Genre: Indie, RPG, Simulation, Strategy
Developer: illuCaleb, FLIPPFLOPs, Japanime Games
Publisher: Culture Select, MangaGamer
Release Date: Dec 13, 2017
Edited by KnightAvenger
Heart of Crown is a deck-building card game with online play, scenario campaigns, and free play from the developers at illuCalab, FLIPFLOPs, and Japanime Games but is published by Culture Select and MangaGamer. Heart of Crown is based on a physical card game of the same name. It is brought to life in visual and audio detail meant to enhance the gameplay for the PC. Before installing the game for review, I had not heard of either PC or tabletop versions. I have played other similar yet different games such as Munchkin, Talisman, and various other card-based games with and without boards. The object of the game is to back one of seven princesses and ensure her enthronement. I will cover more on the how’s and what’s of that later but first a bit of story among other things.
As I just stated, the object of the game is to back a princess successfully onto the throne, but why is this happening? Well, quite simply, the former king is dead, leaving no decided heir, so there’s a mad scramble to place one of the seven princesses onto the throne. Will the princess you choose to back come out on top? Only the cards and time will tell. Before moving on, however, I must say that the learning curve with this game for those coming into it like me, without having played the tabletop version, is steep. You can’t even access the tutorial without starting a match. Another problem with it is that you have to click a ? on the bottom right of the screen to begin it. Quite frankly, it’s like the ruddy paperclip thing that used to be in Microsoft Word. It’s helpful but not to the extent it should be. I had to look at the discussions and guides to see if someone posted a how-to-play guide and, even then, it was a lot to take in.
Let’s move onto something much lighter in subject, such as the audio for the game. It, actually, has quite a light, fluffy feeling to it, to be honest. For the theme of the game, it fits absolutely perfectly, even down to the sound effects. It truly gives off a magical princessy feel to it. Moving on to the graphics, from what I can tell, based on some research, they used almost, if not all, the artwork from the tabletop version in the PC game. The opening image and the menu just further enhance the princessy feel of the game when joined together with the audio. They did an amazing job of bringing the tabletop game to life. On the subject of the actual gameplay and how to go about winning is a very long subject. For this game, there are seven farming villages which grant one coin when played and three apprentice maids which grant two negative succession points. When the game begins, you are given five cards at random from the 10 cards and, if RNG Jesus is with you, it will be five farming cards. The flow of the game from here is players take turns playing cards and, if they have enough coins from cards, cards can be bought in the market to add to your deck.
There are action cards that do stuff like drawing extra cards, cards that have a higher coin value than from farming villages, cards that grant succession points, or, if you have six coins, you can back a princess. However, if you don’t play all the cards in your hand, they are sent to the discard pile, as are the cards you buy during your turn. When you run out of cards, your discard pile is automatically shuffled as a new deck. Now, there are a few modes you can play the game in: Free Battle where you can set or join a room to play against friends or randoms, Ranked Play where you play against random people, or VRS CPU where you can face off against the AI. There is also a Campaign mode, which is all skits that you unlock by simply playing the game in the other modes to get support points. Other than that, the game is a nice little princessy wrapped-with-a-bow package. I can recommend this game to anyone who loves card-based games with a challenge and to fans of such games as Munchkin. The price, however, is a bitch for much of what ya get, but it is still a enjoyable game.
- Well picked music
- Cute anime-like princesses
- Faithfully physical to PC conversion
- Challenging gameplay
- Tutorial not as helpful as it should be
- Tutorial placed in an out-of-the-way place
BoxCatHero gives Heart of Crown PC a Drastik Measure 7.2 out of 10 (72)
Heart of Crown PC is available on Steam for $24.99 (USD).