Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer Review
- Challenging CCG deck-building gameplay.
- Officially licensed version of the game.
- Online play with asynchronous turns; notifications for when it’s your turn.
- Relatively competent AI opponents; good to learn with before challenging other players.
- Cursory tutorial; no campaign to teach finer-points of the gameplay.
- Seemingly no time-out for turns; games can potentially remain in limbo.
While not officially the first of its kind, Ascension brings an officially licensed deck-building CCG to the App Store and sets a strong baseline for further games in the genre.
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On the one hand, the recent influx (if you can call it that) of Collectable Card Games (CCGs) and their related game-types is a boon to fans of card based gaming and those after something to play and pass around with friends. On the other hand (and this is more of a personal note) playing these sorts of games can become a bit of an obsession. Who better than tournament champions from Magic The Gathering to understand my woe and to help design Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer by Playdeck and Incinerator Games.
Ascension is a ‘deck builder’, a variant of the genre that requires players to literally build their deck in the middle of a match (hence the name) in an effort to out-play their opponent. For those keeping track, we’ve seen this previously in The Battle of Gundabad. Though, where Gundabad was a weaker version of the genre paragon that is ‘Dominion’, this game is licensed directly to the official version of Ascension from 2010.
Games can take played online with asynchronous play or offline against human and AI opponents. Each turn allows a player to play cards in their hand, earning resources that can be spent on purchasing or ‘defeating’ other cards in the hopes of strengthening their deck. Play continues until a limited pool of ‘honor’ is depleted at which point the total honor earned and the honor value of each players deck is tallied up to determine the winner.
Touches from Magic the Gathering are evident in the design of Ascension, notably the interesting combination of bonus ‘effects’ on each card that encourage players to build towards certain playstyles such as ‘passive’, ‘aggressive’ or even ‘controlling’ to prevent other players from getting what they want.
Sadly this is merely the game ‘as is’ and it would have been great to see more in the way of a proper campaign to not only teach players how to play but to refine their skills for competitive play. An in-game tutorial and rule guide help a lot, especially if you’re familiar with CCGs in general, but there’s a lot of trial and error to be had in working out what combinations work best for you.
If you enjoy CCGs or you already own Ascension, this is an easy title to recommend, but if you’re looking for something with a bit more meat it’s worth waiting to see where the developer takes this App in the future.
DescriptionAscension: Darkness Unleashed expansion is all new. This new expansion features Dark Energy Shards and the ability to Transform Heroes and Constructs into more powerful forms!
2011 Golden Geek award winner (Best Mobile/Handheld Game)
Pocket Gamer Bronze Award 2011
Dice Tower Awards Awards: Best Digital Boardgame
iOS Boardgames Blog
iOS Board Game of the Year -2011
iPad Boardgame of the Year - 2011
Best Interface and Graphic Design - 2011 Best Online Multiplayer - 2011
Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, is the first officially licensed deck building card game for iOS. Play alone or with friends to battle against the Fallen One for honor and victory. Conceived and designed by three Magic: the Gathering tournament champions, Ascension will provide hours of engaging and strategic game play for enthusiast and experienced gamers alike.
• Universal Application: Play on iPhone, iPod, iPad, iPad Mini, and iPad Air running iOS 5 and up for free.
• 1st officially licensed deck building game for iPhone and iPad.
• Over 50 beautifully detailed cards, hand drawn by Eric Sabee.
• Full asynchronous support for multiplayer online games.
• Play against multiple A.I. opponents using varied strategies.
• Introductory tutorial to teach you how to play.
• Enhanced visual optimization for iPhone 4 and iPad using high resolution graphics designed for the retina display
Also by Playdek:
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• Summoner Wars
• Tanto Cuore
• Food Fight iOS
• Penny Arcade The Game: Gamers vs Evil
• Can’t Stop