Astral Heroesby Aethyna May 18, 2016 | 2 Votes | 2 Played | 0 Reviews 10 rate If you’re looking for a digital card game that is not only fun to play but also brings a breath of fresh air, well, you needn’t look any further than Astral Heroes. With plenty of features that turns the card game genre over on its head and a fair free-to-play model, you’ll be able to experience a more in-depth and competitive card play. Play Now Similar Games Played
People Also Played
If you’re looking for a digital card game that is not only fun to play but also brings a breath of fresh air to the genre, well, you won't need to look any further than Astral Heroes. With a plethora of unique features that somewhat turns the collectible cards genre over on its head, you’ll be able to experience a more in-depth card play. Although the game is a free-to-play, it is fairer than most digital card games out there as well due to its lack of “special” cards. Sounds like a game you’ll like? Well, be sure to check out Astral Heroes today!
The prophecy delivered by the great oracle Elizeform has detailed the coming of a hero – a hero who will perform great feats and eventually become the first person to truly master the fickle powers of magic, and that person is you!
However, since you’ve just entered the world through the Astral Portal and still have little to no idea how to control your gifts, you’ll definitely need some work before you can become the sorcerer supreme that you are meant to be. So, you embark on an ambitious journey to battle various malevolent magic users across the realm, stopping them from unleashing unspeakable horrors upon the land while picking up new magical skills along the way – it’s a win-win!
As opposed to the usual way of signing up on the website and logging into your account after launching the game, Astral Heroes require no signing up to download, but you’ll need to create an account before you can get into the game proper. The account creation process is pretty straightforward and from there, you could also pick a character portrait out of the 15 choices given as well as a “race” of sorts, or as the game calls it, an “initial specialty” – either the masters of the power of Order and Death, the Dark Priests, or the wielders of the Life and Chaotic schools of magic. Once you’re done, you’re ready to get into some card-flipping action!
As the game is quite innovative and unique, there are plenty of special features and even tiny tweaks to the general collectible card game (CCG) mechanics that have some form of impact on how you play the game. Due to this, the game provides a very helpful tutorial that spans the entire first episode of the single-player campaign. The game starts by introducing the very basics of a CCG and gradually adds more feature introductions later down the road. This is a very effective way of not overwhelming the new player, especially for players who have little to no experience in playing CCGs. The game gets a huge thumbs-up for designing perhaps the best CCG tutorial to date.
That said, being an MMOCCG, the main concepts of Astral Heroes still revolve around the usual card-based gameplay. This includes a mana system that regulates how many cards you can play or cards to activate in a round; and various types of cards (creatures and spells) with different mana costs, attack powers and health. However, instead of having only a mana system, Astral Heroes innovates by adding in Spell Power, which is tied to the mana system.
Spell power basically determines how many mana points you’ll get at the start of every turn and will increase by 1 with every new round. As you play the subsequent matches in the campaign, it’ll become apparent why spell power is necessary, particularly when you go up against an opponent that has a ton of cards that keep reducing your spell power. Aside from being a fairly frustrating match, it definitely makes it a match to remember.
Most CCGs limit the number of cards you can have out in the “battlefield” at any time, and in Astral Heroes, that number is 6. As you will not be able to play more than 6 cards, you are actually forced to be strategic in terms of which cards you play. Of course, once the game introduces the card swapping feature in the later levels, you’ll have another tool to use while formulating your battle plan. With a simple right click, players can swap out 1 card in their hand with a random card from their deck in every round. This is a very useful tool to use, especially when you have a card that you don’t currently need in your hand.
The card mechanics in Astral Heroes are pretty unique as well. As opposed to having all of your cards’ abilities play out on their own (a.k.a. “passive abilities”) and having an active Hero ability, you actually get cards with “active abilities” – referring to abilities that you can trigger on your own - provided that you have enough mana points to cover its cost. This adds another new level to the game where a timely ability can help you turn the tide of battle. Aside from that, you should also know that each player in Astral Heroes start with 4 cards in hand. At the start of every round, you’ll get to draw a new card from your deck.
Once that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at how the game is played. Similar to the familiar gameplay of popular MMOCCGs like Hearthstone, the creature cards in Astral Heroes are not able to attack in the round they are summoned/ played. Though, you should take note that card abilities can be used once the card in question is played.
