Arnold Rauers
msg tools
Hello!

First post for me. I'm Arnold a game designer based in Berlin working mainly on mobile games. I hope this post won't be disqualify because i ask for feedback on a digital game, which is non the less a card game.

Right now i'm working on a solitaire style card game idea which evolves around being an Alchemist who brews potions for adventures.
The game has a working prototype which can be played online (Unity-Webplayer required, Chrome-Browser not supported) or downloaded as a stand alone Mac and Windows build.

A "how to" with some basic rules can be read on the page itself.

I'm looking for early feedback on the games basic mechanic and gameplay. Goal is to create the most powerful potion each round while completing the "quest". While i do like the basic system i feel that the game is missing an additional layer of individual play. I have designed some special cards/ingredients which interact with each hand in unique ways but i'm still not sure if "special cards" are the way to go. I also think it could be interesting to have more interaction on the pattern layer where different things could happen based on the way the 4 play cards are layed out.

Thanks!

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Michael Thomas
United States
Running Springs
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
I played this until I was able to complete the game (without losing). I enjoyed it. Here's a few comments that hopefully you'll find helpful in some way.

Theme:

I don't see any thematic link to potions. I understand that abstract games don't do well so there's often a desire to add a thematic element to appeal to a wider audience; but I also think solitaire games tend to have a larger audience so you might not need it in this case. If you do want to keep the thematic element, I suggest you go all-in on the theme, and make each card correspond to a unique alchemical ingredient (such as eye of newt, or phosphorous, or whatever else type of theme you want to give them), with each of the suits representing some class of elements (the classical Western elements of air/earth/fire/water or Asian elements of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth/Soil and Metal come to mind).

Mechanics:

The rules are understandable and the mechanics seem to work well.

Rules/Instructions:

There are some subtleties in the mechanics that aren't clear in the instructions - for example, the "all" symbol only gains points when you place the card with the "all" symbol, not when you place cards later; but the "in" and "out" symbols gain you points both when you place the card that has the symbol and when you place a card next to it which matches the in/out symbol. A little clarification of these would help.

Strategy:

There's a decent amount of strategic complexity within what at first appears to be a fairly simple game (I say that in a very positive way - I love games that open up lots of strategy with simple rules, like Go). It took me a number of plays to "get" all the levels of strategy involved to have a decent chance of winning, and that's a good thing.

Replayability:

Now that I mostly "get it", I'm guessing that it will still be fun for a little while but it might get a little tedious after a while. But then I'm not the type of person who can play regular solitaire for hours on end either, and I suspect people that enjoy playing alot of solitaire would enjoy this.

Suggestions:

I might suggest that you have an advanced level where you don't score for the patterns (or score less for them) unless the adjacent cards have equal values (rather than just symbols). This would increase difficulty in its own right by preventing pairs and triples in a number of cases and sometimes requiring you to choose between getting a pair/triple or getting the bonus points for card placement. It would also add another dimension of sequencing, since you'd have to think about what order to place the cards to ensure that both the values and suits of adjacent cards are the same at the end of the round so they count. It would also allow you to add additional patterns like a straight and straight flush (and I'd consider something like a -1, 0, 1, 2 to be a straight as well - any sequence of 4 ascending or descending numbers).

You could of course also expand the difficulty by increasing the number of suits and/or reducing the number of piles available to choose cards from.

You might also be able to make things more difficult by adding a "lock" symbol to some cards, which would mean that once you've placed the card next to another card you can't place a card in between them.

Final Comments:

All in all very nicely done. I think the scoring aspect of this would be difficult to manage in a physical game (vs. a computer game), though you might be able to do it as long as you didn't try to keep track of the score between rounds, and just ensured that each round's points added up to at least 1.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Finch
Australia
Carindale
QLD
flag msg tools
designer
badge
My hat? Definitely not a mind-control alien, no.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just wanted to offer the feedback that the combination of the "X" shape with the red colour made me think that the red cards were bad, or had some special "cross out" power, instead of just being a standard red game piece.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Arnold Rauers
msg tools
Thanks for the Feedback!

I definitely like the idea of having more combinations via the values of the individual cards.

I've looked up the card game Kickstarter of Alchemy which has this one interesting rule: "If you create a potion you can drink it to use it's special ability." I was thinking about this and maybe i could generate "special" cards based on the type of potion you create via the patterns. Since you can build a 3 red Potion and also a 3 blue potion or a 2 red 2 blue all of them could create a different special card which gets shuffled into the corresponding deck.
This would mean that the deck's size wouldn't not be even anymore and the "quests" would also need some kind of adjustment.

I will try to prototype that idea and see if it's interesting.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Michael Thomas
United States
Running Springs
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Drinking the potion to get some benefit is an interesting idea. Especially if you have the choice of drinking it to get the ability vs. using it for points - in other words, sacrifice some points now to gain an ability that may/will help you gain more points for the next few rounds (or maybe for the rest of the game?).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.