SolForge is a free-to-play digital collectible game in which players construct their own decks to challenge their friends or battle against the computer. The current open beta version includes deckbuilding, collection management, online play, AI opponents, tournaments, drafts, and more.
User reviews:
Mostly Negative (55 reviews) - 29% of the 55 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (965 reviews) - 72% of the 965 user reviews for this game are positive.

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Early Access Game

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What the developers have to say:

“SolForge is now in open beta! Play for free and start building your collection now. Your feedback will help shape the development of the game!”
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" of the best demos on our showfloor."
Penny Arcade

"To say I’m excited for the game would be a dramatic understatement."
5/5 – Game Informer

"SolForge is visually stunning. The art is glowing and beautiful. Casting your creatures and spells is smooth."
Legit MTG

"With deck building, draft tournaments and multiplayer raids, I think SolForge is going to set a new trend in online mobile card gaming."
Geeks With Juniors

"Looks fantastic...I was able to jump in and start playing right away"

About This Game

SolForge is a free-to-play digital collectible game in which players construct their own decks to challenge their friends or battle against the computer. The current open beta version includes deckbuilding, collection management, online play, AI opponents, tournaments, drafts, and more. Players can customize their decks with cards from their collection that they can earn through gameplay or purchase from the store. Try it now absolutely free!

The full release of SolForge will feature all of the strategy and tactics of a full-fledged CCG, including a single-player campaign mode, co-operative raids, and more. Unlike other online collectible games. SolForge was designed specifically for the digital space, with smooth game play and an intuitive interface.

The core mechanic in SolForge is leveling. Whenever you play a card, that card levels up into a new, more powerful version. As the game progresses, you level up, and gain access to your more powerful higher level cards. Some cards start off weak and level up into powerhouses, while others start off strong and don't improve much as they level, presenting strategic and tactical choices that will challenge even the most seasoned gaming veterans.

Key Features

  • Challenge your friends or play against AI opponents with multiple levels of difficulty
  • Simple to learn, difficult to master.
  • Tutorial to get you playing right away
  • Unique leveling mechanic transforms your cards as you play
  • Online Play
  • Deck Customization
  • Tournaments and Draft Mode

Planned Features

  • New Cards
  • Card Forging System
  • Campaign Mode
  • Cooperative Raids
  • Animated Cards
  • And more!

System Requirements

    • OS:Windows Vista
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:256MB DirectX 9.0c compatible video card
    • Hard Drive:200 MB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
    • OS:Windows 8
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:512MB DirectX 9.0c compatible video card
    • Hard Drive:500 MB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
Customer reviews
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Mostly Negative (55 reviews)
Mostly Positive (965 reviews)
Recently Posted
Hippo Turtle
( 434.8 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 29
The developers of this game are simply awful. Some of the worst around. SolForge was released on Steam in March of 2013 as an Early Access title and its current development status is still very close to what it was back then. There is usually only one update per year. Sometimes two updates per year if we're lucky and those updates change very little about the game client and user interface. The developers care more about releasing new cards than patching and fixing the game client and user interface, which is currently the equivalent of a phone game from about the year 2006. Due to the developers' decisions and unbelievably slow progress, the playerbase has been getting smaller and smaller. The death of this game is near and the developers have practically abandoned any prospect of a positive future as the updates come rarely and slowly.

The June 2016 client update is the most dysfunctional, broken, worthless piece of trash I have ever used on Steam, or likely anywhere. The developers (if they can even be referred to as such) took the original, terrible client and exchanged it for something that is far worse and much less usable. There are even less features now in comparison to before. Many of the basic functions no longer work or no longer exist. Now the player is limited to one single game at a time, and challenge requests mostly do not work. Yes, you read that correctly. Challenge requests sent to friends simply do not work. You send a challenge request and the friend will never receive it, no matter how many times you cancel it and resend. Also, they have downsized the amount of all rewards. These are a few of the many, many, many, problems, and I assure you that the game is nearly unplayable, which makes it useless. In its current state, SolForge should absolutely not exist.

