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Anime Trumps Preview

Sara Lau
Mar 15,2012  03:03 by
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The China-based game publisher NGames has just revealed a new title up their sleeve – Anime Trumps, a free-to-play card battle MMO. The artwork and the descriptive text of cards are loosely based on famous Japanese anime and manga characters ranging from Dragon Ball, Code Geass to Naruto, Gintama, and so on. The sneak peak beta test took place on March 14th, and will last for 2 weeks and the character data will be wiped out after the end of OBT.

Generally, Anime Trumps is quite different from your well-known collectible card games like Magic: the Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh, in which you must strategically create your own deck before a match to take advantage of your favorable card combinations; instead, it looks much like a variation of the conventional poker game, in which players alternately take one or several cards from top of the 54-card deck and add them to their hand. Anime Trumps is played with a 108 card deck between 4-6 players taking on the roles of different anime characters when they compete against each other with different winning objectives. The first twist is that players are automatically assigned a role by the system: either a Master, an Assistant, a Betray or a Revolt. There can be multiple rebels depending on the number of players. The Master should announce himself when a match starts, but other roles are kept secret. These roles determine how you win the game – Revolts must kill Master to win, Assistant must keep Master alive, and the Betray is the neutral one who must be the last player to stand. This made me confused a little although I found that it was actually pretty easy to figure out who belongs which faction before too long.

The mechanics of the game are simple: draw 2 cards, play as many cards as you like and then discard excessive cards down to your hand limit. (Each character starts with 4 (Master has 5) life points which stand for how many times of “kills” taking to kill that character, plus the number of cards a player can hold at the end of his/her turn.). “kill” cards are falling under the Basic cards categories, and a “kill” card represents you inflicting one damage upon your opponent; however, only one “kill” card can be played each turn. Simply play it down and announce turn. Here comes the first complicated rule of the game which is that you can only attack the target who is “within range”. The range is the number of positions around the table between you and your target in both clockwise and counter-clockwise direction. As the all players default attack range is 1, no matter what kind of “kill” card is played, they can only hit the players on adjacent left or right. But you can boost the attack range by playing “weapon” cards at your turn. The effect of weapon cards last for several turns or can be cancelled by some “magic” cards.

If you meet all these requirements, you can deal one damage upon your target, unless he/she has a “dodge” card to avoid taking this hit. A player loses all his hit point is out of the game.

Besides, various cards and their uses come with various tactics and gameplay. There are “medicine” cards which can heal lost HP to one ally; and “planetary devastation” cards, which are as powerful as they sound, can deal mass damage to any other players who do not have “kill” cards to play. A Master can force other players to discard “kill” cards from their hand to ensure his/her own safety. Some other interesting examples are the “Delay Action” magic cards, which pose negative delaying effect to the target depending on the symbol of the cards (diamonds or clubs) that he/she plays. For instance, the”Lightning Kirin” card can deal target with 2 damages if the card played is between the 2-9 spades. Besides, each anime character has his/her own unique skill which can be used once the Fury gauge is filled by inflicting or taking damage.

The interface of the battle lounge is clean and easy to navigate. And the artworks of cards are very nice and each card has symbol describing its function. Although the game is pretty straightforward and easy, you still need to spend time to get familiar with what each card can do. But it’s good that most card names and function descriptions are inspired by anime, so you shouldn’t have a hard time to remember them all if you are anime fans. To be honest I’ve enjoyed the times I played the game, which frees me from the monotonous and repetitive leveling grinding.

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