Great game. Fans of Spectromancer would probably like it. Never play online though. The turn clock system is incredibly abusable.
To elaborate further, SolForge is a digital collectible card game created by Stone Blade Entertainment, prior Gary Games and creators of Ascension: Chronicles of the Godslayer. Taking experience from their previous game and Richard Garfield's work on Spectromancer, SolForge has the same kind of fluidity of a deckbuilder (though not the main construction mechanic) and combines it with lane based combat. What results is a fairly decent game; proper planning and foresight is required to secure the game. There's no traditional resource system, and instead players must manage a limited amount of card plays each turn to both gain control of the board and level up their cards for later turns. It's a unique mechanic that takes fair use of the digital space, and although it's not readily intuitive it offers a lot of flexibility in card design and deckbuilding, as not all cards are equal at all levels.
The system itself is problematic in a number of ways, though. Each player's hand consists of a new set of five cards each turn. Fresh hands each turn are nice, but occasionally you can get a raw deal that breaks the rest of the game (the dreaded five spell hand). Further more, even with a thirty card deck, you only see about twenty cards per rank (every four turns), meaning you can end up missing key cards that need to be leveled. Drawing leveled cards on the rank is required; especially at rank 3 and beyond, leveled cards are drastically superior to their lower leveled counterparts, even where cards are designed to be low-level monsters. It's a flaw adapted from Ascension's design of first come first served powerhouses. It's not serving of a strategic game to have such drastic swings in ability due to chance, and though it usually isn't the norm to draw a stinky hand in a well constructed deck, when a player draws a perfect or perfectly trash hand, the effects are felt for the rest of the game.
Outside of the gameplay itself are a myriad of other problems, mostly rooted in its initial offering as a mobile formatted game. There's no right clicking anything: Every interaction is done through a series of clicks and drags. Sometimes those 'gestures' change between screens: Double clicking to zoom in game would instead add or remove cards in the deck builder. Elements of the game lag, as if the client does no work in handling gameplay. It's poor optimization all around, and has been around since the very beginning, and this game has been in development for quite some time. Worse yet, and quite possibly the most sinister flaw to ever be unaddressed is the in-game timers for each player. Instead of going with a sensible, scalable turn timer, each player gets 20 minutes minimum to take all their turns.
Expect every win to cost you 15 minutes of your life. There is no end to how many times this is abused outside of moderated events.
No game of SolForge ever legitimately takes the entireity of a player's clock, and of course the whole reason the clock still exists to this day is not only poor optimization burning away seconds just to execute one of your two card plays (and god forbid if you can do other things in a turn), but is voraciously defended because of the game's mobile roots, to allow players on poor connections to enjoy the game, or so it is justified. No other card game, to my knowledge, no matter how complex it is, uses a death timer over flexible turn timers. This flaw alone, that you're constantly playing chicken with trolls over the clock's function, ruins any sense of reward and competition the game brings. The multiplayer component, core to the dueling card game experience, is completely obviated by a dumb design decision. Any other space, any other game would punish you if you simply got up and walked away from it to waste the time of other players. You'd likely get banned over unsporting conduct.. SolForge never discourages it. It's the other player's burden to bear.
The clock is in fact the core reason I do not recommend SolForge. Everything else is overlookable. The interface isn't good at all, but it is borderline functional at least. Getting a bad turn ruins the game, but that's simply what you buy into with these kinds of games. Nobody should have to monitor a game where nothing is going on for fifteen minutes just to declare victory. It's a poor point in the game that the developers have overlooked, an inconvenient problem for them that they'll never address, and it'll bleed out their playerbase down to the patient saints and the sinner provocateur. It has lost me, and I'm saddened to have lost the experience of this game to this albatross hung ceremoniously around SolForge's neck.