I really enjoyed this game, the rules are really simple to pick up, it's fun to play, the characters are memorable and consistent in 'who they are' with the trait combos they use. The AI is really good and not overly cheaty, there were a couple of times I thought you wouldn't keep drawing like that or you'd have had to have known that card was there to have carried on or to have played that card, but this didn't happen often enough to make it a concern. It is incredibly fair the majority of the time.
Basically cards in your hand are banked, cards in the draw pile are the ones that you play with.
There are 10 suits and each suit has a function.
You're trying to beat the characters and usually you need a score of 65 at least on each game to get 3 stars on a tournament. (It will unlock the other tournaments on just one star though which just requires you to win each game with any score. I was going for the achievement which is why the 65 was important to me.)
You play cards from the draw pile, if you get a duplicate suit you lose all the cards in play to the bust pile (unless your opponent has a trait that puts bust cards into their hand instead)
Only the highest card from each suit is counted towards your score (although there are a couple of tournaments that count every card towards your score)
* Anchors lock all previously played cards so you can't lose them
* Hooks let you play a card from your hand
* Clairvoyant lets you see what's next in the deck. (The mystic trait will allow you to view the next 3)
* Swords lets you play a card from your opponent's hand as long as you don't already have the suit in your hand or currently in play.
* Chest combines with a key card to give you a selection of cards from the bust pile based on how many cards you drew that turn (or your ops hand if you have the plunderer trait. The treasure hunter trait will let you triple the amount of cards you get given)
* Cannon makes you discard a card from your hand which goes to the bust pile, or you can take the misfire trait and you can discard a card from your ops hand instead....if you combine misfire with the scavenger trait, the card you blasted goes in to your hand.
* Kraken makes you draw 2 cards to play so you can't choose to bank the cards you have until you've drawn them. If your op has the beastmaster trait you'll have to draw 4 cards.
* Mermaid lets you replay a card currently in play....Sir Lovesword sometimes uses a trait that banks the card you replay (you can also unlock this trait)
* Maps lets you take a card from the bust pile and put it in play. Ordinarily you get to choose between 3 cards, but the navigtator trait lets you pick from any card in the pile.
You don't have to memorise the suits to play effectively, if you hover over a card it will say at the top of the screen what the suit does.
There are loads of traits to choose from which you unlock as you level up (much more than the ones I've mentioned here) which allow you to manipulate how the suits work for you or against your op.
You can choose 2 traits at a time to use.
I completed the game with 3 stars on every tournament and I tended to stick with the misfire and scavenger traits. I only occasionally swapped one or both of these out for something else.
Here's a tip if you're going for the 3 star achievements....you can only get 70 points in total (unless you're in the tournaments that count every card towards your score) and you normally need 65 points per game, so I played to get five 7's and the rest as sixes if I couldn't get 7's (obviously any extra 7's will allow you to have another suit at lower than 6 and still get the 65 points you need), all lower numbers are dross and can be gambled with. The cannons trait combo will let you steal the 7's you need from your opponents hand. There are a few times this trait combo doesn't work as well, or you'll find it's better to negate your opponents traits instead but for the most part this method worked brilliantly.
There is no multiplayer, which doesn't bother me, I prefer single player games for the most part, this game would be great as a multiplayer though.
I bought Dead Man's Draw when it was on sale for around £1.64 but I think it's worth the £6.99 they normally ask for.
Brilliant game, very easy to learn, simple to play yet there's loads to it :)