Only the bravest of people settle their disputes with trading cards

Winning at any card game takes skill and luck, but for pure chutzpah, it’s hard to top winning by bluffing. The upcoming trading card game Fantasy Rivals has bluffing (or at least the threat of it) right at the heart of its gameplay. This simple yet deceptively deep game is out to have people proving how clever they are on browsers and mobile devices this spring.

Battling against human or AI opponents in Fantasy Rivals takes only a few minutes. Each player has a deck of eight heroes, from which one hero must be played each turn. A battle lasts only four turns, with each player spending two each as the attacker and defender, so every turn really counts.

The attack values of the heroes in play are compared to see who wins that turn. But here’s where the bluffing comes in: Each player has a pool of mana that can be used to multiply their attack rating on that turn. Do you use it early to gain the upper hand or save it for later to ensure you are strong in the final round?

Fantasy Rivals

If your hero wins the turn, it deals damage to the opposing player’s Life pool. Whoever has the most Life left at the end of four turns wins. Additional strategy comes from the interactions between the cards in your deck. The heroes are split between six different factions, each with their own style of play. Special abilities that can turn the tide of a battle are activated when two cards of the same faction are in your hand together, so even with small decks, it looks like people who like to play around with different builds will still have something to sink their teeth into.

Gems won in battle can be used to upgrade heroes, giving them better stats and abilities. New cards can be acquired by buying packs, and while the better ones appear to be reserved for people who shell out some money for premium currency, it’s a system that works for many TCGs already on the market.

The developers already have some experience with a similar game called Urban Rivals, so the league play and matchmaking features should be pluses right out of the gate. Fantasy Rivals is already in open beta for browsers, with a March release eyed for the iOS and Android versions. To find out more about when you’ll be able to match wits on the go, just click the ‘Follow’ button above.