Collectible Card Games, or CCG for short, are among the most popular strategy subgenres, with thousands of players logging on daily to experience rock-solid competitive strategic and tactical gameplay. On the other side of the fence, tabletop miniature games are popular with avid hobbyists and veterans alike because of the freedom to create, paint, and bring your own armies to life. CCG games and miniatures games seem like a perfect match, as they both tap into the desire to complete your collection, as well as the personal touch, and Moonbreaker is the most compelling case yet for bringing these two systems together. Design.
Unknown Worlds Entertainment’s Moonbreaker can be categorized as a collectible miniatures game where you build your own teams of captains and squads and compete against other players in fast-paced turn-based competitive matches. The game takes place in an original science fiction universe born from the mind of the famous writer Brandon Sanderson.
The first and most obvious advantage working in Moonbreaker’s favor is its extensive in-game miniature painting system with a pretty impressive suite of customization options, as if a hobbyist’s toolbox had been pulled straight from their workshop. . It’s safe to say that Moonbreaker will easily fulfill the desire of all budding painters and miniature enthusiasts to see their armies bearing the marks of their craft. The game also has the advantage of beating Games Workshop, the behemoth of tabletop miniature wargaming, to the punch of bringing a robust and efficiently implemented painting system to digital.
Gameplay-wise, Moonbreaker draws from the best of CCG and Miniatures games through an engaging combat system. The overall flow and dynamics of the basic battle design relying on a mana-like resource called Cinder for unit placement and abilities, as well as a form of hand management will be immediately familiar and captivating to many players. having at least some experience in other cards. Games.
But what makes Moonbreaker really intriguing is that it takes inspiration from Counterplay Games’ now defunct Duelyst and seeks to perfect the formula of turning cards into individual units that can move and act on a handcrafted battlefield. . Instead of Duelyst’s somewhat limited chess-like grid, players will have complete control and freedom over each unit’s position and movement, so players can maximize their tactical precision down to the smallest pixel. Not only is this approach a great twist on CCG’s proven core tactical combat design, but seeing your maps transformed into true 3D miniatures on a battlefield with their own dynamic and vibrant animations makes for a thoroughly exciting tactical experience. and engaging.
In its current state, Moonbreaker has a few flaws and rough edges that need to be worked on and smoothed out to really drive its high potential home. The first of these issues comes from miniatures game-inspired combat where you’ll have pixel-perfect control of your units.
The nooks, crannies, and corners of the terrain will often create annoying and frustrating interactions with unit positioning or ability triggers that the game doesn’t make clear enough for you to work around. For example, even the smallest protruding wedge can block the successful activation of a grappling hook ability designed to pull an enemy towards you, even if you think there is enough distance between the unit you are aiming at and the blocking corner. It’s these tiny quirks that can lead to a lot of confusion and strategy-breaking situations.
Also, Moonbreaker isn’t the most technically advanced game yet. Sometimes your keyboard’s camera controls may simply stop working and abilities may activate in the wrong place without your intervention or confirmation. The former isn’t quite as egregious for an as-yet-unreleased game, but the latter situation can essentially cause you to lose matches unfairly because the game decided to trigger a targeted ability before you could find the right position.
Also, like any map or collectible game for that matter, there are definitely some balancing issues, where some units are extremely better than others in competitive matches. It just makes the roster of minis feel small and limited and desperately needs more content and tweaks.
Finally, the graphic style, although distinct, is a bit mixed. In combat, due to the color schemes and particularly aesthetic approach, there is this washed out look with lots of terrain and unit graphics clashing making it an unnecessary challenge to read the board at a glance.
All of these issues aside, Moonbreaker definitely feels like an engaging game with a unique mesh of CCG game design combined with the precision, control, and flexibility of miniatures gaming. While the extensive miniature painting system is quite impressive, its combination of game systems gives the game a unique position in the market. It may be lacking in content, suffers from a few technical issues, and the progression system is yet to be implemented, but Moonbreaker shows a creative approach to game design and is absolutely a game to watch closely.
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