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REVIEW

Steem Monsters review

Gameunculus teaches you how to start playing this popular battle card game on Steem.

Steem Monsters is a digital trading card game where you build your deck and fight opponents. Yes, just like Hearthstone or Magic: The Gathering. If you’re an old-fashioned crypto gamer attached to Ethereum, you may have never heard of Steem Monsters. And it’s high time you did, cause Gameunculus loves being first! Don’t worry, he won’t tell Vitalik about your betrayal. Learn how to start, how cards work, why the gameplay is special, and if Steem Monsters is worthy of your time – all that and even more in Gameunculus’s latest review. Let’s go!

Getting started

Here we are, on the Steem Monsters page, preparing to pay $10 for a Starter Pack, your VIP (or not-so-VIP) access to the game. It includes 30 cards to start playing and a free Steem account, if you don’t have one. Maybe you’ll find yourself in writing paid reviews on Steem, who knows?

Btw, thank you for the ability to buy packs for fiat and ETH, not only those shitcoins which are used by some games and could be found only on one particular decentralized exchange in the ass-end of nowhere.

After you complete your purchase, you can log in the game with your Steem account and open the cards pack. Gameunculus counts his cards - yep, exactly 30, no more, no less. No epic cards (but 12 rare ones). And no dragons, isn’t it unfair?! Wait-wait, rare, dragons… Don’t we need to explain it? Continue reading and you’ll know everything about Steem Monsters’ cards.

Cards

There are two card types: Summoners and Monsters, and they can be Common, Rare, Epic or Legendary. Summoners summon, Monsters… monster? Well, kinda, cause they do all the work for their leader (and for you). Summoners carry one of six primal forces (or Splinters): Fire, Water, Earth, Life, Death or Dragon. But they don’t just send monsters to die, they also encourage them (or discourage opponents) with their special skills. They can increase all friendly attack of particular type, or decrease enemy’s attack, or add armor/health – lots of variants to choose from.

Monsters can also belong to one of the 6 Splinters, or be neutral. Fire summoners can summon Fire and Neutral monsters, Water summoners can summon Water and Neutral, and so on. Monsters are also melee, range or magic depending on their attack type. Melees normally attack from the front row, ranges attack from a distance and can’t attack at close, while mages damage from any position, ignore armor and never miss. Seems like it’s the most hated class in here!

This a typical monster card:

  • Mana cost: how much mana you need to summon the monster.
  • Stats: attack (it’s melee on the pic); speed (monsters with highest speed attack first); toughness (armor which protects monsters); health (requires no explanation).
  • Splinter and Rarity: it’s Fire and it’s purple, which indicates that the card is Epic. If it was grey, it would be Common, if it was blue, Rare, and if it was orange, Legendary.
  • Name: nice to meet you, Serpent of the Flame!
  • Level: it’s lvl 4. Yeah, you can level up your cards, if you find the same ones and merge them. In this case the cards will improve their stats and get new abilities.
  • Experience: the bar indicates your progress to the next level.
  • Abilities: around 30 different special skills and powers which make the game exciting and unpredictable (or desperate and unbearable). This Serpent has Retaliate (when hit with a Melee attack, has a chance of attacking their attacker) and Poison (has a chance to apply poison, which does automatic damage to the target at the beginning of each round).

Now, since you’re a card expert, let’s go further and get ready for a real battle.

Gameplay

If you aren’t satisfied with your initial 30 cards, you can always buy more: either 5 random cards for $2 per pack, or selected ones on the market. But we’ll be happy with what we have and try playing without buying any additional cards.

Battle

Press “Battle!” and choose a match mode. It can be Practice or Ranked. It would be more logical to choose Practice, but newbies have no rank and they don’t lose anything even when they lose a battle. If you have a rank, but it’s lower than 100, you won’t lose anything either. So we’re very much confused why those Practice battles even exist, there’s no point in them.

Gameunculus is always sure of himself, so he chose Ranked, of course. And… what happened? The opponent crapped his pants and surrendered before the fight. Later we’ll realize that such situation is a rather common one… Next try, and we’re finally able to make our team! That’s how it looks like.

