Previously on this blog, you may remember that I have mentioned Nomad Games‘ app version of the classic John D. Clair card-crafting title Mystic Vale. The tabletop game is published by Alderac Entertainment Group.
I sung its praises as a great app, polished and well-done and a fun game to boot.
It just desperately needs asynchronous multiplayer because I haven’t touched it in quite a while for that very reason.
With today’s release of the Mana Storm expansion, the app…still desperately needs asynchronous multiplayer.
But that’s not what this blog is about (though really, Nomad, is it possible to eventually get this? Please?).
No, this is about Mana Storm itself, and what it adds to this already very cool game.
The expansion adds some more advancements and vales to the plethora of choices you already have.
For one thing, you have new leaders!
These leaders are cards that will go into your deck. You cannot add advancements to them, but you can upgrade them if you have enough mana when they are in your field.
They’ll give you either a special ability when they’re in your field or perhaps just a spirit symbol, but they’re all worth a certain number of victory points at the end of the game.
Which is good, because you also have amulets that you can evoke instead of the mana token that came with the base game. These give you a special ability rather than just one more mana. And they sometimes have negative points.
You can also buy advancements that give you negative points at the end of the game, though usually that’s because they are just so damned good during the game that to not penalize you would offend the gods (because you could just take them on and wipe them out like swatting a fly).
With some of these new cards (just like in the first expansion), the app has to give you a warning to make sure you’re not missing something.
For the above Nightvale Pathfinder, when you purchase it you get the following:
Nice of the app to be looking out for you!
There are also some new Eclipse Advancements.
These are advancements that can be covered, unlike normal advancements.
These can be covered by future advancements or you can buy it and slide it under a current advancement that you already have.
However, if it is covered, the victory points won’t count at the end of the game.
The ongoing ability at the bottom (if any, like the one above) does stay visible and works, though.
I’ve played around with the cards a fair bit, and I do like these new additions. They make the decisions even cooler.
As for the app itself, there are a couple of things I want to note since my review.
First, I really appreciate how easy it is to tell what’s going on now. The animations for the other players’ turns really help you get an idea of what they are getting.
Also, player order is now randomized! That is nice as well (I don’t think that’s a new development, maybe even around the time the first expansion came out).
The app just feels crisper and fuller, and kudos to Nomad for keeping up the work on it.
It was already a great app, but now it’s even better.
But really, Nomad…
Async multiplayer? We have a full site of people who would love to play this game but the lack of async multiplayer is killing it for them.
Do we have to beg?
Mana Storm will be available on iOS and Android for $1.99 and Steam for $4.99 (I’m assuming, since it’s $5.49 CDN and that’s usually what the change is between the two stores).
Get it while it’s hot.
It’s also available on Steam.
(Thanks to Nomad Games for providing me a copy of the expansion)