Card Hunter was released not too long ago.  This weekend I sat down and gave it a shot.

The gameplay is really solid.  You have three classes of heroes – Mage, Cleric, or Fighter.  Each one gets cards according to their class-specific items.  The cards form a deck, and every turn your deck is shuffled and you draw a hand.  Each round you can play some or all of your cards.   Your adversaries are various individual or grouped bad-guys, run by the PC.  Each type of enemy has its own card deck, and draws from it in just the same way.  You play on a tactical grid, taking turns to play and resolve a single card.  Turning almost all the items, and cards, into actions is a really interesting idea, and somewhat innovative.  Boots give you move actions, Armor gives you armor cards which are played when you get hit and can reduce damage, and weapons give you various different attacks.  The way in which it moves away from stats and statuses is interesting, and makes the game move.  I’m liking it a lot.

The game oozes nostalgia, using crisp graphics and bright colors to really nail the look of old-school 1st edition D&D.  I absolutely love it – really, everything is just a joy to look at.  The framing-device, though, is a bit shakier.  You have the nerdy GM and his older brother Melvin acting out gamer stereotypes.  While painfully true to life on occasions, this bit seems like unnecessary nostalgia-mongering.

I can’t help but wonder if D&D 4th edition would have done a lot better if they’d included a PC implementation like this along with its release.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun was also pretty fond of it.