It's simple. That's its redeeming feature. You rarely need to keep track of counters or stacks of effects or resolution orders. You compare two numbers, and the bigger one wins. Sometimes you add a number or multiply a number. This simplicity, however, is also its biggest downfall. Without a whole boatload of additional rules, the game is trivially 'bigger (rarer) cards win' and no strategy required. With the additional rules you have neither the virtue of simplicity nor a particularly strategic game. The pictures are pretty though. --Vitenka
The biggest appeal I find in it is how easy it is to be devious: being able to play cards without your oponent knowing what they are. I find it adds to the warm fuzzies I get when I crush an opponent to know that they had no chance to start with but they had no idea. MuHaHaHaHa. --PHL4IVI3R1D3R
Interesting that playing cards face down is also a mechanic in the (recent) CCGDotHackSlashSlashEnemy, and also in the (recent) expansion "Onslaught" of MagicTheGathering. In DotHack the face-down cards sit there doing nothing until you meet the criteria for flipping them face up and choose to do so, at which point they DoSomething? (TM). In MtG the situation is similar except that the face-down cards are 2/2 creatures while face down. Naturally, both version offer lots of possibilities for bluffing and so on. How does the YuGiOh version compare? --AlexChurchill
They are activated traps, similar to .hack They may be a bluff or a monster, but they are almost always defensive. The main exception to this is some which are counters to your opponents. I'm not sure how a hidden resource on the table is different in any major way to the hidden resource of your hand (In games which allow responce from hand, of course). --Vitenka
The other thing face-down cards can be is monsters that have an effect when you flip them over. Like, 'Kill target monster' or 'Does 2000 points of damage to your opponent's life points'. what's even better is the fact that a monster is automatically flipped when it's attacked, and your opponent tends to find effects like 'destroy target monster attacking this card while this card is in face-down defense position' incredibly annoying. Oh well, anything for a bit of excitement :-) --PHL4IVI3R1D3R
And the counterpoint, of course, is that this makes it much harder to learn why what you're doing isn't working. I would rate YuGiOh as a decent enough introduction game but not wonderfully strategic. Big on cheese or stomping, low on interaction. Actually, it's very very like the DotHackSlashSlashEnemy game - a similar kind of "This card must be in play before these" mechanic. Though it has many many life points, instead of seven victory points. Oh, and almost every monster can be used (to a greater or lesser effect) as a blocker instead. --Vitenka
Speaking of deviousness, I still only have half of the rules of Kanuth (trademark belongs to Gwyntar on that one) written down. Must... finish... one... day. --Jumlian
FlameRider read the first volume of the manga recently, and was amused to find that it didn't involve any kind of cardgames. Just a kid who gets posessed by his own necklace when he sees injustice and punishes people in very weird ways. Kinda like JudgeDredd? crossed with goosebumps.
Vitenka has just been playing the GameBoyAdvance? implementation, and was actually quite impressed. In the early levels, with a minimal card set, there is actually more GamePlay? strategy than in MagicTheGathering. Later on, however, there are sufficiently large numbers of cards which clear the PlayingField? completely or do equally large things (like each player drays and plays five cards when this monster is killed) that the balance between controlling the field and slipping through damage is lost. There is also incredibly minimal balance between cards (no casting costs for most cards, and even within those that do have catsing costs the balance is very vague) so this also causes a problem, when all that matters is 'is my attack greater than yours' Most annoyingly, though, are the bugs in the game. There's no indication of the 'this many stars means you must sacc this many monsters' rule until you work it out. And whilst you can usually click on a card to view it, you cannot do this when being asked 'do you wish to counter this?' - which is a bit pants when it's the first time you've ever seen the card in question. The only remaining problem (apart from the boringness of the 'campaign mode') is common to all computer implementations of BoardGames? - which is that it has to ask you about every step. --Vitenka (No I do NOT want to activate my trap on my own cards! Go away!)
FlameRider sympathises, as he has a PC game of Yu-gi-oh that his brother thought he'd like. Oh, and I suppose the referrence above is to the card Cyber-jar?
The 'five of everything' one, yes, I think. Hard to tell, since so many things happened at once, and because I wasn't in control I couldn't ask what each of them did. Oh, there's a hole in the AI you can drive a truck through - the computer will consider any card that it cannot usefully attack with as a candidate for sacrifice. Even if the only reason it can't attack is because you played a spell that stops it for a turn. Even if the card is the biggest in the game... Doh. --Vitenka
I find it very funny when the opponent casts an equip magic spell on a creature that would make it virually indestructable, and then sacrifices it for something I can easilly beat. It's such fun. --FR (And yes, I know more about this subject than can possibly be healthy.)
Just to add, the game isn't terrible once you get past the 'announce every single action loudly' thing the cartoon has. And since I'm being nice [For everything in life there is a webcomic] Ok, I'm coming out of the closet. I like this game, I find it fun, and I do actually play it occasionally. There are guys in Canterbury who meet sometimes in our branch of Woolworths. Maybe the reason I like it is that I'm one of the best players there. Something I do like is the availability of the cards. Amazon can sell them to you, which strikes me as better than pinning your hopes on getting the right booster or a shady internet company with no reference. Plus, if you follow it, there's actually a reasonable story. It's a little one-dimensioanal, perhaps, but it's entertaining, and the cards are, I think, often better at maintaining the flavour of the background better than, say, MtG. I shall continue to play this. Proudly. Just... maybe not in Cambridge. --FR
Heh. I played recently, with my cousin. It's got a rather high dependence on cards being plain better than others (it has only a very crude costing mechanism) and not a huge amount of synergy (which does make building decks easier) It also, rather annoyingly, has too few of the rules on the cards (how pampered magic has made us...) Still - it's got some things more intuitive (I attack that being an important one) and it does have skill involved in the gameplay. Suffers very badly from needing to know what is possible, though. (Lots of face-down play) --Vitenka (Not a game of choice, would play again.) (Wow! My opinion on something stayed mostly the same!)
Oh, and the £14.99 set? I think that may have been a tin set, rather than a starter set. The starter sets generally go for around £6.99. Tins, on the other hand, are rather better: you get six boosters (that's £15 worth) and a predefined holo card for that; I got copies of some good cards that way; Buster Blader, Rocket Warrior, Dark MAgician Girl, and one of my favourites, XYZ Dragon Cannon. --FR (slinks away in shame)