Don't be like me. Don't waste your time and money on a product that has been developed like garbage by despicable developers who couldn't care less. These developers should suffer the dire consequences for failing to provide their supporters with a usable product. These people do not deserve your attention, they do not deserve your money, and they surely do not deserve to function as a company. This awful excuse for a game should be grounds for immediate refunds to all customers. Do not let these people get away with deceiving and defecating all over its playerbase. These people should be unemployed and they should feel permanent shame for ever accepting and keeping money from people for SolForge. This is effectively fraud against paying players. Either they release a playable, usable version of the game, or shut it down immediately. These people took money and did not release the game that was promised, let alone release a working piece of software. The people behind SolForge are incompetent, careless, and dishonest. Enough is enough.

SolForge is a disaster.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Niki Lina
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 29
Doesn't use mana, meaning that putting strongest cards is the way to win, which makes it pay to win.

Tutorial is broken, the second mission can't be won.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[LT3] Taluien
( 832.5 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 28
If you ever think about starting playing, here is my take: just don't. Turn around now, while you can.

Let me start with the positive stuff: The underlying system, the variance of cards and as such the potential for deckbuilding is great. The game itself works well. Artwork is nice, tournaments are sometimes fun.

And now for the bad: it is not at all friendly to new players. Play online and you WILL run into highend decks. Nothing else can compete at this stage. There is no learning curve. You either have the good cards, or you get stomped by one of the 5 dominant decks of the meta at the time. Sure, you can get cards for free, but, sadly, now you need to win an ONLINE game for that. Same for tournament tickets. This was different, before the client redesign. Nowadays, there is no way for you to get your toes wet, so to speek. It's a bad system and it is not getting better.

Right now, if you are ready to drop a lot of money on a card game, you could do worse than SolForge. But if not? Stay the hell away.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 11.8 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 26
Beta client was better :/
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 636.3 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 26
The new client is trash. Slow and unresponsive, and visual confusing. The balance of the game has also suffered from a very fast rate of expansion, combined with over aggressive tuning of cards
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rain Drops
( 504.7 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 22
The new Client is AMAZING. Everything runs so smoothly now. Any frustrations you might have with this game, give it another go, it's like a whole new game. I love that there is a Ranked Ladder now, one that costs me nothing to participate in. And the new ticket prices for Draft (and you keep the cards) is very generous. Probably because of the double reward thing going on right now, I've been able to play one draft per day. Very nice. Managing to pull a win via Forgeguardian Omega in Draft was a delicious highlight of the new experience.

I bought 10 Raiders Unchained pack to pump up my collection a bit. Love the new cards, love the new combos that I am able to piece together. That's what I like about Solforge, it's ability to consistently reinvent itself.

I am still hoping for word on official No-Legendary Tournements, but that might be bad for business, which I totally understand. In draft, all Forgeborn are equal, so it's not a huge issue.

A friend of my did mention that he would like to see Standard play (ie, we only play with the most recent sets). It would make things more interesting for sure, but not as accessible to everyone.

The naysayers haven't played this game enough lol. Their hours are seriously lacking.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 7.8 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 22
A cool idea, terrible execution. There's a reason for all those negative reviews piling up recently: Solforge was patched into oblivion. It's inaccessible, matchmaking is terrible and even although the cards and the system itself are cool, it is endlessly frustrating to play.

Play Duel of the Planeswalkers instead.
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Pfarrer Braun
( 71.3 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 18
Carddraw Simulator. Also known as take my money for RNG.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 1,486.9 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 16
Solforge is one of the best TCG game out there. The mechanic is sharp and unique compared to other TCG I played (Magic, HS,Duelyst etc) That is why it has gather quite a fanbase whilst it was still in beta. (it has been in beta quite a looong time. 7 sets was released in beta)

Everyone was excited when Solforge finally was going to be officially launched on 31st May. Unfortunately, it was not the smoothest launch as the client was buggy and have several issues. This explain why a lot of people gotten upset and start giving negative reviews.