However, unlike Hearthstone, creature cards automatically attacks their opponents on the opposite side – the enemy’s side - of the board. This tiny tweak to the gameplay made card positioning into something that is of crucial importance. There are cards that will only boost the attack power of or heal neighboring cards, and there are cards which have abilities that only be used when there isn’t a card opposite it. There are even cards that have abilities that allow them to change positions on the game board while dealing some damage in the process. In other words, Astral Heroes fully utilize positioning as a key factor in the gameplay by creating a ton of incredibly varied cards that capitalize on that said factor.
Not to mention, the game doesn’t implement retaliation effects, so your creatures won’t get damaged by their attacks either. What if you ran out of cards to use? Well, the game provides you with a special ability called Mana Storm which will not only deal damage to all enemy cards on the board but also draw a card for you to use in the later round. However, the cost of this ability can be pretty high – you’ll permanently lose 2 Spell Power.
In addition to Astral Heroes’ amazing gameplay, the game even offers 2 game modes - a single-player campaign and a PvP league. Through the campaign, you can battle clever AIs to get some really nice goodies like new cards, a sum of gold, access to new features and more. PvP league, on the other hand, provides several game modes of its own, including draft tournaments and duels with random decks. Each PvP match you play will charge you a certain amount of entrance fee, which can be doubled if you won the match. The gold you earned can then be spent at the Market. There are 3 ways to buy new cards. You can purchase any of the discounted individual cards, which will be refreshed daily; buy a random card for 50 golds or get a specific card of your choice by shelling over 200 golds.
Unlike other card games where their cards have different grades or quality, the cards in Astral Heroes make do without all of that nonsense, allowing players with the best deck and skills to win rather than the high-spending player with the most legendary or epic cards in his deck. This fair free-to-play model is definitely something that will grab the attention of both serious and casual digital card players and reel them right in!
Despite the crazy load of innovations they have come up with in other aspects of the game, the deck editor in Astral Heroes is pretty much simple and easy to use. Here, you can easily construct and modify your deck. Each deck must contain at least 25 cards and the cards that can be included in a deck mustn’t be from more than 2 different schools of magic – the game has 4 schools of magic in general, namely order Chaos, Life and Death. Each card you add to your deck has their respective astral costs and the overall astral cost of your deck must not exceed your total astral power. However, you can bump up your astral power by completing certain duels in the game’s campaign.
Astral Heroes has other features as well, such as a very detailed in-match history, guilds which will be added later, missions where you can earn gold or crystals (premium currency) as rewards, and more. If you enjoyed playing the game and would like to show your support, you could always spend some real money and buy more crystals or pick up a premium membership that will grant you some pretty nice perks (that don’t affect the gameplay) such as reduced entry fees for leagues.
As the game is an indie, the exposure it has obtained so far isn’t a lot. However, that is about to change once it gets green-lit by Steam. That said, if you love MMOCCGs and have enjoyed playing Astral Heroes, you definitely should play your part in helping the community of the game grow by recommending the game to your friends.
Astral Heroes managed to impress right off the bat with its incredible intro music. However, the amazing effect kind of fell short once the music is over – the music is a tad bit short – and the silence can be quite disconcerting. It’ll be best to loop the intro music or at least extend it. The in-game music, on the other hand, is soothing and quirky at times. It manages to create an immersive enough atmosphere to make you feel like you’re on an exciting and fun adventure.
The graphics in this game is pretty incredible as well. The somewhat plain-looking game board is offset by the incredibly detailed card art. It’ll be nice if the card-backs look a bit fancier though.
With a gameplay that rivals or even exceed the popular MMOCCG, Hearthstone, Astral Heroes is a digital card game that will most certainly make heads turn due to their bold innovations to the CCG genre along with some excellent game balance and card designs. By playing Astral Heroes, you’ll actually get the feeling that the developers are very much more concerned about creating the best ever digital card game that they could come up with rather than trying to squeeze out every last penny from their players. So, if you’re tired of playing digital card games that are mere Hearthstone clones, Astral Heroes will definitely be able to make you fall into love with this amazing game genre all over again! Try it now!