Solo card game charms, despite relatively minor glitches.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Card Crawl is a downloadable card adventure game for iOS and Android devices. It may require a few attempts to master, but it's a generally fun experience. Users can pay $4.99 to buy the game and unlock more modes, but otherwise they won't see ads or feel significant pressure to spend any money. There are also no limits on playing: They won't run out of lives and be locked out of the game. While monster attacks are technically part of the gameplay, they just involve moving one card on top of another and are generally not scary. Kids may assume the drink that the dealer dramatically swigs from at the start of each game is beer, although its contents are never clarified.
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What’s It About?
Kids try to clear a deck of cards, three at a time, in CARD CRAWL. They pull weapon cards to slots beside their avatar to use on monster card attacks. They can drag a three-point crow onto a three-point shield, for example, to remove it. A five-point card, though, would cost two points. If they lose too many points, they die. Gold earns players ability cards with special moves. Potion cards revive the player. One card can be stored in the player's backpack, but cards placed on either side of the avatar card will stay put until new cards are dealt.
Is It Any Good?
The instructions for this solitaire-like game can take some time to figure out -- or at least to read. But once kids get the hang of playing Card Crawl, they may enjoy trying to survive based on what they're dealt. They need to clear three dungeon cards from the screen before they'll get new ones. That can involve using a weapon card to attack a monster, pulling coins into one of the spaces beside your avatar card, or making other moves. The game essentially involves counting, sometimes choosing the better of two not-great options, and trying to plan ahead. Much of kids' success will depend not only on which cards they use, but also on where they place new ones that are dealt. Dragging a potion card (which revives you when your energy is low) to either side of your avatar card will immediately put it into use. But it's often a better idea to store it in the backpack spot all the way to the right, where it'll be saved for later use when you need it.
The graphics are fairly simple: The dealer's motions are repetitive, and there are a limited number of cards, so kids probably won't see a ton of surprising new ones as they play. The functionality can also be problematic: Kids may need to drag a card more than once to its desired location. It isn't hard to run out of room, with shadowed-out cards you've used filling up available spaces and nowhere to put new ones, or no way to pull one out of the backpack space. Depending on where kids have dragged previous cards, they may have no other choice than to allow a monster card to attack because there are literally no other moves they can make. Patience can be required, particularly in the beginning when it can take a few rounds to figure out some effective strategies. But once kids do, the game's fun factor is significantly higher. Because their experience will literally be based on the luck of the draw, every round is truly different -- which makes Card Crawl's pace feel a lot less sluggish than its name implies.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how strategy is used in Card Crawl. What factors should your child consider to figure out which card would be best to put into play?
How do you handle it when you have no idea how to complete something? What can you do to determine a way to advance toward your goal?
Kids can try to complete a round again if they can't finish it in the game. Ask: How do you learn from the mistakes you make? How can mistakes be helpful?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac, Android
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: March 15, 2022
- Category: Card Games
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- Publisher: Arnold Rauers
- Version: 2.4.2
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 11.0 or later, macOS 11.0 or later and a Mac with an Apple M1 chip, or Android 5.0 and up.
- Last updated: May 31, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Festive game's learning curve doesn't throw fun off course.
Admirably free mix of card, dice, and adventure aspects.
Cards of Terra
Somewhat hazy start gives way to considerable card game fun.
For kids who love card games
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