Fortunately, SBE have addressed a lots of the issued and fixed the major bug. The game is still not perfect yet, but it sure shows that the team developing is responding to the community call seriously.

I highly reccommend everyone to try this game as it is really fun and easy to pick up. I am a FTP player and have been playing this game for a loong time. I can proudly say I have a reasonably big collection now and able compete with players who pay no problem.

Hats off to the guys at SBE, it might not have been the smoothest release but they listened. Solforge as a card game is wonderful and the client goes a long way to adding the pizzazz so it should be attractive to a wider audience now, once the obvious problems are fixed up.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 253.2 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 15
Upgrade to the new client was a little brutal but they have done a great job patching and this is a good game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
39 of 46 people (85%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
389.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 18, 2015
Coming from a long time MTG Player and Hearthstone player I really enjoy this game. I got turned on to it because I found out a long time MTG pro named Brian Kibler was one of the driving forces of this game.

This game seems to be one of the best games to limit the amount of randomness that can happen in games that have a resource system. You get to play 2 cards a turn (as long as they have targets when applicable), discard your hand at end of turn and draw 5 again. Whenever you play a card a leveled up version goes into your discard pile which gets reshuffled into your deck every 4 turns. So there's a neat strategy in which cards you play and when. Most cards have 3 different levels (with some having 4 and some that are just 1 but that get buffed based on what turn it is). All combat takes place in lanes (5 of them) which creates some interesting strategy.

You can buy packs and gold in the game but you don't have to. You only need to win 3 games a day to get all the special bonuses (which include packs/cards and silver) and you also get tickets for tournaments. My favorite game mode is there version of draft. You start off with 6 cards that are figured out based on a logarithm of which cards get picked higher. No waiting on other players to choose their cards as yours are all generated just for you. It's a nice approximation of a traditional magic drafting but without having to get 8 players gathered and without waiting for others to choose their cards,
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39 of 46 people (85%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 1
SolForge beta had grown to become one of the games I most enjoyed. And I'd been eagerly awaiting the full release for a while.

What did I expect?
* Some bugs removed.
* A way to manually sort decks. It used to auto-sort A-Z, so you had to number your decks to sort any other way.
* Better card search options. Especially across levels. That is, you were only able to search for the wordings on the level 1 versions of cards. This meant you couldn't search for, for example, the cards that are 'free' at level 2 or 3, because those cards have no text at level 1.
* Larger 'at a glance' cards or an option for at a glance text overlays, so you could easily read what several cards do, side by side.

What did I hope for but not really expect?
* Extra stats for cards. Especially stats for which decks they're used in. I love having multiple decks (essential for solo play), with as much variety as possible across decks. Ideally, I like each deck to have entirely different cards from each other deck. This is almost impossible if you have 10 or more decks, because there's no way to remember which of the hundreds of cards you've already used in another deck.
* More solo options. At the very least, developer designed decks to play against (some of which could be based on previous community decks or tournament winning decks).
* Better AI.

What did we actually get?
NONE of either my hopes or expectations. In fact, quite the opposite in most cases:
* Loss of even the automatic A-Z sorting. So now my decks are just a random jumble.
* Loss of the ability to even VIEW the level 2 or higher versions of cards at a glance. So now you can't even skim across the cards to try to spot which are, for example, 'free'. You have to click on each, one by one... yeah, through hundreds of cards.
* Not that that point matters now, because in addition to that, the text has been removed from the cards entirely. The only way to see the text is to click on them and have a pop-up tell you what it says. So there is now no way to compare cards at a glance.
* AND the cards are actually SMALLER! Most of the screen space has been given over to the background/playmat, with the cards as tiny, shrunken little things in a small section in the middle!
* The random deck options and 'quick play' option for solo battles have both been removed. Now the only solo option is to choose two of your own decks, one to play with and one to play against. Not nearly as fun as randomised choices.

On top of all that:
* MORE bugs, not less.
* Slow loading times.
* Slow in other ways too (eg. it goes through a series of mini-freezes when opening new packs)
* Multiple other problems just for iPad versions, that aren't a problem on PC (eg. right-click options; and scrolling that doesn't work).

