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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.
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“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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Tournament and iPhone Update is now LIVE!

December 19th, 2013

Hello SolForge fans! Today is a very exciting day that we know you have been awaiting for quite some time. We certainly have!

We've just released a major update with a bunch of major new features. Let’s take a look at the list, shall we?

IPHONE CLIENT

We’ve envisioned SolForge as a mobile game from the beginning. We’ve always wanted to create a complete collectable game experience we could carry with us and play wherever we go. Now that dream is finally a reality.

This latest update brings the complete SolForge experience to iPhone, allowing you to carry SolForge with you in the palm of your hand. You can battle with your friends across the country over lunch, tinker with your favorite deck while waiting for the bus, and pass the time in your boring classes by cracking booster packs. Or, if you’re anything like us, now you have a new favorite way to spend your time in the bathroom…

Due to screen size constraints, some features such as the deck builder look a bit different on iPhone, but all of the major components are there, so you can take the full experience of SolForge wherever you may go. For those of you without iPhones, do not fret – our Android client is well underway, and we plan to begin the beta for it very soon.

TOURNAMENTS

Think your deck is the best around? Want to test your skills in a competitive environment? Well, you’re in luck. The new update introduces tournament play, which allows players to compete against one another for prizes.

Tournaments in SolForge are unlike those in many similar games in that you never need to worry about setting aside a big block of time to play. SolForge was designed from the ground up to be mobile friendly, and tournaments are no different. No need to wait around for other players to finish their rounds or for enough players to enter the event. You can play your rounds in a SolForge tournament whenever is convenient for you, and you’ll be paired against someone else at a similar place in their event. Once you finish your three matches, which you can complete over the course of days if that’s what you want, you’ll receive prizes based on your results.

Entering tournaments requires Event Tickets, which can be purchased with either Gold or Silver, as well as earned through daily rewards. All players receive prizes, and players who go undefeated in a tournament are guaranteed to receive at least enough Event Tickets to enter another tournament of that type as part of their prize.

Once we have some time to ensure our tournament system is running properly, we'll have more news to bring you about the Backer Only tournament. We are currently aiming to hold it in the first quarter of next year.

For more information about tournaments, visit www.solforgegame.com/tournaments

DRAFT MODE

As competitive collectible game players ourselves, one of our favorite things to do is draft. Drafting is a special kind of tournament in which you build your deck as you go instead of choosing one of your saved decks to play. This not only creates a level playing field for everyone no matter how long they may have been playing or how big a collection they might have, but also means that you have a totally new experience each time since you’re always playing with a different deck. It’s also a great way for players to grow their collections, since in addition to whatever prizes you might win, you also keep all of the cards that you draft.

Much like the rest of the SolForge experience, drafting is designed to be conducive to the mobile experience. You can draft wherever and whenever you want, and you don’t have to wait for a queue to fill or for other players to make their picks. The evaluations of other players still impact your draft, however. The algorithm used to generate the content of draft packs takes into account how frequently cards are picked by the community at large, so if you correctly identify a hidden gem, you’ll have a chance to grab them with your later picks.

We’ve been having a blast testing out the SolForge draft format over the past few months, and we’re incredibly excited that the rest of the world is going to have a chance to experience it too. The concurrent release of both drafting and the iPhone app means that you can always be drafting wherever you might go! If that isn’t exciting, I’m not sure what is!

For more information about drafts, including a video walkthrough, visit www.solforgegame.com/tournaments.

NEW AND UPDATED CARDS

The update introduces twenty-four brand-new cards across all rarities, including six from each of the four different factions. These cards are now available from packs that are purchased from the store or acquired through daily rewards. These new packs can be identified in your inventory by their new artwork.

Additionally, changes have been made to a number of existing cards. These changes were made to improve gameplay in both Constructed and Draft play. For a full list of the changes, view the full patch notes on our website.

While we still have quite a few features we want to add to SolForge before we’ll consider it truly complete, this update is a huge step in that direction. We appreciate your support as we build this game we all love. Without our fans, SolForge would have never happened, and now people can draft from their phones! While we’re thrilled to have come this far, we have no intentions of resting on any laurels. We’re already hard at work on the second SolForge set and more features, which include tools for us to be able to introduce new content faster in the future.

In the meantime – we hope you enjoy playing SolForge this holiday season! We certainly will!

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Reviews

"...one 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"
http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/08/solforge-looking-good/

About the 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

    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • 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
Helpful customer reviews
27 of 37 people (73%) found this review helpful
104 products in account
1 review
103.6 hrs on record
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.
Posted: November 26th, 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes No
28 of 41 people (68%) found this review helpful
69 products in account
4 reviews
208.8 hrs on record
Lazy game design, rather little skill compared to other CCGs.

