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Game Info:

Deck Casters
Developed By: Rock Nano Global
Published By: Rock Nano Global/Maximum Games (PS4)
Released: Apr 4, 2017 (PS4); Jan 10, 2018 (Steam)
Available On: PlayStation 4, Windows
Genre: Card Game, Real-Time Strategy, MOBA
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+: Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood
Number of Players: Up to four players online
Price: $15.99 (Steam), $19.99 (PS4)

Thank you Rock Nano Global for sending us a review code!

Have you ever had a moment where you, being a fan of Hearthstone, StarCraft, and/or League of Legends (and similar games), ever say, “Well golly gee! I sure wish I could play all those genres at the exact same time!”? Of course you haven’t, that’s such an asinine thought in the first place. Well, that didn’t stop Rock Nano Global from sticking all those genres in a blender anyway and pouring out this union called Deck Casters!

So Deck Casters is basically a real-time strategy, a card game, and a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) all smashed up in one whole package. Deck Casters consists of 1v1 or 2v2 battles where you make a deck out of 20 cards consisting of all kinds of mythical creatures from genies and fairies, to necromancers and mermen. The mythology aspect doesn’t pertain to one specific group, and like the genre of the game, is a conglomerate of otherworldly beings beating each other up (how delightful!).

Deck Casters begins with three prebuilt decks, but it’s in your best interest to customize your deck to your preferences. Cards are separated by type, which consist of unit types and spell types. Every deck must be assigned a champion card, which can be chosen from any pool of the unit cards. Champions are unique in that instead of being consumed like regular cards, they are put on a cooldown instead. Even though cards are separated by element, there isn’t much of an incentive to actually make an element-based or archetype-themed deck, like in most PvP card games. One of the exceptions is with the wolfkin cards, which gain various effects depending on how many other wolfkin cards are on the field. All cards featured in the game are unlocked from the beginning so you can immediately build that deck your beautiful heart desires, instead of wasting your valuable and precious time and/or money obtaining cards you otherwise wouldn’t use. (Gives you more time to binge those Netflix shows, am I right?)

Deck Casters
Highlights:

Strong Points: Colorful graphics; no grinding required for the cards
Weak Points: Multiplayer is completely dead; very basic for a mishmash of multiple genres; PC version is actually watered down for reasons unknown
Moral Warnings: Magic usage; wraith creatures; some cards have the requirement of sacrificial offerings to deal damage; some of the female character art shows off cleavage

Once you get that deck all “decked out,” you are now ready to fight! The objective of Deck Casters is to whittle down your opponent's health bar to zero, which is accomplished by capturing monoliths, destroying your enemies, or collecting crystals on the map. Your cards are gathered over a period of time, as well as a resource called mana. Mana is used to play your cards that can cost one to eight mana. Monsters are summoned on the field, which can be directed with the usage of the mouse and its various “clickity-clacks,” while spell cards can be used anywhere on the map, as long as you have vision of that area (with a few exceptions). As the game has RTS and MOBA elements, camera work is left to the mouse either by touching the ends of the screen with your cursor, using the directional arrows, or clicking on the minimap. The depth of field can also be adjusted with the mouse wheel. The controls are kinda awkward to use due to quite a lot of actions being mapped from the Q to F keys so most of them end up being in a strange place. Using a second monitor with this game is a pain as your cursor will move over to that second screen. The controls are usable and functional, but can be rather uncomfortable for some.

With the huge combination of genres, one would think that the game has an insane amount of depth in it, right? Well that happens to be incorrect. Deck Casters is a rather simple game in all aspects. There are only two maps in the game, and most units act very similar to each other. The MOBA elements don’t really feel MOBA-like, or simply take away from the game. The strategy required is very basic due to the lack of synergy between the cards. Even the card game aspect doesn’t feel like it has much to offer due to the lack of card game elements. The multiplayer is also deader than the love child of disco and a doornail, so that aspect doesn’t help out Deck Casters in any way.

The graphics, while also simple, are workable and the card art is rather well done. The creatures and environment have a nice, vibrant color pallet as well as the scenery. The field has a nice and coherent design to it, and I also like the designs of the creatures too. This is one aspect the developers did well in. Can’t say the same for the sound or music. No matter how much I try, the only thing I can remember in terms of sound is a rather annoying phrase by the mermen ("We move like the waves!") when directing them to their destination.

Deck Casters
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 54%
Gameplay - 8/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 3/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 72%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 9/10
Occult/Supernatural - 0/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

In the title, I mentioned another title by the name of “ArmaGallant: Decks of Destiny.” When doing a little research, I found out that Deck Casters is a port of the PS4 version, but somehow has less features such as the inability to level up your cards. No one really knows why the name change for the PC release. Maybe Rock Nano Global lost the name rights due to a bet at a poker game. Maybe they wanted to rebrand the product?

Getting to moral concerns, there’s the whole situation with a boatload of mythical creatures, and a ton of them use magic to fight. Some of the spells might be based on a higher power, such as “retribution” and “judgement,” and the dark element typically uses sacrifices to power their spells. Wraiths, undead creatures, and “necrowitchers,” are just some of the many combatants. The female character art also shows off cleavage. According to the ESRB, there is blood in the game, but I personally didn’t see it.

Deck Casters (also known as ArmaGallant) tried a lot with its concept, but didn’t manage to stick out in any meaningful way. As the game has no sustainability whatsoever in its player base, the only thing you can do is smack around the AI [i]ad infinitum[/i] unless you can convince a friend or group to put down $15 (or you gift the game to friends yourself). If you can successfully manage to do that, you might get some value out of it. I wouldn’t call it a bad game, but it’s not a good one either. I feel that Deck Casters came out way too late to capitalize on the MOBA craze as anyone who wants to play a MOBA at this point will stick to the four or five established ones. It potentially could have found more success if it focused completely on the real-time strategy aspect, but it’s best to pass on this product, unfortunate that it is to say.

About the Author

Cinque Pierre

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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