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Age of Ishtaria

Age of Ishtaria is a TCG RPG where players collect cards of varying rarities and form decks to duke it out in a unique combat system. Evolve cards, trade units in the Bazaar, and compete in weekly events for rewards.

  Publisher: Silicon Studio
Playerbase: Medium
Type: TCG RPG
Release Date: October 16, 2014
Pros: +Deep card pool to collect. +Premium currency is farmable. +Unique combat system. +Great artwork for cards.
Cons: -Trade system is difficult and inefficient. -Cards attained through packs with fixed chance to draw rare units. -Gameplay can be repetitive.

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Overview

Age of Ishtaria Overview

Save the land of Ishtaria from the ruin of a mysterious evil force called Storm in this TCG RPG adventure. Summon heroes in the form of cards, each with two passive abilities and one active ability. Master the combat system where cards have four possible elemental affinities and three possible attack styles: Flurry, Slice, or Pound. Different combinations of Flurry, Slice, and Pound yield different results, such as launching an enemy into the air versus rendering their defenses. Enhance and evolve cards to make them stronger and view changed artwork, trade units in the Bazaar with other players, and participate in weekly server-wide events. Embark on PvE quests with witty dialogue, rank in the PvP arena, and join a union to take down epic boss raids together.

Age of Ishtaria Key Features:

  • Collect Cards – collect over a thousand unique cards with beautiful artwork.
  • Unique Combat System – units can have one of three attack styles, which can be chained for different effects.
  • Enhance and Evolve – feed cards to make them stronger and merge copies of the same card to evolve them (changing their artwork as well).
  • Weekly Events – each week brings a new event to compete in, along with unique rewards.
  • Join a Union – compete in team-based PvP events as a part of a guild/union.

Age of Ishtaria Screenshots

Age of Ishtaria Featured Video

Full Review

Age of Ishtaria Review

By Chanel Hwang

Summon and collect cards with beautiful artwork in Age of Ishtaria, a TCG RPG with a unique combat system. Learn how to chain attacks to debuff enemies, hit multiple units, and launch opponents to the moon. Each week, there is a new event with new cards to keep the game fresh and exciting.

"Meru! Meru!! Look! The Stranger is Stirring!"

Players are woken up in the world of Ishtaria by two guides: Salix, the last of the Mandragora, and Meru, the Witch of Ages. These cute gals lead you on your way with witty banter and surprisingly solid dialogue. The tutorial begins with showing players how combat works. Battles are usually in waves, and within a wave each side takes a turn to complete a sequence of attacks. Usually, each card can attack once per turn.

Cards come with one of four elemental affinities: fire, earth, water, or null. Fire, earth, and water work like a rock, paper, scissors format: fire beats earth, earth beats water, water beats fire. Null is effective against other null. But the real complexity comes with the attack types of cards. There is Flurry, Rush, and Smash. The order in which these attacks are conducted changes the form of the remaining attacks. For instance, picking a Rush attack changes the Flurry cards to Multi cards that will hit multiple targets. Choosing Smash first will change Flurry and Rush into debuffs against enemies. And that's only in the traditional questing battles.

Certain events have a battle format where players can construct a defensive deck. On defense, Smash cards deal the most damage, Rush cards will launch enemy units into the air and immobilize them for a turn, and Flurry will deal AoE damage. Players must read the rules of each event carefully to know what each card's attack style entails. On top of elemental affinities and attack styles. Each card also has two passive abilities and one active ability. Passive abilities are procced at the beginning of each wave or at the beginning of each attack (depending on the ability). Active abilities take a certain number of turns before players can hold down on the card's portrait to activate the skill. Then there is the Burst gauge, which fills up over time. Once full, a player can use it to attack up to eight times with any cards multiple times for one turn. Add status effects to the mix, such as Paralysis and Poison, and you've found yourself in the middle of Ishtarian tactics. The combat feels different and fresh, and comes with many layers of complexities that challenges players to not just absently mash buttons.

Collecting Cards

To be able to construct a deck to match any occasion players will need a variety of cards. The first way to obtain cards is through questing. Cards will drop as rewards, but only of Level 1 to Level 2 rarity. The rarest cards, Level 7, can be obtained through Card Packs and Event Rewards. Card Packs require either Crowns (premium currency) or Tickets. Event Card Packs can only be purchased with Crowns and exclusive Event Tickets, but offer a chance to draw the newest cards. Normal Card Packs require Gold, Silver, and Bronze Tickets, which are farmable. Gold Card Packs require only one ticket, while Silver and Bronze Card Packs require ten of the appropriate ticket. I personally found this card pack system to be unnecessarily complex. Why not just have one kind of ticket, and require more tickets for rarer Card Packs?

Participating in weekly events also yields rare cards as rewards. I like that some events require players to rank in a competitive ladder, while other events only require players to complete certain point requirements. This way, I still have a chance to get rare cards from completion events without having to be glued to the screen for a week in ranking events. Also, event cards are usually exclusive to that event and can only be obtained during that time period.

