The digital card game genre dominated is by ‘Hearthstone’ , so can ‘Faeria’’s unique board game inspired twist help it find an audience on Switch?
Developed by Abrakam Games
Published by Versus Evil
Released in 2020
Today Governments around the world can’t decide if Loot Boxes count as gambling and therefore shouldn’t be bought by children. Banned in Germany and Belgium, Republican senator Josh Hawley is certainly not a fan. "When a game is designed for kids, game developers shouldn't be allowed to monetise addiction. Game developers who knowingly exploit children should face legal consequences." In Britain, The House of Lords Gambling Committee says video game loot boxes should be regulated under gambling laws. The Lords say they should be classified as "games of chance" which would bring them under the Gambling Act 2005. "If a product looks like gambling and feels like gambling, it should be regulated as gambling," their report says.
Its lucky congressmen and Lords didn’t know what I was doing as a youngster. 25 years ago, 13 year old me was openly gambling with teachers in the “War Games Club” at school. We played ‘Warhammer’, we played ‘Star Trek Customizable Card Game’ and we played ‘Magic: The Gathering’. While the first required players to spend hundreds of pounds buying lead figures, the second two, like the loot boxes of today, rewarded children that were willing to blindly buy packets of cards. Where other table top games were sold as a complete product, Magic cards would come in randomised packs, like Panini stickers. The most powerful cards would be rarer than others, making collecting and trading them as much a part of the experience as actually playing matches. Players would assemble their own decks, with a near-limitless ability to personalise their game and develop their own tactics. In my school club, there was no greater accolade than beating an older student. So I would spend all my pocket money, buying packets in the hope that I would get that one powerful card that would assure victory.
“A lot of kids grew up playing [card] games like ‘Magic: the Gathering’ and ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’, and are now at an age where they can unleash their creativity" says Jean-Michel Vilain, CEO of game developer Abrakam. "'Faeria' is a strategy game, mixed with a card game, mixed with a board game [and] of course 'Magic : The Gathering' was a big influence". While ‘Faeria’ was not the first computerised deck-builder, nor is it the most popular, it is well regarded online. Sometime even called “the thinking man’s digital card game”.