Shadowverse is a multi-platform online CCG that features seven distinct character classes, each with unique deck mechanics. Collect 400+ cards detailed with appealing anime-inspired art, then strategically play and evolve them in combat to defeat your opponent.
Type: Multi-platform Online CCG
Release Date: June 17, 2016
Pros: +Seven distinct classes. +Highly polished graphics. +Great artwork. +Unique evolution system. +Minimal RNG in gameplay.
Cons: -Can't trade cards. -Some assets recycled from Rage of Bahamut.
Shadowverse is a highly polished mobile collectible card game by the developers of Rage of Bahamut and Granblue Fantasy, borrowing some assets and featuring a similar Japanese art style. The game features class-based card battling similar to Hearthstone, but taking it a step further with highly distinct playstyles and resources available to each class. Build decks around seven different classes, including Forestcraft and its inexpensive followers that unleash stronger allies; Dragoncraft which relies on cards that generate play points to unleash expensive cards early on; Shadowcraft that generates and spends shadows to unleash powerful abilities; and other classes each with highly specific styles and card types available. Evolve cards on the board to increase their destructive and defensive power, and trigger additional abilities. Collect and craft over 400 cards with gorgeous anime-style fantasy art and distinct abilities. Use your custom-built decks in the game's voice-acted campaign or in its many multiplayer modes.
Shadowverse Key Features:
- Seven Distinct Classes – choose from one of seven classes and follow their leader in campaign mode, including Forestcraft, Swordcraft, Bloodcraft, Havencraft, and more.
- Over 400 Cards to Collect – collect a wide variety of cards that span the game's classes, each with distinctive abilities, stats, artwork, and evolutions.
- Hearthstone-inspired Gameplay – focus on taking down the enemy leader's health pool to zero with followers and spells, using cards to protect and heal your own health.
- Evolve Cards – evolve your cards mid-combat for a strategic edge, making sure to pick the cards that benefit most from evolution to turn the game around.
- Variety of Game Modes – play the game's fully voice-acted campaign mode or enter its many multiplayer modes, including a Take Two game mode that features impromptu deck building.
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Shadowverse Featured Video
By, Marc Marasigan
Shadowverse is a 2D anime-themed online CCG set in a fantasy world plagued by the sudden appearance of evil monsters called Shades, brought about by the prophesied Morning Star. Players can play as any of the 7 available characters, each with their own background stories and motives for journeying to the Morning Star, as well as their own unique deck mechanics and play-styles.
The game’s visuals aren’t exactly stellar, and the UI designed for mobile devices, but the anime-style artwork is just amazing. This might just be because of my love for anime, but seriously, who doesn’t like scantily-clad anime girls? The game also features animated game boards that may not be as polished as Hearthstone’s, but do have the same quirks, such as clickable opening doors, or dancing suits of armor. The icing on the cake though are the game’s well-made voice overs. Every character and every card in the game is voiced, with different lines for when they’re played, and in the case of creatures, or Followers as they’re called in the game, when they die. This gives Shadowverse a Japanese visual novel feel, especially when playing through the single player campaign.
Learning The Ropes
Players go through a quick tutorial three-match tutorial the first time they log-in to the game. The tutorial serves as a prologue for the Arisa, the main protagonist’s storyline, while introducing players to basic game mechanics such as card placement, attacking, card abilities, such as Wards (Taunt in Hearthstone) and Fanfare (Battlecry), and the game’s unique Evolution system. The tutorial, however, ends with the basics and doesn’t give any information on the strategies and mechanics employed by each deck type. For that, you’d have to play through each character in the single player mode. If you’ve played CCG’s before, feel free to skip through the tutorial. Don’t worry, you’ll still get the tutorial rewards even if you skip it. You definitely don’t want to miss out on those.
Shadowverse basically follows the same rules as traditional CCG’s and TCG’s. Two players face off against each other using a deck of cards. Each player starts off with 20 points of life, a deck of 40 cards, and an orb (mana) pool that increases with every turn. They then alternately play cards of varying orb costs on the board with the goal of reducing their opponent’s life points to 0.
What sets Shadowverse apart from other card games is its Evolution system which adds a whole new level of strategy to the game. Evolution allows players to upgrade Followers on the board to increase their attack and defense values, and trigger special abilities on some cards. Players gain the ability to evolve cards 5 turns into the match and can only do so once every turn. The player who gets first move during the match gets two Evolution Points while the second gets three to balance things out. Knowing when to evolve cards could be the key to victory and defeat. Keep in mind though that there are cards that can be played to replenish and even increase Evolution Points.