Enhancing, Evolving, and Breaking Cards 

Cards can be enhanced (leveled up) from 1 to 100. However, the level limit can be limited for cards of lower rarities. For example, a Platinum Level 7 (higher than just a normal Level 7 rarity) has a level limit of 100 whereas level 2 rarities can only go as high as 30. Cards are enhanced by feeding other units and Grimoires (also a Card, but instead of a person, it's a book). Copies of the same card can also be merged to evolve a card, changing its image. I found this system to be rather confusing, because for some odd reason, all cards except Level 7 and Platinum Level 7 rarities can be merged up to five times. Level 7 cards can be merged with only two more copies, while Platinums can't even be merged. Maybe it has to do with game balance since evolving a Level 7 five times could lead to it being overpowered, but why are all other cards allowed to evolve five times?

Every card also has combat stats of Attack Power and HP. By Breaking a card, you can raise the Attack Power and the HP. There are three levels of Breaking, and each requires different sized Spirit Gems. The first level requires twenty Small Spirit Gems, the second requires ten Medium Spirit Gems, and the third requires six Large Spirit Gems. Again, the tiers and requirements are very confusing and the reason lost to me. There seems to be no logical progression for these things. However, something I do appreciate is that the UI for Enhancing, Evolving, and Breaking cards is very smooth and conveniently located in one place. Players can switch between the three with ease, and all items that are required for Enhancing and Breaking are easily farmable.

Trading Cards...?

One complaint I have about the game is the system for trading cards. Players go through a communal market called the Bazaar where cards can be put up for "auction" (it's really a trade, because there are no bids). What's confusing is that there are no details about which user put the card up for sale, there's no way to make an exclusive trade between players, and it's ridiculously hard to find cards. Not to mention, most event cards are No Trade for six months to a year, meaning locked to the player's account. While I appreciate that there is a way to trade I wish it could be easier and more convenient. There are so many hoops to jump through to "auction" a card (again, not really an auction) and no way to initiate a personal trade between two players.

Things To Do in Ishtaria

Most of the gameplay revolves around the weekly events. From boss raid battles to gifting events to team-based PvP, Age of Ishtaria offers a wide variety. While the game can be grind-heavy at times I enjoy how the combat system challenges players to try different decks and cards. Aside from the events, there are also normal Quests in a long list of map areas. Each area has multiple Quests that reward Crowns upon completion. Each map area can also be Purified with Sacred Stones to make questing easier by providing buffs to HP, Attack Power, Skill Proc chances, and the number of potions and revives that can be used per battle.

There is also a PvP arena that has several different time frames for rankings. Instead of the traditional five-card deck, players have a raid battle deck with five teams of three cards. In addition, there is also the Nightmare Rift, which offers intense boss battles with decent rewards, and a union/guild system where players can join others for team-based PvP events.

Crowns and Medals

Two awesome aspects of Age of Ishtaria are the Crowns and the Medals. Yes, I think that the premium currency is awesome, the very currency that players can purchase to obtain better chances for rarer cards because Crowns are farmable (to an extent). While it does take a few days to save up enough Crowns to buy a premium Card Pack it's very doable. All Quests give Crowns as a first-time completion award, events give Crowns, and the daily log-in mini-game also gives Crowns. There are tons of maps with many quests and each map also gives a hundred crowns upon being fully Purified. I rarely see a game dish out the premium currency with such a generous hand. I understand that most free-to-play games will have some kind of pay-to-win aspect, but Age of Ishtaria pulls it off tastefully and makes free-to-play players feel welcome.

And if it was just the Crowns I would be pretty satisfied. But Age of Ishtaria also offers a Medal system. Medals can be acquired by selling cards of rarity Level 3 and above. Maxing out a card's loyalty (which increases a little bit each time it is used in battle) yields more Medals. In other words, Medals are easily farmable. What can you get with Medals? The answer is surprisingly a lot. Events require players to spam Action Points and Battle Points, both of which can be replenished with AP Potions and BP Potions. Most games would require such stamina-like things to be tied exclusively to microtransactions, but not Age of Ishtaria. Players can exchange Medals at a surprisingly low rate for AP and BP Potions. Medals can even be exchanged for larger card space, certain Level 5 rarity and higher cards, and Grimoires for Enhancing.

Final Verdict – Excellent

Age of Ishtaria brings a fresh battle system to the table with three attack styles that change depending on the order they are chosen. Though there are some drawbacks, such as a rigid and ineffective trading system and a confusingly illogical Enhancement and Evolution system, there are plenty of good things going for the game. With over a thousand different cards with beautiful artwork, generous ways of farming premium currency, and weekly events, Age of Ishtaria is a game that all mobile RPG players should try.

Screenshots

Age of Ishtaria Screenshots

Videos

Age of Ishtaria Videos

System Requirements

Age of Ishtaria System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Android 4.0 and up / iOS 5.1.1 or later.

Music

Age of Ishtaria Music & Soundtrack

Coming soon!

Additional Info

Age of Ishtaria Additional Information

Developer(s): Silicon Studio
Publisher(s): Silicon Studio

Language(s): English, Japanese, Korean

Release Date: October 16, 2014

Development History / Background:

Age of Ishtaria is a TCG RPG developed and published by Silicon Studio, a Tokyo-based gaming company. Silicon Studio is known for developing games such as Bravely Default and Grand Sphere. Age of Ishtaria was released October 16, 2014 for mobile platforms.