CCG’s are cropping up all over the place now, we’ve got what many could consider the OG, Hearthstone (though Magic: The Gathering is the true OG here), and many others like it such as The Elder Scrolls: Legends, Deck Heroes, and even Fable Fortune.
One game, which could also be considered taking influence from Hearthstone is Chronicle: RuneScape Legends, but once you get playing you’ll realise the only real similarities these two games actually have is that they’re both competitive card games, beyond that, the two couldn’t be further apart.
Sure, in Chronicle, you’ll be battling opponents using cards, but in this game you’re not using the cards against your foe, rather, you’re battling your own deck of cards. It sounds confusing, I know, but for some bizarre reason, it really works.
In this game, it’s not about the other player, really, it’s about your deck composition and whether it offers the right amount of benefits to you, while not being too overly challenging that you’ll accidentally shoot yourself in the foot. The way you play the cards also play a pretty important role, as you can quickly build up a really powerful Legend that’ll take down your opponent when the final chapter is reached.
During a standard game of Chronicle, you pick your Legend from a handful of notable characters from the RuneScape universe. These Legends, like with other CCGs, have their own pool of cards, so you’ve really got to learn what each Legend offers to suit your play style. Personally, I chose The Raptor, purely because he looks bad ass. However this character has a focus on stacking armour and attack, meaning, with the right cards, you can destroy your enemy before the final bout is reached.
The gameplay itself is told through a sort-of story with the game board itself being more of a pop-up book than a game board, and your Legend is represented as a sort of board game piece which is a nice touch. From here you and your enemy choose cards, and place them within your respective lanes. This is where the game truly gets interesting.
Now, I’ve mentioned already that you’ll be attacking your own cards rather than the enemies deck, and for the most part that’s true, though there are opportunities to attack the other players’ hero throughout each chapter. But mostly you’ll be facing-off against your own deck of cards.
Your deck will include both monsters and ally cards and once destroyed usually come with a sort of reward. Monsters, for example, may have a low attack, but high defence, and once eliminated will reward players with gold coins or a weapon. Ally cards on the other hand, can be paid off using gold you’ve collected and offer rewards, such as health or additional cards.
It’s this fine balance between attacking monsters and playing allies which makes Chronicle: RuneScape Legends a truly compelling CCG. While some playthroughs can have you completely obliterate your enemy, the luck of the draw could be against you completely, and things can change in an instant. Where the game really shines though is how you progress through each chapter of the story to finally face off against your opponent.
If you play your cards right, you can end up with a really strong Legend at the end of the final chapter, and it’s this journey of building up your Legend which really makes it worth it when you successfully manage to defeat your foe. Though it’s not all bad news if you lose, as it gives you an opportunity to revisit your deck and make some changes.
Chronicle oddly feels like an elaborate game of rock, paper, scissors as you place your cards down in the hopes that you can get through the next couple of cards to win back some health, hoping that your enemy doesn’t unleash another attack directly on your Legend.
For the most part, Chronicle: RuneScape Legends is your typical CCG, but there’s only so far any game can go to differentiate itself from the now crowded market. Chronicle requires players to look past the tired CCG elements and move forward into the actual gameplay. That being said, its similarities to other CCGs will help players instantly get to grips with the game’s deck building and card crafting. As far as CCGs go, Chronicle: RuneScape Legends has a sense of familiarity to it. It just feels comfortable for anyone familiar with other CCGs, and that’s a great thing.
Chronicle’s tense, strategic gameplay is then further enhanced with the addition of another mode called Dungeoneering. As you’ve probably guessed from its name, Dungeoneering is essentially a dungeon crawling mode where players can take their cards into battle in order to find high-value loot. The only problem is, it’s a pretty tough game mode and can only be reached when the player has hit Level 15, so you’ll have to get yourself used to the main game mode first.
While Chronicle: RuneScape Legends plays fantastically on PC, I’m far more interested in the game’s planned mobile release. Though there’s currently no release date at the moment as the game only launched on PC a few months ago, it’s something I’m certainly looking forward to as I personally prefer to play games like this in a more chilled-out setting.
As far as CCGs go though Chronicle: RuneScape Legends is definitely one I return to more often than others as the gameplay alone is oddly compelling. There’s nothing quite like making the best of a bad hand by taking an unnecessary risk in order to gain a slight advantage over your enemy, to have it completely pay off when you reach the end of the fifth chapter.
If you’re new to CCGs, or are interested in something different from Hearthstone, then I’d fully recommend Chronicle: RuneScape Legends.