Blizzard Entertainment announced the latest Hearthstone expansion, Saviors of Uldum, earlier this month. It is hard to believe the popular card based video game is now over five years old. With three expansions annually Hearthstone has continued to grow and is a great game to this day.
With a release date of August 6th still a month away, players may be looking for something similar to play until then or just looking for a change in general. There are a ton of card based video games to choose from so I would like to suggest Faeria.
Faeria may not be mobile like Hearthstone, but don’t let that stop you from trying out this innovative game. Released in 2017 for Windows, OS X, and even Linux, Faeria, from developer Abrakam and published by Versus Evil, bares a resemblance to Hearthstone more than any other card based game I have played recently.
Best described as a combination of Hearthstone and classic board game Catan, Faeria puts players on opposite sides of a hexagon board. Each turn a player draws a card, then can choose to create and place land tiles of various types, draw another card, or add more “Faeria”, the resource needed to cast cards. Creatures can be cast and placed on any tile you created, as long as it matches the card requirements. While many spells and creatures are neutral some have specific land types that must be met along with their casting cost. While you can place two neutral tiles per turn, you are limited to one if choosing Mountain, Forest, Desert, or Lake.
Creatures resemble Hearthstone’s, having assigned attack and health totals. Combat is also similar, each creature when attacking from a neighboring tile exchange damage against their health. Damage is persistent as well. I love the complexity of having to manage the board along with resources, it works really well.
Players themselves have a total of 20 health. While some spells can damage your opponent, the main goal is to get your creatures within striking distance to attack them. Of course while doing so you must also plan a defense to keep their creatures away from you. There are tons of creatures to choose from and many have different restrictions on movement along with many other board altering abilities. This creates a plethora of combo options that Hearthstone players will appreciate.
While Faeria is not a free to play game, do not let that dissuade you. Yes, the game has an MSRP of $24.99, but players can earn all the cards needed by playing the game and are not forced to purchase more. There are multiple expansions but they are inexpensive and again, do not require you to buy any addition packs. Even better the game is often on sale, in fact at the time of this article you can pick up Faeria and all it’s expansion for under $43.00.
Aside from the enjoyable base gameplay Faeria also has tons of puzzle levels. Players are put in a scenario and must figure out a solution to win that turn. I love these, not only do they teach you how to use combos but are so satisfying when you figure them out. There are of course daily login rewards and quests you can complete. Faeria even has its own version of drafting called Pandora. Here players pick from random cards to create a unique deck and battle until 3 losses. Along with the ability to craft cards, all these ways to gain new cards made progression feel less about getting lucky with a good pack and more about customizing to fit my deck ideas.
Graphically Faeria looks great. The various card art is fantastic and the spell effects add enough immersion. The music is fitting but honestly I really do not know of anyone who plays these kinds of games and doesn’t listen to their own tunes while doing so. With all the different decks you can build, cards to earn, and various game modes, Faeria will keep even the most hardcore player entertained. Faeria is definitely my third favorite card based game right now, behind Hearthstone and Magic The Gathering: Arena. If you are looking for something to play and enjoy those games, you cannot go wrong with Faeria.
Faeria is available now for PC via Steam. This review is based on a code for the base game provided by the publisher.