KARDS is a free-to-play WWII themed collectible card game. 5 factions are currently available: Germany, Russia, USA, Britain, and Japan. Players gain resource each turn to play cards from their hand, move units, or make units attack. Units are divided into infantry, tanks, fighters, bombers, and artillery, which each have different move and attack rules.
Format: PC via Steam
Play time so far: 2 hours
Basic gameplay in KARDS consists of the following. Each player draws a starting hand of cards (4 for the player going first, 5 for the second) from their 40 card deck and then chooses any number of them to put back and redraw. There are 3 zones on the battlefield: a support zone for each player which contains their city card starting at 20 health, and the frontline which either player can occupy (but not at the same time). Players gain resource called “kredits” each turn, up to a maximum of 12. Cards are either units (are played onto the field and then cost resource to move around and attack) or orders (have a one-time effect immediately). Each unit has different costs to utilize, rules for moving/attacking, and possibly special effects. Victory is achieved when the opponent’s city has been reduced to 0 or less health.
One of the things that first attracted me to KARDS was the graphical style. I love the thematic art style of the cards, theming of the table, color palette, and wear on the cards. The sound effects for each card also made me excited to play, although I wish there was more diversity in some of the sound effect categories, particularly for infantry.
I found most of the user interface in KARDS to be readily understandable. In most cases any additional information I needed about a card was available on hover. However, there were two issues I had with the user interface. First was simply that the visual distinction between bombers and fighters was too subtle, given that they behave very differently in combat. Second was that I found the deckbuilding interface to be very unclear. I was frustrated that I couldn’t see my entire deck list at once and it took me a few minutes to understand what all the symbols under the cards were indicating.
For better or worse, I didn’t spend too much time in the deckbuilding scene because my ability to get new cards was pretty minimal. Players start be playing some beginning matches against AI and unlocking a starter deck for each faction, then one 5 card pack is given for free. Packs are then acquired either with real currency or by get gold from quests. 1 quest is given every day and it appears they all give 5 gold upon completion. Since packs cost 10 gold, it seems the game is weighed so free-to-play players will get a new pack every other day. This can make building a custom deck for a single faction a struggle since on average a pack will contain about 1 faction specific card for each faction. Technically slightly less than that, given the faction neutral cards.
Overall I think KARDS looks promising and definitely a lot of love has been put into the look and feel of the game. I’m interested to see how it evolves with more cards and a potential draft mode in the future. PvP queue times are already good for new players, so I recommend collectible card game players and WWII buffs give the game a try.