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This is the release of PicoMage, my PICO-8 fantasy card game remake of ArcoMage / Ants.

Current Version 1.1:

Cart #picomage-1 | 2020-07-08 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

The basic rules are:

You play as the red mage and your goal is to defeat the blue mage.
You and the computer play one card each turn (and draw a new one at the beginning of the next turn).

For each card you have to pay bricks or weapons or crystals in order to play it.
Cards for building you castle usually cost bricks to play.
Attack cards cost weapons to play and crystal cards have varying effects.

If you have not enough resources, you can discard a card.

The number of builders determines how much bricks you get each round, the same applies to soldiers - weapons and magi - crystals.

You win if your castle reaches a height of 100 or the enemy's castle is destroyed (height = 0).
You lose if your castle is destroyed (height = 0) or the enemy's castle reaches a height of 100.

Thanks for playing!

Update Version 1.1

  • replaced total random card draw by adding probabilities for each card and also a card is never drawn as long as you already have it in your hand
  • you can now discard playable cards by pressing the down button when the card is selected
  • made some of the cheap attack cards stronger to do more damage
  • mages on the title screen look a bit more badass

If you wish you can still try out the old Version 1.0:

Cart #picomage-0 | 2020-07-08 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

P#79046 2020-07-08 09:35 ( Edited 2020-07-08 15:46)

I like the overall feel of the game, especially the layout of the interface. The mechanics also work very well for keeping the cards simple. However, I think the game is too dependent on RNG. For example, I just started a game with no cards I could play, with the cheapest being on weapons. The enemy then started out by destroying all my weapons, while I drew multiple repeats of pixies. The question that came to mind is "Why am I playing a deck with more than 2 copies of pixies?". Even playing optimally, this tends to make the game a slog to get through, as the times when the player gets only cards that barely do anything become especially frustrating if the player is about to win.

I think if the game simulated at least one actual deck (2 could also work) that would help with not getting flooded
with useless cards as much. Also, I think being able to discard a card that they could've paid for would allow the player a way to avoid getting stuck playing cards that don't have enough of an effect.

P#79053 2020-07-08 10:55

Thanks for your feedback. You are right, the RNG part makes the game difficult or unfair in some situations. The random card generation was the simplest approach for the card drawing. I did not want to make a simple deck where each card is included only once, as I feel this could make the card drawing a bit too predictable. Also I could not yet decide if both players draw from one deck or if each player has his own deck. I should give this some thoughts...

P#79056 2020-07-08 11:59

Very engaging and nice game, I like it very much.
The swift pace of the game (or maybe it's just my style) does not make me think too much about the RNG bit, but I'm sure a few wise decisions could help improving the feeling for those more brainy players.

P#79057 2020-07-08 12:10

Cool game. Playing is straightforward and quick. Some initial thoughts:
Whoever got to play curse and resource theft cards first seemed to determine the winner in my first few games. "+1 all, -1 all enemy" is huge and compounds... I'd nerf it.

The low cost cards are pretty bad anyway, they don't win the game. The best strategy seemed to be to delete the cheaper cards that use up resources needed for more expensive, useful cards.

I haven't taken a look at the code, but I'm already thinking about trying out a few changes that should be easy to implement:
-Allow deleting cards even when something can be played
-Allow paying for cards over multiple turns (resources make a card cheaper if there's not enough to buy it)

Things I'm not sure I could figure out:
-Attacks that damage castle can target or randomly damage schools, magis, soldiers or pillage resources.
-A few cheap or free "permanent cards" that never leave your hand.

P#79060 2020-07-08 13:20

Brings me back to a very old and poorly known game... Siege, by Fallen Angel. Probably a game that would be nice for pico in 2-player mode

P#79125 2020-07-10 18:59

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