So... what was it all for then?
* Shiny silver background.
* New card format. Shiny, sci-fi style. Bright lines around the edges. (All negatives for me: The sci-fi style doesn't suit the more fantasy oriented setting. The bright lines distract from the art.)
* Over the top special effects, like packs blowing up instead of opening; and the whole deck flying around the screen when it's time to level up.

In sum, the only 'improvements' are all flash and no substance; the game is now frustrating on PC, almost unplayable on iPad, and certainly unplayable on anything smaller than a standard sized iPad. Major disappointment, for a game with so much promise.
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25 of 28 people (89%) found this review helpful
89.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 22, 2015

Solforge is way deeper than Hearthstone, way easier to play without spending any money, and more fun/rewarding imo.

Strongly recommend.



I'm going to compare Solforge to other card games I have played.

So first of all, I would like to start out saying that I was seriously into playing Magic the Gathering until Ravnica (the first one, not return) rotated out of standard and all the money I had invested in dual lands was worthless. I ended up just playing proxy decks with my friends, but no longer showed up to tournaments/etc. Magic the Gathering is just way too expensive to play, as the cards rotate out of standard too quickly. Extended/Modern is even more expensive to play if you don't already have the cards from when they were in the Standard rotation.

So then Hearthstone came out, and I started playing it. Had no cards so I was playing zoolock/hunter (when uth was broken). Nax came out and I didn't wana spend 20 dollars on it, so my decks stopped being competitive and I quit for about three months. GVG came out, bought packs with gold i had saved up. Still wasn't competitive. Decided to buy Nax for 20 bucks. Turns out Sludge Belcher/Loatheb win games. Also mad scientist pretty much needed in every hunter/most mage decks. Then Blackrock Mountain came out. I haven't bought that one because i don't think it brings anything to the table besides Thaurissan/Flamewaker/Quickshot. I have a pretty good set of legendaries and have fun playing the game, but that is only cos I sank a lot of time into it since it came out of beta. Everytime I try to get a friend to play it, they get turned away by the inability to acquire cards for free. The quests require you to win games, which is really hard with the starter cards, and you will only get a pack every 2-3 days assuming you do the quests. The arena, at 150 gold, is prohibitively expensive for new players, and since theyre inexperienced they usually go 0-3. You don't get to keep the cards either.

Now to solforge. I started playing this game a couple of days ago and I have to say it's great. A lot of the card abilities seem to be Magic abilities with a name change, but that's fine. What is great is the ability to be able to play it for free. Completely for free. You get a pack just for logging on every day. You get another pack after three wins every, which can be against the computer. Free packs for no reason.

But card packs aren't what make this game, it's the drafts. To get into a draft you need 3 event tickets. You get an event ticket for your first online win of the day, every day. That means you have to beat a guy, but you will probably get wrecked if you're a new player with no cards who hasn't mastered the game yet. What I recommend is you make a second account, and every day you make the accounts play each other and get an event ticket on each. That way you can draft 2 out of every 3 days (one day on one account, the next on the other).

The drafts are like in Magic. You open a pack, pick a card, then the computer passes you their pack, which is now missing a card. Maybe I'm biased because of my Magic experience, but I much prefer this to Hearthstone's "pick one out of 3 cards" method. Anyway, you get to keep all the cards that you draft, so it's really easy to build your collection.

The first few drafts I played were stomps. I went 0-4 multiple times, but it is nowhere nearly as frustrating as the first few arena fails in Hearthstone because you keep the cards. You also get 3 card packs for going 0-4. The game is extremely friendly towards new players.

Assuming draft is not for you and you want to play constructed, you can just go to and sign up for the unheroic ladder. This means that you play against other people using only commons or rares, no heroic or legendary cards. Commons or rares are very cheap to craft. I was able to craft an unheroic netdeck on my third day of playing just from the login rewards. Of course, I still got destroyed because I wasn't used to the game mechanics yet, but at least I knew that it was my fault and not the fault of my poor cards. Losing mirror matchups in unheroic ladder made me realize ways in which I could improve my play, which ended up boosting my draft win rate.

