Monday, October 17, 2011

So long Sword Girls.

Sword Girls is a fun browser based Korean moe card girl game that is being localized by ChangYou.
At first glance it appears almost completely random in nature, coin flip determines turn order, targeting appears all over the place, spells go off randomly, and all you can do is curse the game for not having manual targeting.
But there is definitely a method to the madness.
If Grand Knights History is on one extreme of the Strategy spectrum, Sword Girls manages to be a very good Strategy game, just on the exact opposite side.

There are a few pseudo random constants:
Enemy monsters will more likely attack the monster in slot 3 first, non buff spells generally go off before buff spells, spells always go before attacks, stuff like that.
But really the beauty in the game is that a lot of the play is spent on thinking how to best minimize "WHAT HAPPENS IF EVERYTHING GOES WRONG" type circumstances.
And go wrong they can.
I described this part of the gameplay to mauve and he said, "sounds like a game I would scream at in rage repeatedly."
I find this part of the game incredibly fun though, the planning around catastrophic failure.
And of course you always get hilarious stories.
Last minute spells misfiring and costing people games, last minute spells letting people mount extraordinary comebacks, people winning because they lost the coin flip and went second instead of first, funny things like that.
I think my best stories are the following:
1. Someone snatching defeat from the jaws of victory because he spell switched my worst monster.
2. That same someone snatching victory from the jaws of defeat right after cause he spell switched the RIGHT monster.

3. 3HP vs 1HP, I'm firmly in control in a Darklore mirror, next turn we both play Sacrifice (take 1 damage to deal 4 damage). He wins coin flip, KILLS HIMSELF, KILLS ME, and gets the win for the game.

The game was really fun and easily playable on the sly at work (oh god my boss is a gamer I hope he does not read this) and very simple to learn but pretty complex at the higher levels.
I also enjoyed crafting, deck building, PvP vs PvE differences (can't run spells as a crutch against a dungeon loli who removes spells randomly from your hand!), among other things.
Unfortunately it wasn't going to end on a happy note.

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