I played MapleStory when it first came out so many years ago. By that time I was already getting over 2d-platformers (except Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, of course), so it didn’t catch me. However, I am a sucker for free web game and card games, so MapleStory iTGC (not sure what the “i” stands for) was worth the mouse click to get it started (I was already logged into Combat Arms, which I will get around to talking about eventually). And of course I am stuck on it for the moment.
What interest me about it is how different it is from Magic: The Gathering. I aspire to create a card game, but my head is so wrapped around MTG that I figured I need to break for a couple of years and let the rules slip from my mind before tackling the creation of a new system. However, the was this game handles it has broken the mold, and I am inspired to check out more games and see what cool stuff folks are doing out there.
One thing that I really like about MS iTGC is how there are only three types of cards besides character cards: monsters, items and tactics. In addition to have their own statistics and abilities, each of the cards also serve as the resource of the game, which is processed by leveling the character, enabling them to utilize the cards.
An example is that a monster might so something like destroy an item when it comes into play, but as a resource it will allow you to play a creature or equip an item if you are high enough level (which is increased each turn by using a card for its resource value). It doesn’t make much sense now, and I honestly didn’t get it until about an hour in, but it is essentially making every card inclusion a balancing act, rather than using card type quotas (this many lands, these many creatures, etc.). While I don’t think it plays out this way, the dual nature of every card theoretically makes it so there don’t have to be “bad” cards, there could be “good” and “very good” (the latter corresponding with rarity to drive players to buy more cards, of course).
I chose the Magician/Warrior starter deck, and I tried to load up on as many tactics as possible, since they are a loose equivalent to instants/sorceries in MTG. However, there isn’t much in the way in interaction when it isn’t your turn. In this way the game almost seems like you are trying to build your character/entourage faster and stronger than your opponent. Interesting, and it plays out well as a flash game, though I am curious to see how it would work on tabletop.
I am not going to get into the crystals, levels, hit points or character classes. They are all neat ideas, but they don’t strike me as innovative the way the character building and dual value cards do. I am not sure how long this will hold my interest, but at any rate my Nexon ID is
maikiinteri. It is free, unless you value your time.