Developer: Armor Games
Size: 547 MB
Platform: iPhone & iPad
If we were to describe Void Tyrant as a roguelike card battler with deck-building elements, it might well put a hefty proportion of you off.
Such a description would do the game a gross disservice. It would fail to mention how exciting and immediate its card-based combat, how intuitive its progression system, and how appealing its jocular sci-fi world all are.
If you’ve ever ploughed serious time into the likes of Card Crawl, Solitairica, or Knights of the Card Table, then you might as well stop reading right now. Void Tyrant is more than worthy of being your next obsession.
Not that that the turn-based card combat system at the heart of Void Tyrant is anything like those aforementioned gems. What it bears closest resemblance to is Blackjack.
You take it in turns with your computer-controlled opponent to draw random cards from a deck. Each card is numbered from 1 to 6, and the idea is to get as close to 12 as possible. At the end of each round, the player with the higher score inflicts a number of strikes on their opponent equivalent to the difference between their scores.
It’s very simple to get your head around, but Void Tyrant layers on a number of compelling embellishments. It capitalizes on the precarious risk-reward ratio at the heart of Blackjack. Hitting 12 is a massive advantage, but going bust can give your opponent five or six free hits, often culminating in a devastating ‘critical’.
The amount of damage that can be inflicted and received is dependent on two additional decks of cards. One is a permanent equipment deck that gives you new weapons and armor with varying attributes and status effects.
But Void Tyrant’s real tactical edge comes from a bundle of 24 personal cards that you get dealt, rather like a Poker hand. These feature a variety of special-use cards that do things like stun your opponent, protect you against going bust, add an extra strike onto your attack, and way more besides.
Each of these cards consumes some of your energy bar, so it’s another tactical consideration among many. Void Tyrant is practically bursting at the seams with fresh tactical permutations to uncover.
This is a real game of discovery. You’ll tap to progress through each dungeon-like area, branching off to crack open treasure chests or explore secret areas. No two runs are exactly alike, and while each run is a fresh start, you’ll still steadily improve until you’re finally ready to tackle the big bad.
It looks charming, too, with a cartoony art style and the kind of enemy design that ranges between the fearsome and the adorable. While the story is forgettable fluff, the writing has an appreciable lightness of touch.
- Simple but absorbing Blackjack battle system
- Bright presentation
- Loads of secrets
- Can be punishing