Up For a Round of Gwent?
Gwent is a popular card game in the Witcher universe, with players finding willing players in taverns throughout The Witcher 3. After how well players took to the minigame, CD Projekt Red released GWENT: The Witcher Card game for mobile. Gwent: Rogue Mage is the mobile title’s first stand-alone expansion taking place centuries before the White Wolf was born in Rivia.
The game follows rebel mage, Alzur and his companion Lylianna as they attempt to locate a living weapon capable of defeating the endless number of monsters being drawn into the realm by the Conjunction of Spheres. Fans of Witcher lore will delight in learning the origin of witchers as they progress through the title.
Players must cross the game map, defeating enemies, lotting treasure chests and visiting places of power along the way. Places of power offer you bonuses like gaining 20 energy. Treasure chests show you three cards and let you choose one to add to your deck.
Epic Card Battles
Gwent: Rogue Mage features strategic turn-based card battles similar to previous titles. Fans of Gwent will know the game typically consists of three rounds. However, CD Projekt Red changes it up in this title, with each battle having just one round. While the change may upset some hardcore fans, it adds a sense of urgency to gameplay. It also feels more authentic as you’re actually facing down foes in battle, not just playing a round of cards like in The Witcher 3 minigame.
The battleground consists of a melee row and ranged row for the player and a melee and ranged row for the enemy. At the start of battle, players have six cards in their hand. Players choose a card to play and place it in one of their rows. Where you place your card on the battlefield matters as certain units boost adjacent cards. For instance, the Temerian Drummer card boosts the unit to its right by one at the end of your turn, or the Prince Stennis card, which boosts one ally by four when placed in the melee row or four allies by 1 when placed in the ranged row. Other cards damage enemies, such as the One-Eyed Betsy card, which damages an enemy by six if it’s wearing armor and four if it’s not. There are also passive cards found in treasure chests, such as Raven’s Armor which gives each card you play plus two armor.
Additionally, Alzur can cast one spell per turn to aid in battle, such as Portal, which creates and plays a card and Thunder, which damages an enemy unit by 3. Keep an eye on your energy, however, as you won’t be able to cast spells once it depletes.
Events & PermaDeath
One downside to Gwent: Rogue Mage is the permadeath feature. Undoubtedly some players will find this feature enticing. However, it’s rather annoying for more casual gamers who are looking to enjoy the game’s story. The card battles are fun, but starting over each time you lose a round is disheartening.
Players will also encounter random events as they cross the map. For instance, one such event involves helping a merchant whose cart is stuck in a bog. Help him and lose ten energy but gain a card for your deck. Other random encounters can grant you extra energy or allow you to improve your cards.
Gwent Rogue Mage is an entertaining card game with roguelike elements and offers an intriguing storyline. Witcher fans looking for a challenge will love the game’s strategic combat and unforgiving permadeath. However, gamers looking to casually enjoy a round of cards should look elsewhere.
Is It Hardcore?
Gwent Rogue Mage is an engaging turn-based card game that Witcher fans will ultimately enjoy. However, the permadeath feature may be off-putting for some.