Review: Lucadian Chronicles

lucadian_logo

There have been a lot of TCGs (Trading Card Games) coming out lately. Lucadian Chronicles brings an interesting, unique, and enjoyable experience to this genre. Dark Roast Entertainment took the time to make their game feel completely original.

Lucadian Chronicles can be found on the Nintendo eShop as a digital download. It’s a TCG that is easy to learn but challenging to master. What you might not realize about the game is that it’s free to download. Let’s find out why it should become part of your Wii U library.

30 Second Review

+ Single player campaign is completely free to play

+ Enjoyable and original card mechanics

+ A TCG with zero microtransactions

– Helpful tutorial links would be appreciated

– Evolving cards is very time consuming

Beast Tamer

Notable Features

  • A robust single-player campaign with branching paths
  • A real-time draft mode that pits players against each other on an even playing field in a pure test of skill
  • Asynchronous PvE and PvP challenges
  • Full support for offscreen play
  • Robust in-game Miiverse™ integration, including stamps

LC World Map

How does Lucadian Chronicles compare to other TCGs?

Lucadian Chronicles stands alone in a genre that has become very popular in recent years. The single player campaign is incredible. It has several scenarios and challenges placed within the campaign, all of which earn you more coins or even cards for completing them. The single player has a very detailed story, which I was not expecting, especially because this part of the game is absolutely free.

Lucadian Chronicles is played using six cards in your setup at the most–typically five hero cards and one spell card. Each card has a point cost in the upper left hand corner. The maximum points that can be allocated to a team is 12. Card values range between 1 and 4 points per card, which represents the challenging aspect of the game–getting the most out of your team while using the least amount of points.

Lucadain Chronicles Battle

Several Ways to Play

Play and enjoy Lucadian Chronicles in several ways. In addition to the single player campaign, there is also a daily challenge, league, and draft. A complete and detailed card catalog is also available to peruse. Cards also evolve and gain levels up to a fourth level for increased effectiveness. The lab is also available to test card team combinations that you create, which is especially helpful for creating a league team. As an added bonus, this title has a strong tutorial that explains everything exceptionally well.

The draft section of Lucadian Chronicles is truly amazing. Participants can play in either a 1-v-1 or 4-player tournament bracket. There are 24 cards total for the 1-v-1 draft. Each player is allowed to pick one card per round for 12 rounds. At the end of the last round both players create the best team they can with the cards that they drafted and battle to see who wins best two out of three. In between each match you can recreate your team. The 4-player tournament bracket runs on the same system but adds in more cards to compensate for the volume of players. It is the part of the game that is not free. You will have to purchase this game mode from the Nintendo eShop in order to have access to it. Once it has been unlocked, you get unlimited draft plays. This one time fee for unlimited drafting is almost completely unheard of in the TCG genre (think Hearthstone Arena mode’s entrance fee). Any time you win a draft you unlock one card completely free as well as earning coins. I’ll explain more about coins in a moment.

In league play, a group of 25 players are pooled together in order to form a league. Battles will occur between the players at specific time intervals. You do not have to be online to participate in league play, because the matches play out in an offline state. Ranking in the league is done purely by using each player’s win/loss ratio. Coins are the prize that you earn at the end of each session.

There are zero micro transactions. Cards can only be unlocked by purchasing them with coins. In Lucadian Chronicles, coins are earned by playing the single player campaign, participating in a daily challenge, playing a draft, or participating in the league. It costs 100 coins to purchase a card pack. Each card pack consists of three cards which are separated into 3 main categories, common, uncommon, and rare. At present 100 cards are available in the game.

Lucadian Chronicles challenge

Sounds great. What’s not to like?

The tutorial in Lucadian Chronicles is absolutely fabulous. However, if you ever want to revisit any part of the tutorial, it can only be found in one place. From the main menu, you’ll click on Almanac, then on the next pop up screen click tutorial and revisit any part of it that you would like. If they would add a “?” button spread throughout various parts of the game, it would make accessing the tutorial much easier for everyone.

Lucadian Chronicles does have a grind element if you choose to evolve your cards. There is no way to avoid it. Let’s use an example. I want to level up my green common Poison Toad. Once I’ve placed it into the evolve slot, I will have to use three other green commons in order to evolve the Poison Toad. Now, once it’s evolved, its new level is 2. Next, I want to evolve it to a level 3. I place it in the evolve slot again. I will have to place three other level 2 cards in order to complete this task. Each card can be evolved up to four times. You can see where this process can become long and complicated.

The evolving process is not an uncommon practice and can be found in multiple TCGs. Other TCGs typically approach evolutions by allowing you to use 2 of the same card to upgrade it to a new level. If you do not own a duplicate, then you will have to use more base cards to achieve the same result. I wish the developers would have included this option as part of their evolution process. That would then reduce some of the pointless grind element. Another thing I didn’t like about the evolution process was that I can’t use any three cards of my choosing. They have to be a matching color and of the same type, i.e. common, uncommon, rare. I would prefer this mechanic if I was allowed to destroy any three cards of my choosing instead of being forced to find specific options.

Card Layout

The verdict is in…

Despite my few complaints about Lucadian Chronicles, overall, it’s a great game, especially for the price. I hope to compete against all of you in draft or league. Be on the lookout for Saint KJ!