What to Expect from Valve’s Upcoming Card Game “Artifact”
After five long years, Valve, the company behind Half-Life and Portal announced that it is working on a new game. Although, it is not a sequel to any of the company’s beloved franchises, the new project is a digital trading card game titled Artifact, and it is based on Valve’s flagship game, DOTA 2.
It seems like Valve plans on taking the crown from Hearthstone, Blizzard’s popular online card game. Artifact’s official description states that it is “designed to give trading card game enthusiasts the deepest gameplay and highest ﬁdelity experience ever in a fantasy card game.” There are more than 280 cards, which include 44 heroes from DOTA 2. Upon its release, players will be able to buy and sell cards via the Steam Community Marketplace.
After trying out demos, several writers exclaimed that Artifact is very different from Blizzard’s hugely successful card game. In reality, the game is very complex and similar to Magic: The Gathering, which makes sense considering the latter’s creator Richard Garfield helped with Artifact’s development.
In terms of gameplay, PC Gamer describes Artifact as managing three games of Hearthstone at once, where one can affect the other in many ways. It’s 1v1, and it involves three separate boards representing the three lanes (top, mid, bottom) from DOTA 2. Like in the popular MOBA, the lanes are populated with heroes and minions who intend to destroy the towers. Each lane contains a tower with 40 health. When a tower goes down, it is replaced by an Ancient with 80 health. A player wins by destroying two of the opponent’s towers or one Ancient.
PCGamesN provides detailed how Artifact works: creeps and heroes automatically attack once they are placed in the lanes. If no enemy units stand in the way, they will focus on the enemy tower. If the health of a minion reaches zero, it’s taken out of the game. Heroes on the other hand will respawn after a turn. The complexities of the game lie in the fact that you have to balance your strategy across three boards.
Valve’s move to develop a trading card game shows how popular and in demand card games have become. While many enthusiasts still play card games the old school way, numerous digital versions have emerged to reach a wider audience. The hit game Cards Against Humanity, for one, has an online version which allows people from across the world to play with one another. The same goes for other board games, as well as classic tabletop card games. Similar to Steam which hosts a library of console titles, the mobile platform Slingo features an array of tabletop-inspired games, like Epic Monopoly II and Blackjack. The existence of these digital versions allows people to enjoy iconic games virtually anywhere and anytime. It’s a welcome change, especially for those who can’t afford physical board games or card games.
The question of whether Artifact will revolutionize card games remains to be seen. With big names behind the game’s development, the expectations are high. Everyone will find out once the game is released sometime in late 2018.
While waiting for its launch, why not try other board games? For your guidance, check out Unfiltered Gamer’s ‘Top Board Games of 2017’.