Edit:

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.
Posted: February 19th, 2014
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23 of 34 people (68%) found this review helpful
15 products in account
1 review
287.6 hrs on record
I've been playing Solforge for awhile now and love it. I'm also playing the Hex alpha and Hearthstone beta but I find Solforge to be the most fun to play by far. The game is relatively easy to pick up and learn but difficult to master. More features are being added on a regular basis and I'm very excited to see what the next 6 months brings to the game.
Posted: December 15th, 2013
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13 of 18 people (72%) found this review helpful
129 products in account
3 reviews
74.3 hrs on record
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.
Posted: February 13th, 2014
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10 of 15 people (67%) found this review helpful
81 products in account
3 reviews
250.3 hrs on record
Uninstalled SolForge today, which at some level is a shame because without the P2W aspects it was a fun, albeit low strategy CG, but it does highlight the difference between how gamers and F2P devs define what is a “good” game.

Unfortunately games that follow the Asian F2P whale model task the developers to build a “good” game from a gamer’s POV while simultaneously breaking balance in a way that can only be ameliorated with a credit card.

From this gamer’s perspective a “good” CG offers a level playing field emphasizing skill by increasing strategy (in deck construction to maximize card synergy and in variety of play style choices during a match), decreasing luck of the draw aspects (leaving just enough fate to keep it interesting, but not so much to make it feel random), and striving to have balance between card choices.

In contrast from an Asian model F2P dev’s perspective a “good” CG game is one that drives whales to obsessively use the cash shop to increase their chances of getting overpowered cards relative to those commonly available through in game currency transactions; it is a basic intermittent positive reinforcement operant conditioning design to foster compulsive spending.

In this model cash flow can be maximized by downplaying strategy to favor accessibility (also a problem in B2P these days), luck of the draw is increased so one can never feel quite secure enough with their decks, as well as allowing less skilled players to stand a better chance of also winning, and by purposely breaking balance so one is constantly striving to fill their decks with more OP cards than their competitors.

Specifically the SolForge monetization pit is built around the absurdly imbalanced legendary cards and the increasing of rank of cards.

While the gambling aspects of trying to acquire OP legendary cards in bulk booster pack purchases is obviously a cash grab, the leveling of cards is a more subtle monetization tactic.

At first I thought leveling was a cool idea as I always like playing games where I can nurture my units with experience to greater power, but here it is used to further exaggerate card imbalance. While on average a legendary level I card is somewhat more beneficial than non-legendary one, it usually isn’t in a game breaking way; it is at end game when level III is achieved that the P2W aspect manifests in full, and games come to an abrupt end, virtually always at the expense of the non-whale without red star cards.

So one can break open their wallets and start enriching their decks with reds (but don’t be surprised if you just end up losing in turn to a larger whale) or try to enjoy the game with the exclusion of legendaries, smartly avoiding the overt monetization mechanics by immediately dropping from matches when a legendary comes into play; if one is a small fish in a sea of whales you are going to have to accept that you'll be taking the whale bone frequently, and don't expect the devs to step in because they designed the F2P game to foster just that feeling of unjust frustration on the loser's part, and the thrill of crushing victory on the whale's side.

So since the whales are paying to keep the game afloat, the freebie players need to respect that and give them their due, but one should feel absolutely no responsibility to get ridden for longer than necessary. Just immediately concede and get on with a balanced match in spite of the SolForge dev's intentions. By analogy I wouldn’t find it entertaining to join in a seven card stud tournament, where I am restricted to five cards; could I win, perhaps, but obviously the cards would be stacked against me, so why bother?

I do like seeing the non-heroic/non-legendary player sponsored tournaments in the forums, but of course even their existence points to the ugly pink whale in the middle of the room.

This last day of playing, even among decks of comparable strength, I found the sheer luck factor was too much for me to ignore. We have all been there where in late game the opponent is playing out III’s and II’s and by the chance of the draw we get a hand of I’s which stinks to lose in such a way. Conversely I can’t help but to feel sympathetic when I just played out a couple of III’s and the opposing player blocks with two level I’s; you kind of want to send them a “sorry” emote.

Lastly I think such power disparity fosters a virulent community of frustrated players that in my experience won’t think twice about walking away from a match to slowly let the timer run down once the realize they lost, as if to say ♥♥♥♥ you.

Give me a B2P CG where everyone has access to all of the cards, and I’ll pull out my credit card happily, but there is no way I am going to constantly ride the red legendary dragon FTW! ;)

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/195806/chasing_the_whale_examining_the_.php?print=1

Posted: February 18th, 2014
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