Auto Assault TCG PC
Developed by Worlds Apart Productions
Release Date: Out Now
Price: $9.99 (£5.30 approx) for Basic package/$19.99 (£10.62 approx) for Deluxe package
Auto Assault TCG, an introduction.
It's not often we get to play a TCG (Trading Card Game) here at Deaf Gamers. In fact it's a very rare event, which is a shame as we really enjoy them. Earlier we looked at Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga, developed by Worlds Apart, and we were impressed. The game was a wonderful synthesis of a TCG and a turn-based strategy game and was a game that fans of either genre would enjoy. The sheer depth of the game was impressive and being able to create your own custom decks from a wide range of cards (naturally additional booster and starter packs could be bought to widen your choice even further) helped to formulate your own unique strategies. Of course when you factored in the free unlimited online play (tournaments are offered on a regular basis) as well as a solid single-player portion with AI difficulty levels to suit all abilities, you have a game that deserves to be classed as one of the best TCG titles to appear on the PC (or MAC). It's only natural that we should be very interested in other TCG titles from Worlds Apart and here we have their latest title, Auto Assault TCG.
What's the game about?
Auto Assault TCG, as the name suggests is a TCG game based on NCsoft's Auto Assault - a vehicular MMO. Whilst this may be appealing for those who are fans of Auto Assault, it's worth pointing out that it's not necessary to have played Auto Assault. In fact we haven't played Auto Assault and Auto Assault TCG stands perfectly fine on its own. The theme of the game is essentially post apocalyptic vehicle duels. The game offers a handful of tutorials that explain how the game works and a practice mode where you can brush up on your tactics against an AI opponent in terms of single-player content. Of course the main focus of the game is online play and you'll be able to take part in tournaments, as well as taking part in casual games. There is also a trade lobby where you can trade cards with other players. Naturally a deck building facility has been including too, as well as direct access to the online store where you can pick up additional starter and booster packs.
What's good about the game?
In Auto Assault TCG there are three main races. There's the Biomek Terminators, the Human Bounty Hunters and the Mutant Shaman. Each of these races has their own starter deck and their own race specific cards. There are six types of cards. There are gear, manoeuvre, mission, tactic, unit and vehicle cards. Gear cards are upgrades and enhancements for your vehicle. Manoeuvre cards can be used to complete missions as well as for defensive purposes. Mission cards are placed on the side of the screen (only two at any one time) and completing four of these will win a battle. Tactic cards are used during combat to attempt to swing the battle in your favour. Unit cards are essentially support cards that can be used to assist you in battle. Vehicle cards represent your vehicle. You'll only have one vehicle in each battle. During a battle you can play cards to modify the ability of your vehicle as well as other things too, such as winning missions etc. The resource used to bring cards into play from your hand is known as power and this initially low number is increased when missions are completed.
Whilst we really enjoyed Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga we have to admit it takes time to learn the game (although the effort is richly rewarded). Auto Assault TCG is definitely a game you'll feel comfortable with more quickly. That's not to say it lacks depth though. In fact you'll still need to be on your toes when it comes to formulating strategies. Part of the reason for this is the game is so well balanced. More often than not having a better equipped deck will only get you so far (although it's important of course). The battles aren't only about destroying your opponent. There are various missions for you to complete. These missions vary in difficult and are rated as 20, 40, 50 or 60. Essentially in order to complete a mission you have to stash manoeuvre cards on these missions until the total speed (of all the cards placed) equals the difficulty rating of the mission. For example, if you played a manoeuvre card that had a speed rating of 30 on a mission with a difficulty of 20 it would complete the mission. Should you complete four missions you'll win the battle. This means that you have to focus on not only defeating your enemy but also making sure they don't win four missions.
It's also worth mentioning that once again Worlds Apart have provided free unlimited online play and when you consider the low asking price for the game this makes Auto Assault TCG an exceptionally good deal.
What's not so good about the game?
The single-player content feels a lot lighter here than it did in Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga. Essentially you have the tutorials and a practice mode where you'll square off against an AI opponent. There is no campaign in Auto Assault TCG as the focus is on head to head battles. However, I am informed that it's likely some campaigns will be created for future release, which would certainly beef up the single player experience. Like Star Chamber there isn't any support for hot seat multiplayer games, which is disappointing. Like with other TCG titles you're going to have to buy at least a few booster packs if you want to stay competitive online but with that said it's worth mentioning that prices for booster packs are just $2.25 (£1.20) and only $6.75 (£3.60) for starter packs which is actually very affordable.
How does it look?
If you've played Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga you'll find certain elements of Auto Assault TCG familiar. The look of the cards and the general layout of the interface are all very similar to Star Chamber. We've few complaints here though as the interface in Star Chamber was clean and easy to use. What is disappointing though, is that you'll occasionally see some of the text overrun the edge of a card which makes things look a little messy. This doesn't always occur but it's something I hope will be corrected. The card art is once again pleasing and as with Star Chamber, it's great that the cards actually look like real trading cards which doesn't always happen in PC based TCG games.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Auto Assault TCG will give deaf gamers no problems at all. There is no speech in the game and all information is delivered via text. The tutorials are all completely text based too, so you'll have no problem in getting to grips with the game. Once again text chat is supported making it easy for deaf gamers to join in the online fun. As we mentioned earlier the game is fairly easy to get into. As well as providing a lot of text instructions, the game also has a prompt box that will give you text instructions during each turn which remind you what needs to be done.
Auto Assault TCG isn’t the same, complex TCG turn-based strategy game mix that Star Chamber is but nevertheless it's just as enjoyable in its own way. Those looking for exactly the same experience as they had with Star Chamber might be disappointed. In comparison the single-player experience is fairly lightweight in Auto Assault TCG (at least for the moment) and the main focus of the game is squarely on the multiplayer side of things. Where Auto Assault TCG might be more appealing however, is that it's possible to pop online for only 15 minutes or so and have a game, which is something you simply couldn't do with Star Chamber. In that sense it's definitely a game that would appeal to those who don't have much time to play. Looking at the game from the point of view of a TCG enthusiast though, the game is definitely worth it.
Overall Game Rating: 8.5/10
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Auto Assault TCG is an inexpensive and addictive TCG that fans of this rather niche genre should definitely purchase. Not only is the game well designed and addictive to play, it's also inexpensive and offers limitless online play.