Solforge is truly a free to play game. Way more accessible than Magic/Hearthstone
-Paper card games like Magic are definitely pay to win and prohibitively expensive.
-Hearthstone isn't really free to play due to the single player adventures, which require you to shell out cash. You can be competitive if you grind Hearthstone without spending money, but you would have to be some sort of arena wizard or grind quests for months.

-the client is ugly. super ugly. Hearthstone is extremely beautiful in comparison.
-Some mechanics are ripoffs from Magic
-The unheroic ladder has long queue times unless its nighttime in the US
-There are like five people total who play this game (draft queue times are almost instantaneous though)

Still, greatly recommended over Hearthstone. Really don't understand why this game is so shunned.
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29 of 36 people (81%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
208.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 20, 2015
This could really be a great game if not for some pretty major issues. I'm not talking technical issues either (allthough it has those), I'm talking major design flaws in the game itself. I've been playing Solforge for some time now, over 200 hours so far, and while this game has the usual balance issues, and other minor technicalities associated with an early release game, the real killer (and why i no longer play) is the rediculous tedium of having to wait...and wait....and wait...and wait some more just to take each of your turns. For some ungodly reason your given 20 min per game each for a total of 40 min, but no time limit on each individual move, so you find yourself quite often que'ing for a game, about 20-40 sec, loading the game screen, about 5-10 sec, THEN STARING AT YOUR MONITOR FOR LITERALLY 15 MINUTES WHILE YOU WAIT FOR YOUR OPONENT TO MAKE THEIR FIRST MOVE!!! But here's the real pinch, the game also allows you to create what seems to be an unlimited amount of games running at the same time. So not only do you get people who enjoy letting the timer run from 20 min down to 3 min before they make their first move, or people who "give up" by simply moving to another game and letting what remains of their 20 min timer run to 0, but you also have to contend with the fact that in 95% of all Solforge games, your opponent will without a doubt have at least 3-4, maybe even 7-8 other games running at the same time, which means while your making moves in 10-20 seconds, your opponent is take 4-5 minutes per move because they're jumping from game to game, and not actually even in your game looking at the same screen you are. This to me is a MAJOR design flaw, and a source of a lot of complaint and debate on the Solforge forums. When you actually get lucky, and happen across another player who seems to only have the one game open like you, and moves are happening in usually less than 30 seconds or so, then the game is actually quite fluid and enjoyable, to the extent I'd even spend real money on it to bolster my collection and "finish off" a few of my decks. But as it stands you spend far to much time doing nothing but staring and waiting. Not cool. In fact its just plain boring and quite frustrating. The Dev's say the official release is on the horizon, and i pray they dont leave the game the way it is, because the "influx of people" they're hope'ing for wont stay for long i can assure you. Which would be a real shame, this could be such a great little game, but for now, ill be off playing something else.
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137 of 222 people (62%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
217.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: February 19, 2014
Lazy game design, rather little skill compared to other CCGs.


I'll go further into detail as to why I don't support the game anymore. The company behind it is rather high on themselves because they had a few big names behind their game, and so they charge outrageous prices for things, and have little value for customers because the entire game was kickstarted, meaning all of the money they make afterwards is more or less entirely profit due to the low maintenance cost of digital card games, and most of it being data being pulled from a database. They don't do any form of maintenance between large updates. Most games have a weekly downtime for a few hours to fix bugs, and add improvements to interfaces, or make the game flow more smoothly, not this. They only update when they have content that they can monetize, such as a new handful of cards, which leaves existing bugs present in the game for months. They have a difficult time managing the iPad version with the PC version, and both appear to be neglected at times because of it, though personally I can not speak for the mobile (phone) version. They had closed beta last for the better part of 8 months, the first six of which involved literally nothing for the player, you had the same demo decks for six months. It was technically longer than that, since it came out shortly before Christmas, but i'll round down because I don't have the exact dates, and frankly don't care enough to get them. Then, in the summer following the closed beta, they come out with their first set of cards, and go into open beta, but they give a brief window of just a few days for any of the closed beta participants and kickstarter backers to spend their store credit after having nothing to do with it for the past six months, and post it in an obscure section of their forums to even announce that it was happening. Nothing on steam, nothing in the client, nothing in the announcement section of their forums, and nothing on their homepage of their website. They did announce it on twitter once or twice, though. So if they happened to be the only people you follow, you may have seen it after having no reason to look at their page for six months. Personally, I chose to read that as trying to squeeze what value they could out of even the players who backed them before the game was even a demo, but read what you will into it.

