Card Hunter

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Cross-genre tactics game has Dungeons & Dragons charm.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Usual good-heroes-vs.-evil-monsters tale; game teaches teamwork, camaraderie.

Positive role models

Heroes, villains basic archetypes, created as pieces in a game. Not a lot of character development beyond "good guys" fighting "bad guys."

Ease of play

As a hybrid of a board game and a card game, everything from movement to action is pretty well spelled out, making gameplay simple to pick up.

Violence

Characters battle with medieval weapons, spells represented on cards; battles show only paper tears to represent damage.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Main game free to play; players can earn more cards through gameplay. Players encouraged to use in-game store to purchase additional cards, modules, expansions.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Serious privacy and safety concerns. Unmoderated multiplayer.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Card Hunter is a free-to-play turn-based strategy game. It's presented as a hybrid board game/card game, with players taking on the roles of heroes in various adventure modules, akin to the classic Dungeons & Dragons pen-and-paper role-playing game. Combat takes place through the use of cards, without the violence portrayed on-screen, except for some audible grunts and visuals of paper slashes that represent damages. Due to the game's free-to-play model, players are encouraged to spend real money in-game for additional cards, expansions, and other content.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • addition
  • probability
  • subtraction

Hobbies

  • board games
  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy

Self-Direction

  • identifying strengths and weaknesses

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The combination of two classic game genres works well, but extended play can turn into a grind for better equipment.

Learning Approach

Players can exercise math skills as they figure out which cards to play in which order. Players also pick the most efficient order in which to play characters' actions, helping them learn logic and systems thinking.

Support

The first few missions provide players with a well-scripted introduction to the game, and the online forums are supportive and active.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • addition
  • probability
  • subtraction

Hobbies

  • board games
  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy

Self-Direction

  • identifying strengths and weaknesses

Kids can get a feel for probability by customizing their card decks, making sure there's a higher chance of getting a good card if they stack the decks well. Kids also can learn how to plan and strategize by carefully orchestrating the order in which their characters move and attack. These skills are put to the test through new twists and challenges that require different card combinations to defeat. By combining the choice of collectible card games and the deep thinking of turn-based games, Card Hunter brings engaging, strategic customization to classic, chess-like tactical play.

This Learning Rating review was written by Mark Chen

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What's it about?

CARD HUNTER takes all the best parts of trading-card games, board games, and pen-and-paper role-playing games and blends it into a new type of role-playing experience. Players create a party of three from a selection of classes, with each class determining which special abilities and cards they take into the coming battle. By defeating their foes, players gain loot in the form of new equipment and cards. Players also can duke it out with each other in player-vs.-player (PvP) matches, pitting their best adventurers and cards against other players across the globe.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

On the surface, Card Hunter is easy to overlook. Its presentation seems pretty basic but fits the overall theme. It feels like it could just as easily be played on a dining room table as on a computer. Every match feels like a brand-new experience, whether you're playing one of the game's ever-expanding roster of modules or simply sticking with a personal favorite.

Card Hunter also is a surprisingly deep strategic experience. Players have to consider which heroes to take with them from match to match and what equipment is best suited to each adventure. Although there's a lot of focus on spending real money on items from the in-game store for boosts, expansions, loot, and the like, there's still plenty of freely available content to enjoy, and it never quite stumbles into the "pay to win" category. Gary the Gamemaster (the AI behind your enemies) makes for a strong opponent, but nothing beats the unexpected nature of live opponents online. Unfortunately, online play opens up the possibility of potentially objectionable material via unmoderated chats. Still, Card Hunter is a great blend of different gaming experiences with a lot to offer and is well worth checking out for any old-school RPG fan.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about playing games together. How does a virtual board game compare to playing an actual board or card game? Could it inspire a regular family game night?

  • Talk about teamwork. How do characters with different skills work together toward¬†a common goal?

Game details

Platforms:Linux, Mac, Windows
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Available online?Available online
Developer:Blue Manchu
Release date:July 13, 2015
Genre:Strategy
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Brothers and sisters, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
ESRB rating:NR for No Descriptions (Linux, Mac, Windows)

This review of Card Hunter was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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