Wagers Of War Review: Too Much ‘Luck of The Draw’ To Be Fun

4
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Playstation 4
  • Card
  • Puzzle
  • Real Time Strategy
2017-07-19
wagers of war review iOS card battler war game casual games
Wagers of War attempts to mix War with card battling tactics but does it succeed. Check out our review of the game to find out. Player.One

Wagers of War released on iOS and Android last week and due to the plethora of strategic card battlers that have released in the last two months, I initially opted to skip it. As the days passed and I heard more players and reviewers comparing it to Clash Royale (a personal favorite of mine), I felt I had to see what all the fuss was about. After all, my first impressions of Card Monsters weren’t especially positive, but given a little time I found it quite enjoyable. Sadly, after spending a few hours with Wagers of War , I never really got to the place where I felt I was enjoying myself and I largely blame that on the premise of the whole thing -- turning the luck-of-the-draw card game War into a strategic battler.

War is one of the earliest card games most children learn because it requires no strategy at all -- it literally comes down to luck. Players understand this going in, so the fun is in hoping your luck is better than your opponent’s. While all card battlers have an element of chance, Wagers of War leaves too much to chance to make it a truly viable card battler I’d return to again and again.

wagers of war review iOS android strategic card battler war game
Wagers of War allows players to equip one hero that determines beginning manna, health and a special skill triggered by a specific event. Photo: Player.One

In Wagers of War , players work with a deck of regular playing cards as well as a few specialty cards. Beginning players have the ability to equip one specialty hero card and one item. The hero card a player chooses will determine how much manna and health they begin the game with. Hero cards also have one special skill, which triggers when something specific happens during gameplay. For example, the Dark Priest allows players to gain four manna every time his or her opponent plays a black card. In the case of item cards, these give players boosts in defense, offense or manna.

wagers of war review iOS android strategic card battler war game
Wagers of War has two phases of gameplay, the first of which is inspired by classic War card game elements. Photo: Player.One

After players have chosen their hero card and item(s) to equip, it’s time to start playing. Wagers of War gameplay is broken up into two phases that repeat themselves until the game ends. In phase one, you are essentially playing an abbreviated War game that lasts for about three to eight card flips. For each flip won, players are given extra manna to use in the next phase of gameplay. After the card flipping phase ends, you move into the fight. During the fighting phase, players turn over three cards from their deck.  Black cards give armor, while red attack your opponent. Using cards requires spending manna equal to the value of the card -- the exception is face cards which cost five manna to play. Face cards don’t deal a specific amount of damage; rather, they have special skills that other cards don’t. For example, a Jack has the ability to make your hero immune to attack from a specific card or reflect the damage onto the attacker. Players continue to cycle through the manna building and fighting stages until one player manages to completely deplete the other of health points.

wagers of war review iOS android strategic card battler war game
Cards are either defensive or offensive depending on their color and manna cost correlates to number on card. Photo: Player.One

When players finish battles, the winner earns gold and a new card pack that takes a certain amount of time or gems to unlock. These packs contain three cards that can be heroes, items, gold or gems. If you get a duplicate hero or item, these are added to your collection and when you have enough, can be used for upgrading. In addition to these packs, players get a free pack every four hours. They also earn points for the amount of damage inflicted on opponents during gameplay. These points are added up and when a certain amount are reached you can unlock a war pack. The card pack system is actually the only viable comparison I can make between Wagers of War and Clash Royale. My mind still boggles as to why people say the two are similar.

wagers of war review iOS android strategic card battler war game
Players earn card and resource packs in Wagers of War by winning battles, inflicting damage and logging in daily. Photo: Player.One

While Wagers of War’s strategic elements are OK, I had trouble conjuring up any kind of excitement for the game. In reflecting why that was the case, I think it all boils down to luck. There is too much luck required to make the strategy in this game any fun. In the card-flipping phase, you’re completely relying on luck to determine how much manna you are going to get. Trust me, it’s pretty disheartening to flip cards and end with two manna while your opponent has 25. Meanwhile, in the fighting stage, you are once again subjected to luck’s hand because you didn’t build your deck.

I realize this is the premise of most regular playing card games, but for an avid fan of the card battling genre, I couldn’t find the happy medium between luck and strategy needed to make this game worth my time. I think a lot of other players feel the same way, because I’ve seen numerous opponents simply leave a game after the first round of card flipping when the manna hasn’t fallen in their favor. There is no penalty for leaving a game early and the left behind player gains no reward, so there’s even more incentive to just abandon a bad hand. I forced myself to spend a couple hours inside the game in hopes of finding some hidden spark of genius, but after a number of unsatisfying wins and losses, I’ve decided to shelve this one for good.

The only reason I’ll actually give this review any stars at all is because I do feel there was some attempt at ingenuity in the makeup of this game. I can honestly say I’ve never played anything like it before. Whether that’s good or bad, I can’t say. With all the available strategic card battlers that have released recently, I unfortunately wouldn’t recommend investing your time in this one.

What do you think of Wagers of War? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

  • Card
  • Puzzle
  • Real Time Strategy
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Playstation 4
42017-07-19FreeWagers of War mixes the classic War card game with CCG elements for a new online multiplayer card battler.-Tries to do something different in the card battling sphere. - Game can be played in 5-7 minutes. -It's free. -Leans to heavily on luck to make strategy any fun -Poor player matching -Opponents frequently leave a match if dealt a bad hand.
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