Gameplay: If you have ever played Magic: The Gathering before, this game is incredibly simple to pick up. The mechanics in the game are outrageously simple; and many of them actually exist in Magic under other names. That being said, imagine one of the game rules in Magic being changed so that a Wheel of Fortune was cast every turn. All of the multiple-turn decision trees, and all of the long-term strategy would be removed; and that is exactly what SolForge did. You get a new hand every turn, and with no resource system, you are instead limited to how many cards per turn you can play (two, aside from a few cards enabling other cards to be free here and there, but two is the default by game rules). So you have a hand of five cards, and can play two of them, every turn, forever. With a new hand every turn. Which basically equates to you have five cards to choose from, but the game state usually dictates which of them are the best to play (if you're behind on board, or if your opponent has a creature you have to kill or you lose, that sort of thing) which leads to very few decisions actually being made by the player. Early game, of course, you have the options of what cards to play in order to level them, sure. But you have a relatively high chance of never seeing the leveled version when it matters again, which happens far more frequently than you'd think.

What the mechanics equate to, at this point is: Level your important cards, and level answers to your opponent's important cards. If you draw your answers to your opponent's cards, while they don't draw answer's to your cards, you win. The opposite is true, as well of course, but it creates for very little interesting gameplay, without ever having any complex board states, or very many things you can due since you can (almost) always only play two cards per turn.

All of that being said, I didn't mention their failure to balance anything outside of a large update, and even then, there is rather little of it going on. They don't do any balance changes until they have their large updates (which has averaged once every four months or so, thus far). Which means if something is overpowered, it is overpowered for a while. And if something is garbage and unplayable, it is that way for a while. The game is stagnant, and in a bad place, and it won't get better for a very, very long time, if at all. They couldn't even balance for draft, as everyone who has drafted more than twice can tell you exactly what the best factions are in order, and what cards among them matter. And once you know what cards you have to draft to win, it boils down to who draws what cards, and when they draw them. There is no concept of: "First turn, i'll play Dude A, and then the next turn i'll play Dude B that goes really well with Dude A" because you have a high chance of not even drawing Dude B, and in the next combat phase, Dude A is dead.

And then you have the lazy game design. All sorts of RNG where it really isn't needed. Not just in the Wheel of Fortune every turn. Not just in whether or not you drew a leveled version of a card. It is a huge factor in draft, as you aren't guaranteed any cards of any specific rarity, and once you choose two factions, you have no say in what you get beyond that. It gets even worse; though, because they have it literally invade their cards. There are currently 10 cards that have built-in randomized effects (random amount of damage, random movement, etc); which to me, is just lazy design. And that's not counting cards that only have things happen at certain times (upon leveling, for example) which is - in a way - pseudo RNG in the sense of it's much stronger on certain turns than others (An example of this would be one card that if you draw it the turn before you level, you can play it and have it end the turn with twice as much attack and health as on any other turn). Even better games implement some RNG on their cards, Magic for example has cards like Mana Clash, but the percentage of the total card pool is much lower, and it is almost never on very relevant cards (due to the whole future future league testing a set for two years before it's released publically).

All in all, the game itself is okay. But if you play it as strictly free-to-play, you're going to have a highly negative experience, as there is no built-in way for you to not be paired up against someone who has played for over a year and has every card, as opposed to you with just starter cards. And if you play against their AI, you miss out on the most relevant reward for the daily system, which is only given for an online win. All in all, I can't very well advise anyone to get into this game. There are better alternatives for your money and time, but this is just one person's opinion.
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20 of 25 people (80%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
30.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 24, 2015
First of all I would like to say that I'm in a grey zone if I like this game or not.
The Drafts/Tournaments are super fun while the regular vs-mode is "meh", and if you plan to play a lot of drafts this game will probably require money.

