Have You Played Wildfrost?

in Hive Gaming7 months ago

If you've read any of my Have You Played... articles in the past, you are probably already aware that I have a very particular love for all kinds of card battlers. A lot of the games I play are very niche and often only have a small community supporting them. Nevertheless, some of my absolute favorite games of all times are small indie games, often only done by a single person or a very small team. This is exactly true for the game I want to talk about today - Wildfrost - a game I picked up a few months ago and kept playing on and off ever since.


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At first glance, Wildfrost is your classic card battler rogue lite. You start every run from scratch, improve your deck during the run and over time unlock new features, cards, and so on that can be used in your next run. There are some slight differences, though, and they really change how the game plays overall. Unlike most of its competitors, Wildfrost doesn't rely on playing cards alone but instead puts minions facing each other, exchanging swings until one side is no more. You start each run by choosing your champion and one companion to go with him. If your champion dies during a fight it's game over right away, while your companions can be brought back after each fight.


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Combat takes place on two lanes providing space for 3 fighters per lane on each side. Unless stated otherwise, each monster is always going to attack the first monster on the opposing side or across the other lane if there's no monster present. Every time you play a card the attack cooldown for each unit ticks down by one and whenever it reaches zero for anybody, they immediately do an attack. Because of that, a central part of the game is positioning your minions in the right way in order to block incoming attacks and, ideally, always swing first so the opposing monster won't get to attack at all. Minion as well as champion health is pretty low overall, so fights are usually pretty quick and a single mistake often means game over right away - more on that later on.

Because of the focus on minions fighting each other, most cards aren't as powerful as you might be used to from a lot of other games. Damage spells often only deal 2 or 3 damage which rarely is enough to really make a difference. Instead, you are usually playing cards that will buff or your own team, debuff the opposing team, or manipulate the cooldown of one or several minions. You can use items like the Sun Rod that will reduce the cooldown of a minion or you can freeze an opposing monster to prevent its cooldown from ticking down for a given amount of time.

In between fights you are doing exactly what you'd expect from a game of the genre. You get to add new companions to your deck, buy new cards, add various additional boons, and so on.


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One very interesting aspect in that regard are crowns which can be added to any card in your deck. All cards with a crown will not only start each fight in your hand but they can also be played before the cooldowns start ticking down. Most of the times, these crowns will go to your strongest monsters but they can also be used to prepare some powerful combos to go off before the fight even really starts. All of this requires gold which you earn by defeating monsters and overall, there are tons of different options to spend your money on.

Playing a complete run doesn't take longer than about 30-45 minutes (depending on how aggressive your deck is), but most of the time - it will be over way before that. Wildfrost is a hard game, and not only that, it sometimes can be a bit frustrating. As indicated above, health is generally very low across all your minions and you need to plan ahead several times to make sure you don't end up in a situation where there's no valid play left that will save your champion. On top of that, it sometimes can be really complicated to really grasp what's going to happen after you play your next spell. With a total of 12 minions on the field, each potentially having multiple abilities, things can get really out of hand. Often times you miss one single detail that completely changes how the turn plays out resulting in your Champion dying in completely random ways.


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Because of this, I've stopped playing the game more than once already. But so far, I always came back for more eventually. The combination of deck builder and turn based combat works really well and with the many different options, the game still feels fresh even after 35 hours played. So yes, I'd say the game is totally worth your time, but it's not for everyone. If you are new to the genre or if you are looking for a relaxed game to play without too much effort, Wildfrost probably shouldn't be your first option. It requires a lot of focus to play successfully and there are a lot of great games that are a lot less difficult and easier to pick up. So if you are just getting started, you might consider to go with something like Slay The Spire first. If you are an experienced fan of the genre, though, you really can't go wrong with Wildfrost. It's also being updated steadily and the devs are adding new content for free. At only $20 you really can't go wrong with the game!

And that's all from me for today, thank you all for reading and see you next time!

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I have been actively following the game since I saw some of the main roguelike/roguelite streamers (retromation/northernlion) started to stream/play the game. Love the aesthetic of it and I am a sucker for deck-based roguelike games - fantastic game!

Huh, looks like I should pay those guys a visit, I usually only stumble across these games randomly on Steam :-D