Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four is an RPG card collecting action game. The game has procedurally generated realms mixed with action RPG gameplay. Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four is brought to us by developers Elder Games (Everreach: Project Eden) and publishers Headup Games (Bridge Constructor series, Frostpunk).
Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four – A Great Game of Cards!
In Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four you will face off with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse whilst collecting and powering up cards to fend off many foes. Read on to find out what I thought of Cardaclysm. Will it be a game of cards or a simple stack and attack card game? If you enjoy this read, you can also read my previous review here.
Ok, so, first off. This game can be hard. So be prepared to die. Make sure you have your deck in top form at all times! Second, the game is easy to pick up and play. The premise of the game is simple enough, collect cards, battle with said cards, power them up and become more powerful yourself with them.
As the tutorial goes on, you learn a few things about the battles, how to power up cards, and more. You’re also introduced to the above “Book of Magic”, this is where you power up your cards. You can power up cards by matching pairs of them together, for example, the two Dire Wolves above, drag them on top of each other and you then have a more powerful level 2 wolf. Same for the flamesparks. Once you’ve upgraded, they also change their look and name, so to then power up that level 2 card you’ll need to match two of the level 1 cards again.
For example, you’d need to find two Dire Wolves to match together to then have another level 2 wolf to match with your previous level 2 wolf. I make it sound quite complicated, but it’s really not.
Each time you walk into an enemy on the isometric realm, this then triggers a choice, you can attack or flee. If you flee, you will need to come back to fight that enemy at some point to escape the realm. Of course, if you attack, you’re then taken into a fight to the death with that creature and possibly some minions alongside it.
During battles, you also have gold runes and soul shards. Gold runes are basically your energy, these let you spawn in more powerful cards if you have more of them. Be careful though because each card can cost up to 3 soul shards. So far I’ve not yet worked out how to refresh these during battles, but I can gain more gold runes during battle. Also during battles, you will notice that the enemy counterattack you the first time you attack that enemy in a turn. Your creatures will do the same when enemies attack them. In Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four this is known as retaliation. I’ve won a fair few battles thanks to this feature.
Each time you win a battle, you’re awarded a chest containing new card(s) for your deck. Typically there seem to be 6 lots of enemies in each realm, some realms also have artifacts for you to find for quests. Before you’ve defeated all enemies, make sure you have the key to open the doorway to the portal. The reason for this is because once you defeat all of the enemies in the realm, the Cursed Being comes through the entrance portal to that realm and hunts you down, so you need to be fast in escaping!
Throughout some of the realms, you may also find the travelling trader. The travelling trader makes you an offer of one of your cards for one of their cards. The choice is entirely yours if you want to trade. Sometimes they offer great cards, sometimes not so great, but those that are not so great could potentially become very powerful cards once upgraded. So try and think outside of the box, keep ahead of the game if you can.
Whilst exploring each realm in Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four, keep your eyes peeled for items in the realm that you can pick up and equip, for example, a new staff or a helmet. Each item offers different traits for example Ice creatures or spells can have +1 power with a certain helmet, or a cloak may offer to spawn in a sapling card during the battle for you to use.
After you defeat a few realms you’ll be taken to the interdimensional pub. In the pub, you’ll find a sneaky little goblin who typically offers terrible trades. There’s also another trader in there who will trade cards with you. We also have an innkeeper who offers you quests as well as a huntress who also offers quests. Finally, there’s another tradesperson who offers higher tier cards, but to get the currency for these you need to deconstruct cards in your deck to eventually have enough currency for the higher tier cards. These cards are definitely worth it though.
Each card can also have its own traits, for example, one card could have regeneration. This means that creature, when spawned into the battlefield, will heal a random ally for +2 HP. There are lots of different traits in this game for cards and wearable items.
As aforementioned, this game is hard. Don’t let that dishearten you though, keep at it and you’ll soon have more powerful cards to take on that foe that keeps defeating you. My god, it’s such a pleasure when you finally win a battle you’ve been struggling with.
Graphics & Audio
The graphics in this game are simply put, genuinely gorgeous. I can’t spot any issues at all. Frame rates are perfect, the game is not hard to run yet looks so so good. I especially love the particle effects when casting spells during battles. That truly looks incredible.
There’s also an absolutely beautiful soundtrack playing in the background whilst you’re wandering the realms, the pub, and during battle. Sounds effects also let off some ear-pleasing sounds. It’s games like this that make me wonder why some of the bigger players in the field can’t make better effects, just like this game has.
So far, I’ve spent 7 hours in Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four. Also, the game does not appear to be approaching the end any time soon, which is great news. There are a shedload of cards to collect as well as character items and quests to soldier through during your playthrough. The game also supports Steam Achievements with 34 achievements to unlock, as well as 8 Steam trading cards.
I thoroughly enjoyed playing Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four. I will most definitely be playing a lot more of this game when I get a chance. There’s something about it that just pulls you back for more. More pain and suffering when it decides you aren’t going to win a realm. It’s such a well-made game that I simply can not fault in any way. I strongly recommend if you’re a fan of card battlers, you pick this up. For this reason, I give a platinum award to Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four.