I would also like to point out some of the reviews I've seen here. Some reviews claim this game is pay to win. It is not. If you think about it any TCG is "pay to win" at the start. You should never start playing a TCG with the belief that you're going to be on par with players that have played several weeks more than you, it doesn't work that way. This is the nature of any TCG. You can't believe that you will be able to beat any player with more experience and invested time than you in any TCG with your starter pack. Be it an IRL TCG or a computer TCG.

Let's compare SolForge to some other TCG's like Hearthstone and Scrolls. In all these three games you can pay real money for booster packs. Does that make them pay to win? Well, maybe. But let's compare them to some IRL TCG's... NO WAY! You pay MONEY for CARDS that may or may not be better than mine!?!?!++ PAY TO WIN!!! PAY TO WIN!!!

You see how silly this becomes? Yes, a core element in a TCG is that it IS pay to win. But in all the TCG's I mentioned above there is the option to "grind" for in-game gold that you can buy cards for, and doing casual drafts in SolForge will surely get you started!

Another complain I've seen is that some reviews claim RNG is a major part of SolForge. I'm baffled.
In SolForge you play with a deck with 30 cards. You are allowed to have 3 copies of a single card. This means that you could make a deck of just 10 separate cards (such constistency!). In SolForge you discard your hand (5 cards) and draw a new hand every turn (in which you may play 2 of them). This means that you in theory can go through one copy of each of your cards in just two turns, and there are a lot of cards with good synergy!
Compare this to Hearthstone. You can have 2 copies of a single card and a maximum of 30 cards. This means 15 different cards in your deck, minimum! You can also only draw one card every turn (with some exceptions). This means that you would need atleast 15 turns to go through each separate card in your deck.
It does not take a math genius to tell the difference between 2 and 15...

Except from this the whole "So much RNG"-point is strange since RNG is a core element in any TCG. Some TCGs have more and others less.

TLDR; Do not listen to the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥t reviews, try the game because you may or may not like it.
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17 of 20 people (85%) found this review helpful
26.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: April 25, 2015
SolForge is a F2P (don't stop reading, trust me) trading card game. It sets itself apart by being made by ex Magic and by having a unique take on things. As an example. You have some lanes and each card can take up one lane. Once that card is in the lane, you cannot move it (unless it has movement) until it is destroyed.

It is unique in that sense. The game revolves around a hand of 30 cards, cards come out each turn and stay for the duration of the turn. You have no mana costs so you can throw down any card in your current hand in any free lane (or no lane depending if it is a spell card (up to 2 cards per turn)). But each card does have a level. As you level up, so do your cards. And each level makes them stronger.

As said it is F2P, so you'll be expecting the costs of the game. Well there really isn't any. You can play and enjoy the game "as is". Each day you login, you get free silver and a free booster pack of cards. You can spend silver to get boosters or misc items. And if you really start to feel the vibe, you can lay down some actual money on gold. Which is not needed to enjoy the game. I have been playing for a few hours and I have to say, I log in each day, and claim 3 victories against the computer for my goodies and enjoy every minute of it.

Enjoy the game for what it is, a F2P game that wont rip your purse from you.
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28 of 40 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
116.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: September 19, 2014
The game has now moved to the new Unity client, and terrible timer begone! Currently the game is in 'free mode' (cheap ingame currency purchases, no real money purchases allowed, rollback after a certain point). After that rollback and some time with the game, I will revise my review posthaste.
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.
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37 of 57 people (65%) found this review helpful
132.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: November 26, 2013
A nice little f2p (or not if you want) card game.

You will surely lose a lot of match in the beginning, but the game is very generous with cards : you just have to play against a (very) easy AI everyday, and in a few weeks, even if don't have legendaries, you will have a good number of cards and lots of possibilities to make good decks.