First of all, take a look at Rules Of Combat. If they’re standard, let out a sigh of relief, you have nothing special to do. But if they’re not, you might have a headache building your deck without range attackers, or without neutral monsters, or without buffs or debuffs from summoners, or any other bullsh-er… specific conditions.

Then, pay attention to the mana cap. If it’s 17, and you’ve already added 6 monsters which require 32 mana in total, the fight won’t start. You can see available splinters to the right of mana cap. If all the splinters are highlighted, then you’re free to choose any of them. If only a few of them are, for example, Fire, Water, Earth, then you can’t use Life, Death and Dragon.

First you choose a Summoner of a particular Splinter, and he can summon monsters either of this Splinter or neutral ones. Pick up a melee guy with huge health and/or toughness for the front row, he’ll be your tank. When he dies, the second monster in a row will take his position, and so on. Remember, that range attackers can’t deal damage from the front row, so keep them far from it.

After the fight starts, you won’t be able to affect it, the monsters can carry on without you. And you can even skip to results at once, but watching animated combats is fun, especially for the first dozen of them.

Quests

Quests are a cool way of getting additional cards without paying a cent. Quests usually look like these: “Rising Dead – win 5 ranked battles with the Death Splinter”. After you win 5 ranked battles with the Death Splinter, you’ll be able to claim your reward – a random Steem Monsters’ card.

You can take another quest in 24 hours after you started the previous one. And you can change a quest if you’re struggling or don’t like it, but only once.

Ranks

When you win a Ranked battle, your rating increases depending on your opponents rating: if it’s lower than yours, you won’t get many points, but if it’s higher, you’ll get a lot. There are six Leagues in Steem Monsters: Novice, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond and Champion, and each League except for Novice is divided into 3 Tiers. You leave Novice League and start at Bronze III when you earn your rating reaches 100. To get to Silver III you’ll need 1000, and so on, the rates go up while travelling to the top.

Why do you even need to care about this rating? Guess you’re not a child, and your mama doesn’t still collect your trophies and aluminium medals on a cupboard. Well, even if she does, there’s more in achieving high ratings. When the season (it usually lasts for two weeks) ends, you get the rewards according to the highest League you managed to get into. For example, in Bronze III you’ll get 5 cards, while in Champion I you’ll get 150! Worth trying, isn’t it?

Gameunculus’s opinion

Would it satisfy you if we just say that Gameunculus was impressed and enjoyed playing Steem Monsters? No? OK, if it didn’t work let’s sort everything out.

Remember buying Hearthstone packs for fiat and not able to sell’em in any way? Forget about that dreadful experience. In Steem Monsters your cards are certainly worth money; and even if they’re only worth $0.01, you can sell them easily at any time you want. And you can level up your cards, making them even more valuable!

The gameplay is rather peculiar; though it takes some time to understand what you need to do and how on earth you should build your team, it’s a lot of fun afterwards. Cards stats, abilities (there are plenty of them) and ever-changing battle rules (before the combat starts, you don’t know how much mana you have and what modifications to the standard gameplay are made) – there’ll be no time to be bored!

Unfortunately, to get access to Steem Monsters you’ll have to pay $10 for the Starter Pack, and no free version is available. The devs explain that they can’t just give their precious cards for free, cause they are tradeable, limited and have real value.

At the press time Steem Monsters doesn’t have mobile versions, but they’re planning to launch on iOS and Android in Q3 2019. Well, seems like a disadvantage, cause Gameunculus loves having his favourite games with him everywhere: in a car, in a cafe or in the closet.

TL;DR

  • + Gameplay is great fun.
  • + Cards are truly yours, and you can sell them for $.
  • – No mobile platforms yet.
  • – No free version, you have to pay at least $10 to start.

This was a story of the game which came, saw and conquered Gameunculus’s heart. What about you guys, have you tried Steem Monsters? Come to our Twitter or Telegram to share your opinions! And if you don’t play games where you need to fork out, come and share your opinions anyway. Let’s discuss free-to-plays!

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