Might & Magic: Duel of Champions is a strategy CCG from Ubisoft Quebec. Previously a browser-based game, it can now be downloaded for free from the App Store. Mixing the elements of card-collecting, chess playing and strategy devising, the game puts players in duels against other players or AI-controlled characters.
In those turn-based battles, players deploy creature cards, cast spells, or use event cards to their favor so as to inflict more damages on their enemies and eventually drain the health of the opposing hero. The side who kills the enemy hero first wins the battle.
The deployed creature cards either move or launch attack once each turn; the spell cards enhance your cards’ attributes, freeze temporarily the enemy cards in a specific row or line, or enable your certain cards to attack cards beyond their original attacking ranges; and the event cards enable players to draw extra cards, obtain extra resources in the current turn or trade a card at hand for a random card.
During the battles, players obtain resources, known as action points in many action games, and use those resources to play cards in their hands. The resources they get increase as the battles continue, which allows them to employ more cards and deal more damages on enemies.
In each turn, players need to upgrade their hero cards’ might, magic, or destiny points or draw an extra card, and only with enough power or Destiny points, can players use their creature, spell and event cards. Take the Lesser Air Elemental card as an example. Lesser Air Elemental is a magic Flyer creature card in the game, and players need to upgrade their heroes’ physical power to Level 4 and have a Level 1 magical power to deploy the card at any position they prefer in their battle formation.
Instead of obtaining cards by completing missions or unlocking new challenges as is often seen in CCG titles, players could only get desired cards (say, heroic or epic cards) permanently by spending the gold they gain through the challenges or the real money from the in-game store. Otherwise, they have access to only the basic cards offered from the outset and if they do not build their deck, they would be using a random hand for each battle.
Players are free to follow the storyline and unlock more and more levels, or start duels with their friends or other players. And thankfully, the release via multiple platforms promises a large pool of fellow players. However, there are still a few glitches that might hinder the gaming process. For example, it occurs several times when the game suddenly doesn’t respond and one has to restart the app to continue. And every time you neglect the game for a few minutes, you are forced to log in again and replay the current level because the game saves no record for ongoing battles. By the way, iPad mini seems a terrible choice for playing the game since all the texts and the otherwise beautiful cards are too small to be appreciated.
Might & Magic: Duel of Champions comes with a unique, compelling and challenging card-based battling experience but it needs improvement. And its intricate interface is not friendly to small screens.