Master Dealer is a collectible card game with a unique theme, but more than a few problems
Master Dealer takes the strategy card game genre and tosses out the seemingly standard fantasy theme in favor of a mob vibe where you’re sending thug, lord, and boss cards against opponents for territory control. Like other CCG games you’ll manage your deck and buy new cards (or packs of cards) similar to something like Magic: The Gathering.
Unfortunately, Master Dealer has an Achilles’ heel that undercuts any chance you really have at enjoying the game. While there’s a section of the game called “Tutorial,” it doesn’t actually teach you how to play at all. You get thrown into a match, and there’s a character who tells you what to do, but you’re never given a reason why. So when your teacher says “Quick click that card to remove it from the battlefield and play a thug!” I can follow the instruction, but I have idea why I’m doing it.
So while I sailed through the first few games under the umbrella of the tutorial, the first match I played after that section I was destroyed. Then destroyed again. And again and again. And with zero tool tips and the thinnest help section I’ve ever seen in a game, there’s no way to take steps to teach yourself how to play. The information is quite literally not made available to you.
In my case this meant slogging through mission after mission just throwing cards onto the field with no clue if what I was doing was correct. Eventually rules and reasons began to reveal themselves to me, but it was a trying back and forth of trial and error to get to the point where I kind of understood what was going on.
But even then problems still presented themselves. Because while I began to understand the card game section, the rest of the game likewise was never explained. Things like: What happens if I invite friends and expand my crew? Why does the game ask if i want to spend in-game currency to enact “Godfather Favor?” What kinds of cards are good to add to a deck, and what varieties are there? Why does my money keep disappearing?
These problems and more just pop up seemingly every time you click something. Stats aren’t explained (no mouseover help) buttons are greyed out and you’re not told why, and sometimes clicking a navigation icon will click things underneath it instead.
My sincere hope is that the beta tag in the header of the game means the game is actually in beta. As it stands right now Master Dealer really doesn’t feel like a game that’s ready for prime time. Without a proper tutorial, help section, and a fix for the annoying bugs, it’s a game that’s hard to recommend in its current state.