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Ender Wiggins
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Preamble: I have already posted a more detailed review about the overall game and gameplay of Redemption CCG. The purpose of this review is to closely evaluate the quality of the cards and components of the game.

The artwork

Some of the artwork for the game cards seems to have been taken from older royalty free images that are published elsewhere. I have a children's Bible entitled The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes by Kenneth N. Taylor, and was surprised to discover that some of the artwork from the book matched the artwork on the game cards from Redemption CCG. It has to be admitted, mind you, that some of these pictures feature lovely paintings. Here's a short walking tour of the first chapters of the Bible, using the Redemption CCG cards and the original artwork pictured in Kenneth N. Taylor's book:

Creation



The Fall



The Tower of Babel



I could give more examples, but I'll give one final illustration, showing some of the cards relating to The Flood:

.
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It's not all so pretty, however. Here we see a comparison between the 2nd and 3rd edition of the same card (Angel of the Lord), where the artwork has been replaced with more cartoony and garish looking artwork from Eternal Studios, Inc. I personally don't care for this newer style at all, and unfortunately this cartoonish style is evident on quite a number of other cards as well.



The icons

The cards feature different icons to indicate whether cards are Hero Characters (cross icon), Hero Enchancements (book icon), Dominants (lamb), artifacts (gold cup), and so on:



The background colours for the Hero Character and Evil Character icons indicate the brigade that they belong to. Quite frankly, I find the different styles of icons rather inconsistent with one another, and the colour scheme rather frightful. A simpler and much more straight forward scheme should have been used, especially since the icons and colours are such an important part of the game.

The brigades

The Hero Characters and Evil Characters are arranged into different brigades, according to theme and color. The concept is a great one in theory, but the implementation is terrible:

1. The theme of the different brigades is often not very apparent. In some instances, it is very obvious, such as the Seven Seals from the book of Revelation:



But in most instances, there seems to be no obvious rhyme or reason why cards are collected together in a single brigade. Consider, for example, these red brigade power enhancement cards, which seem to have little or no real connection with one another:



2. The color of the brigades is very confusing: it would have made more sense to match the background panels of the cards, rather than the background panels of the icons. Consider, for example, the following selection of cards:



They seem to be in a similar style, and seem to be from the same set or brigade, right? Wrong! Even though the background panels are all the same colour, the background color of the icons indicate that they all come from different brigades. On the other hand, this assortment of different coloured cards all come from the same brigade:



To me, this makes no sense. Why not have cards from the same brigade all have the same background colour panels, so they at least look like they come from the same brigade, rather than a mishmash of colours?

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In my view, this is just poor design.

Special power texts

The text of special powers and abilities is written directly over the artwork, as follows:



Once again, this is just poor design, and looks ugly. It would have been much more aesthetically pleasing to have the special text in separate panels, as most other CCGs do.

The Bible texts

The Bible texts on the bottom of the card are quoted from the King James Version.



I suspect that the reason for doing this is because the KJV is one of the few royalty free translations that could be used without adding any further expense to the cost of the game.

Typographical errors

There are some typographical errors on the cards. Here's a glaring one:



Coopersmith (as the name of the card suggests), or Coppersmith (as the text on the card suggests) - now which is it? Clearly the name of the card is wrong. But how could this have been missed by quality control? An obvious inconsistency like this surely has to be the result of poor production standards.

Translation errors

From time to time, special cards were released as Promo cards, or for special purposes. Here's a very clever attempt at including a card with New Testament Greek:



The idea is great, but the execution is awful. The cards appear to be identical, and they use the same image, and they also use exactly the same text (Revelation 1:12-13 in English, and in Greek). But strangely, the English card is called "Son of God", whereas the Greek card is called "Son of Man"! (huion anthropou, which is Greek for "Son of Man", and admittedly appears in the text quoted). But there are more issues here: the Greek used is a very poor font, without any breathings or accents. Moreover, notice how the name of the illustrator and copyright information at the bottom of the card are mistakenly in the same Greek font instead of English. One again, evidence of apparently poor production quality.

Conclusion

By now it will probably be more than apparent that I'm not a fan of this game. I haven't even touched on the theological issues raised by the artwork, such as the potential for trivializing the Bible, which I addressed more fully in my overall review of the game.

In the end, however, you shouldn't just go by my opinion, but make up your own mind based on what you see. I think the evidence speaks for itself: despite many good elements, in the final analysis the components of Redemption CCG are a disappointment.

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The complete list of Ender's pictorial reviews: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37596
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Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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Jesus, the Son of God, also referred to himself as the Son of Man.

But theologically speaking the cards were most likely lazy translation.

I also don't like the graphic design. Good review.
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Stephen Schaefer
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Alexander the Coopersmith is a gross oversight. There is a more recent one regarding the correct spelling of Namaan. I can't say that typos on two cards out of some 2,500 produced constitutes a failure of production standards.

What evidence can you provide that placing the authorship and copyright in Greek was a production error?

I'm also curious as to whether you have any examples that are less than five years old. While the artwork can be hit-or-miss at times, I think if you examine the full body of work, you will find that the "garish" illustrations that you dislike make up a very small percentage of the game, and the use of paintings and historical illustrations a considerably larger percentage.

I don't really have anything regarding your comments on design, as I think those are mostly aesthetic observations. I just don't think that some of these examples are really a good representation of the game.
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Bob Wilson
United States
Northampton
Massachusetts
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EndersGame wrote:

I suspect that the reason for doing this is because the KJV is one of the few royalty free translations that could be used without adding any further expense to the cost of the game.


I have an alternative suspicion... in my experience, most of the target audience for a game that leans so heavily on a literal take on the Bible see the King James Version as the only "legitimate" version of the Bible... many believe this is the only one that is the "literal" word of God. So to put text from any version OTHER than the KJV would be inviting rejection from the target demographic for this product.
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Ben Argo
United States
Durant
Oklahoma
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I'm tempted to start a collection of Redemption cards, just because I think some of the art, especially on the older cards, is absolutely gorgeous.
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Chris Heffernan
Canada
Smiths Falls
ON
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Thanks, I was adding a few cards to my decks after being away from the game for a long time and couldn't remember if the card border color represented anything. Very strange to have those differing colors seemingly at random.
 
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Markus Wolf
United States
Bridgman
Michigan
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Your thoughts on the King James probably aren't accurate. The target audience would have to be more progressive Christians. Most of the Christians who insist on King James would completely reject this game as being too worldly and possibly demonic. They wouldn't want their kids to have demons on trading cards and wouldn't allow this in their homes. And that doesn't deal with the theology of the game at all.

I don't know the game, but I know my share of Christians.

Just my two cents.



 
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