Culdcept Saga Review

I remember back in December when GamerNode member Corvall told me to download the Culdcept Saga demo. I did, and I played it once or twice with the girlfriend. “It’s okay,” I remember thinking. “Not sure what the big deal is, though.” Having had some time with the full game, and having taken said time learning how it works and getting hooked by it, I think I get it now.

Culdcept Saga is hard to describe. In the simplest terms possible, it’s Monster Monopoly. You roll a dice, and go around a board. Land on an empty spot? Go ahead and summon a creature to occupy it. Hell, you can even level it up and have some hardcore hotel-like action going on. Anyone landing on the spot has to fight your creature, and if they lose they pay a toll determined by the level of that piece of land, as well as how many other similar colors of that land you own. Once you enter a fight you can use an item such as a weapon or armor to boost your strength and HP.

It sounds simple enough, but what I didn’t describe there is how absolutely amazing the game is in terms of strategy and what you can do. Each game begins with you having a small amount of magic. Everything from summoning creatures on land to casting spells to using items uses a small amount of magic, and the game ends when you reach a set total amount (which includes your owned property’s values).

The board features four elements – water, fire, forest, and air – as well as a neutral spot, a spot for every element simultaneously, and spots that turn into whatever element is placed upon them first. The first few times you play the game elements rarely come into play, but as you learn how it works managing which creatures are placed on which elements becomes a huge part of the strategy, as creatures on their own element get + to their HP as the land levels up.

Placing a creature next to your own or ally-owned lands gives you a bonus to attack. So not only do you have to worry about what color you’re using on what land, but you have to worry about possible boosts to attack that you may be getting, or that invading creatures may be getting.

But don’t worry, because there’s STILL more depth! Along with creatures and items (which are used entirely to claim land or fight), there’s a hefty dose of spell cards, which perform things ranging from giving you magic based on what lap you’re on on the board to hurting enemy creatures to poisoning land to summoning skeletons on a random empty spot of land. There’s a huge variety, and since you can use a spell each turn in addition to placing a creature/fighting, as you advance in the game they become an even more important portion of your strategy.

Whether you win or lose a match, you’re rewarded with cards which enter your card catalog. You can completely customize your deck of 50 cards for each match, and with a lot of opponents being element-specific, you’ll quickly learn to adapt your deck and create new ones for certain situations. For example, you don’t want to use a guy who gives +10 attack to all forest and fire creatures if you’re fighting someone repping the fire lands.

I could go on for pages and pages explaining the intricacies of how Culdcept Saga works, but really, you can’t put it into words – much like Corvall told me months ago, you just have to play it for a while until it finally clicks.

I will say this, though: the last time I was as addicted to a game as I am with Culdcept Saga was when Puzzle Quest first released. I’ve spent hours each day playing it against my girlfriend and various other friends, and not a single person who took the time to try and learn it has not loved the game. I would highly recommend the game to any board game or CCG fans, as well as anyone looking for a unique title with some strategic requirements. You won’t be getting a high budget, full-blown theatrical title if you buy Culdcept Saga – but you will get a game that will suck away the hours of your day as you try to fit in one more fight for one more batch of cards. Will it be a huge hit? Probably not. Should it be? You bet.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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