Beside that, it's a simple but tactical gameplay where your monsters and spells evolves and become stronger with time.
And i should tell it again, it's 100% free.
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33 of 50 people (66%) found this review helpful
81.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: February 13, 2014
3/23/14: When I originally wrote my review, SolForge had a very strong pay to win aspect, as getting competetively viable cards without paying real money was a major chore. With the latest update however, the severity of that chore has been greatly reduced.

They have added the ability to trade in your unwanted cards for silver, buy single cards for silver, increased the amount of silver you earn from daily rewards, and perhaps most importantly greatly improved the boosters you can get for silver, giving more cards with a better chance for decent rarities (and thus qualities) of cards.

True, you'll still progress faster and be more competetively viable if you pay real money for the game, but it's now much easier to build a competetive deck without expending real money.

--Original review follows--

So there's 2 questions to ask yourself before starting to play SolForge:
Do I want to pay money?
Do I want to be able to compete?

If you answered yes to the first, your fine. If you answered no to the second, you're fine.

If you answered no to the first, yes to the second... you might want to go elsewhere.

Despite what some want to say in their reviews, SolForge IS a Pay To Win. Yes, you CAN get everything without paying a dime. You CAN build a competetive deck without ever spending money. But you CAN also get a publishing contract that turns in to a multi-million dollar franchise the first time you throw a manuscript at a publisher.

SolForge is a pretty nifty CCG, with a mechanic that can only really exist in a computer version. Every time you play a card, it gets better for the next time it comes up. Which is cool, but slightly gimmicky. If you ignore that quirk, it's standard fare:
Playing field is 5 lanes. Each creature played attacks the opponents critter in the same lane. Attack Vs. Health. If there's no critter, opponent takes the damage instead.
4 factions: Necromancers (Nekrium), Druids (Uterra), Elementalists (Tempys) and Technomancers (they're not as fun as the elves from Spoils do I don't care). Each deck can contain 2 factions.

Deck building is the best part of the game, and the worst. You build a deck of 30 cards and see how it fares against other decks. It's cool! And you can get the currency to buy boosters by playing the game? SCORE!

Except only the basic (3 card) booster can be purchased for Silver... if you want one of the larger packs with a better chance of good cards you have to either pay money or get lucky.

Outside of paying real money, there are 3 ways to get cards:
At 'achievements' each day you get a reward, which is anywhere from 1 card to a standard booster pack. These points are: First log in, First win, 3rd win (including against the computer).
At each of those noted points, and after beating players, you earn Silver, which as mentioned can be used to buy the 'basic' (3 card) boosters.
Tournaments, the first time you beat a player every day you get a 'tournament ticket', for 7 tickets you can enter a tournament... and probably lose miserably, but you get cards for playing at all.

Now the problem with this, is the odds of beating another player when you're on a free to play deck is ... not great, especially not early on. So when you're starting out, unless you want to throw money at the game, you're pretty much stuck beating the computer 3 times a day to get your rewards, and constantly trying to build a deck you can actually compete with.

It is a pretty fun game though, with interesting potential deck synergies and some cool cards. Decent enough way to pass the time.

It is also worth noting that whilst I consider SolForge Pay To Win, the price point of cards is not at all unreasonable. It is perhaps slightly high when one considers that they're entirely digital and if the game goes away, one is not even left with cards they can look at or use to play with friends.
A 3 card pack, with a chance to open to decent things is $.25 (or can easily be earned in game)
An 8 card pack, with a guarantee of decent things and a chance for awesome things is $2 (and occasionally can be earned in game)
A 10 card pack, with guaranteed awesomness (1 legendary, 3 rare, 3 heroic) is less than $12
(prices assume spending $20 on gold, spending lower amounts will lead to slightly higher prices, while spending higher amounts will lead to slightly lower prices)

If one compares this to a real CCG, one will find this just as easy to spend stupid amounts of money on in the hopes of getting the perfect cards for your deck, but also much easier to spend very little money on.
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