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:
Recent:
Very Negative (23 reviews) - 17% of the 23 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (981 reviews) - 71% of the 981 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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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 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

    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
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Negative (23 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (981 reviews)
Recently Posted
Twink
( 29.2 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 23
Game concepts and mechanics make gameplay fun and original.
Lots of cards and decks to mess around with.
I just started playing again due to new update.
2 negatives hit me straight away. The game is slower, all actions and turn times seem to linger far too long. And changes in format of daily quests make it harder for new players to gain any momentum.
I want to like it, just cant seem to be enthusiastic enough to play it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Quakespeare
( 69.6 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 23
Best TCG around, in my opinion.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BlackCatZ
( 94.2 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 22
The game once was awesome, played every day, you could have fun and do quests by playing against A.I both using your decks

Now its 100% PAY TO WIN

You have to win 3 ONLINE GAMES to get a daily reward that is 1 booster with a very small chance of getting 1 possibly good card for your deck

But , you cant get even 1 win, I'm level 1 since the update, and I have some legendary , but I always play against other lvl 1 players with a FULL LEGENDARY DECK
NO TATICS , JUST PUT YOUR OP CARDS ONE AFTER ANOTHER AND WIN

Hearthstone , the Epic and legendaries are good but the decks are full of rares that are also very good

Stay Away from this game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DiBiddilyBop
( 1,487.7 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 22
It's finally time to redo this review. After over three years of having this game positively reviewed, I just can't justify it anymore.

You know those girls that are with the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ guys that cheat on them all the time and don't have a job and are basically just terrible people, but the girl talks about how she loves him and she can change him and all her friends tell her she can do better but she just won't listen to them? You know what I'm talking about? Well, I've been in a three year relationship with SolForge and it's been terrible. I kept hoping it would get better. They kept telling me they were going to be better and they were going to fix everything wrong with our relationship. Even now, I'm going back through Kickstarter updates. "Animated Card Preview!" dated February 17th, 2013. "Next Game button!" dated October 1st, 2013. "The future of SolForge including full release this fall" dated May 2015. So many promises, so many hopes. I just kept waiting for it to get better. I wanted to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And I waited... and I waited.

Well, it came. A few weeks ago, we made it to the end of the rainbow. The new client which was supposed to be developed in a few months and ended up taking over a year dropped. But it wasn't a pot of gold. It was a steaming pot full of festering crap. So poor was the new client release that they basically had to do an "Oops, can't put the rabbit back in the hat, so this week just won't count while we work out our server issues that we 'couldn't have anticipated.'" Turned out to be a couple weeks, but they worked out their server issues and the game is now actually playable.

So what did we get with the new client? Well, I mean I guess it works. A lot of functionality that was in the old client is now gone, such as the next game button, deck sorting when deck building or drafting, the game log now clears if you exit to menu and come back, you can't click on Solbind cards in the card text to see what he solbound card actually does... I mean, I guess the menus look pretty. But the rest is terrible. Like... really terrible. We got a new client that is slightly prettier, but is worse in basically every other way to the old client. Nice.

But let's say that's all fine. Annoying, but fine. What is the actual gameplay like? Well, it too has gotten worse. Much worse. Now, to be perfectly honest, I've had a problem with certain RNG aspects of this game since the very beginning. I mean, it's a CCG so obviously RNG is going to factor into every game, but my problem is that this game frequently hands the game to one player or the other based completely on RNG. Again, I understand that happens sometimes in CCGs, but it seems far too frequent when I look back at a game and realize that there is absolutely nothing I could have done to pull out a win because my opponent drew all his leveled cards and I drew none of mine. Now I said things have gotten worse and everything I've just talked about have been a part of the game since day 1, so what exactly has gotten worse about RNG? Well... it's how many cards are "I win" or "I lose" based purely on RNG. In alpha, there was Everflame Phoenix. It was a very polarizing card due to the pure RNG aspect of it but even then, it wasn't a straight out "I win." Now, there is Othra which features the exact same infuriating mechanic and really, the exact same card design (huge level 1, useless level 2 that can flip on 2.4 into a game-winning level 3) which is like Everflame Phoenix only significantly more powerful. It's the power-creep version of the same card.

The thing is, they keep making more and more cards that are incredibly good based on RNG. In the newest set, Indomitable Fiend is an amazing RNG card. The whole concept of the card is that you can't really direct what lane it ends up in, but it's so powerful you don't really care. In fact, I'm playing an Indomitable Fiend deck right now because it's so powerful, but the thing is I don't really have to play it. The deck plays itself. If I draw Indomitable Fiend into multiple Immortal Echoes, I win. Otherwise, I lose. The actual decision making in the deck is barely a decision most of the time. And the reason I'm playing this braindead deck is that it's actually one of the most powerful decks playable, which I think really gets to the underlying problem with this whole game. For several iterations and several expansions, SolForge is slowly stepping away from decision making and interactivity and more toward purely RNG based games from start to finish. Players have talked about this and written articles about it for a long time, but it doesn't seem like it's by mistake at this point.

And finally there's the power creep. Now you could argue that cards are constantly being rebalanced, new cards are being tuned down and old cards are being tuned up, but the thing is... every new expansion has at least one or two cards that are clearly overpowered. Every time. Sure, after a month or two they tune them down, but I don't think it's a mistake that they come out of the gate overpowered. It encourages players to spend money to buy cards in the new set if they want to be competitive until the obviously overpowered cards are finally tuned down. Coincidentally, it's usually shortly after their forging costs have been reduced.

