A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
No overt positive messages. You enter a battle and if you win, you're rewarded.
Positive Role Models
Your character opened a portal and allowed four powerful beings to escape. Trying to undo the mistake is the core element of the game.
Ease of Play
The game presents an interface and tutorial area that allow players to ease into play and get a feel for the game's mechanics, but difficulty ramps up as players progress, and can get challenging further in.
Violence & Scariness
Death is kept simple, with characters falling to the ground and evaporating. If you're killed during combat, you simply restart at the last checkpoint, although you can lose items (including spells) accumulated in that realm upon restart.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A part of the game occurs in an inter-dimensional pub, where players can work inventories and sell off and trade cards.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cardaclysm is a turn-based strategic combat game for Windows PCs. Players take on the role of a character that unleashes powerful beings into the world, and needs to recapture them at all costs. The gameplay starts out easy but ramps up the difficulty settings as players get into the adventure. While action in the game involves violence between your character and enemies, no blood is shown, and defeated opponents fall to the ground and vanish. Also, while some scenes take place in a tavern, there's no actual drinking shown in the game.
Is It Any Good?
While the card sets are the key to victory here, how you use the cards provides the challenge. Each card in Cardaclysm has a value -- in gold runes -- that has to be paid to play the card. Run out of gold runes, and you're unable to bring anything more into the combat. That means a key to play is in finding the right combination of cards to use. For example, you can have a higher-level dire wolf (made by combining dire wolf cards), but if your enemy paralyzes your beast, and you're out of gold runes and can't cast a spell, you're a sitting duck. Cardaclysm does a nice job of easing players into the game, and then starts to ramp up the challenge, putting a strong emphasis on the strategic elements. And simply trying to run through a zone without stopping to pick up treasures along the way doesn't work well at all. What's more, exploiting the weaknesses of each enemy is key to your survival.
The setbacks are fairly obvious. When you encounter a monster, you have two choices: attack or flee. But unless you attack, you can't advance the game. The pathways are so narrow, you can't skirt past an enemy and keep going, and the loot you receive isn't thrilling. Plus, the save function doesn't let you make progress midway between checkpoints. You die or quit, sending yourself back to the last checkpoint, so everything gained in that realm can be lost. At least it's visually impressive, and while Cardaclysm is a game that tantalizes with a bit of eye candy, it puts its faith in the combat/adventure. Newcomers to card-based/turn-based strategy games will find themselves tested, but the game does have a nice flow that makes for an entertaining outing. Sure, you may end up scratching your head and replaying some battles looking for the right combination of creature and spell attacks, but that feels like the fun part of Cardaclysm.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.