duel of Fate rise above the other games in this genre is that you can very reasonably play without every spending a dime of your own money. Upgrading cards might take awhile longer but there definitely isn't anything stopping you from enjoying the game free of charge.
How does it look?
Duel of Fate's graphics are very appealing to players of all ages. The creatures on the cards look good and during the battles they even come to life with their own animations. My daughter would comment on the cuteness of the Dew of Dawn monster when it would win. The colors, and descriptions on the cards look good and explain what they do clearly. It is worth noting that on the iPhone/iPod Touch that the wording is a little harder to read, but the graphics still look great.
Is this for me?
Duel of Fate is a great iOS game that has entertaining graphics that appeal to kids and adults, appeals to newcomers and fans of tactical card game genre, and doesn't require any monetary investment to enjoy this game. So if you enjoy tactical card games or have always wanted to try them out, Duel of Fates is worth a try.
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Pros: Duel of Fate has neat card animations, is truly free to play, and not bogged down by complicated rules.
Cons: Initial sign-up and tutorial not explained too well. Some Korean translations need to be fixed.
Learning Curve: The combat system is really simple to pick up, yet complex to master. Kids and newcomers to the genre will find this game accessible
Should I Buy It?: Duel of Fate is not just a freemium game, it can be free-to-play with a little patience. The neat card animations, easy-to-learn rules, and price make this one a must-have for those interested in TCG games.