Karacterz from Landratt LLC blends two worlds well familiar to fighting-card-gamers into a singular giant with a sprinkle of deck-building and plenty of head-to-head combat. In fighting card games, which go back decades, players face off to see who can better wield their cards in hand. Deck-building evolved out of collectible card games as players sought to have the best foundation for victory with different strategies balanced by points. Through Karacters, the two types of games come together into a match where players first create a deck and then battle it out to see who has the best build.
Phase 1 of Karacterz is Karacter Kreation, in which players assemble their decks based on a Core card that gives a bonus in one of three stats: Magic, Agility, and Physical. Through the deck-building, players draw up cards and go through rounds of choosing discards, gradually building up an impressive, well-rounded character from what was once nothing. Players may go further to collect bonuses from Classes and other areas based on their chosen paths. The deck-building creates almost a story aspect to the game as players will see connections such as their chosen weapon and a Mastery that gives bonuses to attack.
When players have completed their Karacter Kreation, Phase 2 begins Kombat Mode. Players now battle, following their characters’ builds into devastating attacks and fortitudinous defense, all revealed at the same time rather than in turns. Through the various power-ups and items assembled in Phase 1, players will have numerous cards that contribute to overall actions. Each round will be a good test of quick addition and optimizing combinations for the most brutal onslaught or nimble resistance.
Rather than having a “health counter” or whittling away at hit points until one is dead, Karacterz has a novel method of establishing its winner through overall damage taken. Each round, a player adds the damage taken to his or her pool. The battle continues with players discarding spent cards until their hands are empty, prompting the end of the match. At that point, damage is tallied, and the player with the least amount of damage in his or her pool is the victor. While other card games seek to break an opponent, Karacterz follows much more long-term planning to achieve the overall best result.
In addition to its innovative gameplay and encouragement for connecting with one’s character during the build, the art of Karacterz meets the high standards expected by gamers. Landratt uses a variety of freelancers, each with a unique take that give an extra layer to the created story world.
Karacterz is a deck-building and fighting card game for two to four players aged 12 and up. Two-player duels are lengthy matches, lasting about an hour, and games with more players can be longer, although that time does include both phases, practically two games in one. As players summit the learning curve, Karacterz becomes very fluid with an engaging pace. With each game offering a new build with a fresh strategy for victory, Karacterz is as addictive as it is creative.
A demo video from the Karacterz creators shows the details of its gameplay.