Collectable card games have been around for many years. That could be said for both tabletop and video game mediums alike. Deckbound Heroes is a new IP from Deckbound studios and they are trying to have their game stand out from the CCG crowd and break the mold. Still in its early build phase, the project already shows some potential to make it a unique experience.
One of the features that stand out right away is the promise that your collection of cards will be able to be used not just in one game, but multiple different games. The one game mode that was being demoed on the PAX show floor had two players dueling for control of outposts and trying to lower your opponent's life points to zero. Each map will offer different outposts that the player can claim or destroy to help them achieve victory.
In this game mode, each player's deck will be composed of only seven cards. There are four different card types you can build your deck around. These consist of hero cards, structure cards, minion cards and rune cards. By having only seven cards in your hand, this negates the RNG in deck pulling, while each player's hand will be visible to one another during the game. The limited number of cards that are visible throughout the game force the players to out-think one another and try to stay one step ahead. A player wins the match by lowering their opponent's life to zero. The player who wins the best out of three matches wins the duel.
Building your deck is harder than just choosing your best seven cards. A deck is built around a points system. Each card in the game can level up and learn new abilities, but in doing so, their deck cost also increases. The deckmaster then must choose what abilities they want to combine and balance the cost, so their deck flows well. An interesting feature Deckbound Studios wishes to introduce into the game is the ability to loan certain cards out for other players to use. When another player uses your card, they gain experience for you.
The Deckbound Hero developers hope to have thousands of cards and abilities in the game, but with so many different variables, this can lead to issues. Some of these issues were seen in the demo and it mainly fell on unbalancing issues. The hero archetype card was the only type used in the demo and these cracks were already showing. The Deckbound team admitted to this and are aware, but that doesn't dim their dreams in the slightest. Balancing can be a delicate dance for any gaming genre, including card games. This issue will only grow in challenge as more card types are introduced and explored, as well as different game types. If Deckbound Heroes can find its stride and balance what is needed, it can be one of the most in-depth and immersive card games on PC. With Deckbound Heroes still in the baby phase of development, it shows a lot of heart and promise.