Different Deck, Different Rules
Like other CCG’s the fun in Shadowverse is creating your own deck. When creating a deck though, it’s important to note that each character deck in the game has distinctly different mechanics. Another of Shadowverse’s unique aspects. It’s not just being limited to cards with certain affinities, like in Hearthstone, The Elder Scrolls: Legends or every other CCG out in the market, which, by the way is also the case for Shadowverse, but an entirely different set of rules for each deck. Forestcraft decks, for example, rely on playing multiple cards per turn to trigger certain card abilities, while Bloodcraft decks require the player to have 10 life points or less to activate theirs.
The specific rules that govern each deck can be learned by playing through the single player campaign. Play through Arisa’s storyline to get the handle on Forestcraft decks, Rowen for Dragoncraft, Luna for Shadowcraft, and so on. The single player campaign is quite enjoyable, if a bit of a cliffhanger, but you get a bunch of rewards for completing each storyline, including Take Two (Arena) tickets, card backs, and card packs, so it’s well worth the time and effort.
Play With Friends!
No CCG would be complete without a multiplayer mode to prove your deck-building prowess. Shadowverse offers two main PvP game modes: Multiplayer and Take Two. Multiplayer matches can be played in Unranked, Ranked, and, wait for it… Private Matches! Private matches allow you to play with your friends, a feature lacking in other popular CCG’s. Take Two mode, on the other hand, operates much the same way as Arena matches in Hearthstone and also require tickets to enter. Tickets can be acquired as rewards from the single player mode and completing achievements. They can also be bought using real world cash. In Take Two mode, players are given a random list of characters and a random set of cards to choose from to build a deck. They then use that deck to battle with other players in a series of five matches. Each win ups the reward tier, which can be claimed after completing the fifth match.
Shadowverse’s cash shop contains the usual assortment of items players would expect to find in a free-to-play CCG, such as cosmetic avatars, card backs, and of course, card packs. Card packs costs around a dollar each and contain 8 cards per pack, three more than other CCG’s I know. Players are also guaranteed to get one Silver Legendary card per pack which is always good. Card packs can also be purchased using reward tickets and in-game currency. Like most CCG’s, Shadowverse’s cash shop is as balanced as it’ll ever be short of doing away with premium currency altogether.
Final Verdict – Great
Even though I’ve played a bunch of CCG’s over the years, I can’t claim to be an expert on them. Aside from the usual deck and combo setups, the intricacies and subtleties of the genre have always evaded me. What I do know, is that Shadowverse is a fun and entertaining game to play. A game made even more entertaining by the amazing anime-style artwork and cutesy voice acting. Aesthetics aside, Shadowverse also offers fast, unforgiving card matches, as well as a different take on the genre with its unique deck mechanics and Evolution system. If you’re a fan of CCG’s or looking to break into the genre, then you should definitely give this one a try.
Shadowverse Online Links
Shadowverse System Requirements
Minimum Requirements (Windows):
Operating System: Windows 7/8.1/10 (32-bit or 64-bit)
Processor: Intel Core2 Duo 2.4GHz/AMD A4-7300
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT (VRAM 256MB) or AMD Radeon HD 8470D
Storage: 2 GB available space
Minimum Requirements (Mac OS X):
OS: OS X 10.9
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 320M
Storage: 2 GB available space
Operating System: Android 4.1 or later / iOS 8.0 or later
Shadowverse Music & Soundtrack
Shadowverse Additional Information
Platforms: Android, iOS, Steam (PC and Mac)
Announcement Date: October 16, 2015
Closed Beta Date: January 21, 2016
Release Date: June 17, 2016
Steam Release Date: October 28, 2016
Development History / Background:
Shadowverse is a free-to-play online CCG developed and published by Cygames, a Japanese game developer notable for its development of original and licensed mobile games that include Granblue Fantasy, Idolmaster Cinderella Girls, and Rage of Bahamut. The game was originally teased with a countdown website, releasing a trailer on October 16, 2015 that promised a Japanese release in 2016. A closed beta opened on January 21, 2016, allowing players to test out its features, eventually moving to a full launch on June 17, 2016 on both iOS and Android. It re-uses character art and cards from Granblue Fantasy and Rage of Bahamut, offering a reason for fans of their earlier games to play Shadowverse. The game was later released on Steam on October 28, 2016.