What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Card Hunter is a charming, online, browser-based, combat-strategy game modeled after tabletop role-playing games. Players compete in one-on-one matches against other real players or the computer, moving little paper figures on a grid and attacking until one side is eliminated. There's no graphical violence; when characters are eliminated, their figures are simply removed from the board. Although the game is free, players must register for an account using an email address, and there are optional purchases. If games are played against other humans, players can text-chat without moderation.
What kids can learn
- board games
Thinking & Reasoning
- identifying strengths and weaknesses
Engagement, Approach, Support
The combination of two classic game genres works well, but extended play can turn into a grind for better equipment.
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.
The first few missions provide players with a well-scripted introduction to the game, and the online forums are supportive and active.
What's it about?
CARD HUNTER wraps two classic styles of play -- turn-based tactical combat and collectible card games -- in the retro fun of a tabletop role-playing game. In the main single-player campaign, players are introduced to three opponents (two teenage brothers and a pizza-delivery girl) and follow a backstory wherein they compete for tickets to an annual Card Hunter convention. According to the story, Card Hunter is a kind of role-playing game, and the paper figures on the board represent the players' dungeon-delving, role-playing characters. Tongue-in-cheek '80s and '90s Dungeons & Dragons clichés and stereotypes abound, including a dark basement with pimply teens, but this retro theme is given a modern spin with streamlined gameplay that's heavy on action and fun.
Is it any good?
The combination of board game tactics controlled by randomized but customizable decks works surprisingly well, and the stylized, clean art and humorous -- though sparse -- writing draws players in. Each of the player's three paper cutout characters has a deck of cards, and players draw two cards per character at the start of each round. The drawn cards determine the abilities (for example, moves and attacks) characters can perform. As characters win battles, they receive cards for random equipment of varying power. Card decks can be customized by switching out different weapons or armor in the various characters' equipment slots.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how the game portrays geek culture. Do you think the characters in the game are portrayed realistically?
Families also can discuss how to behave responsibly in multiplayer games with text or voice chat. How can you make sure you don't overshare and stay safe in an online game?