So after my three year abusive relationship... SolForge... I'm breaking up with you. I'm tired. I'm tired of your crap. I'm tired of your broken promises, broken clients, and broken game. I'm tired of being frustrated about losing games that I never had any chance of winning. I'm tired of winning games that I never actually had to make a decision from start to finish. I'm tired of "alternate art" cards that are just recolored versions of the old cards. I'm tired of a mobile client that hasn't worked in over a year despite it working initially. I'm tired of seeing cards that are stupidly overpowered every single expansion when you can't not realize how overpowered those cards are. I'm over it. I trusted you, I backed you, and you failed me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
the gift of Vin's straw
( 352.5 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 21
Muh.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Кel'thuzad
( 6.8 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 21
Impossible to win as a new player against people with non starter decks
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Blade
( 406.1 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 20
The new UI sucks balls unless they bring back the old one i cant recommend this game anymore no fun playing it anymore
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Don't You Rage Quit on Me
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 17
Terrible game. It litteraly has the worst campaign I've ever seen. Complete nonsense AI decks that just kick the crap out of your starter decks so that you have to go to the store and buy packs to beat them. Yes, if you bang your head against the wall enogh times you eventually get through, but the experience is ridiculous and furstrating. Playing vs players is no better when you're new. All of the opponents have ridiculous decks that will just smash you and you get nothing for playing if you don't win.

There are FAR better digital card games out there than this utter rubbish of a game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
pasa
( 8.2 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 14
Waaaay too simplistic. No resource management whatsoever, pick 2 of 5 cards each turn is like traffic on rails.

EDIT: Read the good coments, this verdict may bee too hasty.
...

I gave it more play, now other problems surfaced:
- the UI is a mess. For good play you're really supposed to know each card by heart. As when you hower over the card, the tooltip is misleading. In this year of information technology do I really need to click on each card every time?
- In deckbuilding it's even more a problem and the filter takes over 2/3 of the screen.
- All the local play options I found was playing 2 of my constructed decks against each other. WTF? Others mentioned there was play against random challenge decks. For a starting player that's no help at all.

I'm even confused by the state. Article in News states that after 3 years of EA it launches 2 weeks ago -- yet still listed as EA. And that time perios should have been more than enough to provide an excellent interface to support play and deckbuilding, I see no reason for a hall pass.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Pr0v3N=)
( 6.8 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 11
Feels even more P2W than Hearthstone or Magic to me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
52 of 61 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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42 of 50 people (84%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
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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33 of 41 people (80%) 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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140 of 225 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.

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.
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27 of 36 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
89.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 22, 2015
SHORT VERSION:

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

Strongly recommend.

-----------------------------------------------

LONG VERSION:

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 solforgeladder.com 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.

CONS OF SOLFORGE
-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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21 of 26 people (81%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
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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29 of 41 people (71%) 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.
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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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17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
380.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 10
What was once one of the best collectible card games around is now unplayable by any but the most hard-core.

Somehow, after over a year in development, the devs have now launched a client that is more resource heavy, less intuitive, less informative, more cluttered, more laggy and with smaller cards than its predecessor. And I say this based on the ‘fixed’ version of the client after the initial network issues that made the game literally unplayable after the initial client launch.

Even more problematic, the game is now weighed heavily against new players. Draft mode is nearly impossible as players with high levels of skill or drafting luck can stay in the draft and be matched in games against seven other players, while people with poor draws or less than expert skill are knocked out after two games, for trivial rewards.

Prior to the June 2016 update there were plenty of ways for new players to build up a collection - you could play against the computer to get dailies, and practice, and you could play draft mode and get a bunch of free cards against equally matched players, and perhaps score a couple of reward packs as well along the way.

It’s no longer possible to play against the AI to get your dailies, which means that one is stuck grinding against established players in the hope of scoring a few lucky wins.

The interface is also impenetrable to newbies. Cards are just pictures now, with their abilities only available via right click popups and tooltips. The cards are also much smaller with much less information available at a quick glance.

The game is overwhelmed with unnecessary animation, including throwing a giant card in your face with every play that isn't even the card actually being played, but the upgraded version that might not see any action for several rounds, if ever.

Finally, the new interface is clunky, with lots of actions now requiring several clicks that could previously have been smoothly and intuitively made by dragging cards in a single motion.

About the only thing one can say in the game's favour at this time is that it finally(!) introduced a turn timber, addressing the only major problem with the old client.

Seriously, the June update is nothing less than a complete disaster and I can't recommend the game now to anyone, new player or veteran. Frankly, given the resources already invested in the new client, there's no prospect of the devs releasing anything more acceptable any time soon, and sadly, this update is pretty strong evidence that they wouldn't know what to do even if the opportunity presented itself.

Further, player numbers, which had already seen a dramatic decline over the last 6-9 months, have now gone into freefall. This means that even more than intended by the dev's design decisions, you're pretty much only going to find the hardest of hard-core players left to play against. It’s also hard to imagine that there’ll be any significant funds being generated by the game from this point on that might enable the devs to continue funding updates now the revenue base has been trashed.
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37 of 58 people (64%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
83.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 18, 2014
I do recommend this game, but I don't recommend spending any money on this game. It's an interesting ccg, lots of fun to play, but the gap in power between legendaries and other cards is a bit much. When you combine that with the prices for everything, it just doesn't have reasonable value.

As far a how the game plays, even though you can only play 2 cards per turn (you can play more than 2 with the right cards) it seems somewhat shallow at first, but the real strategy comes in as you understand the different Rank during play and identifying when your opponent will be weakest and/or when your deck is strongest and trying to level the appropriate cards and strike at the appropriate time.
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