iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac/Linux •
Harry Dresden is the other wizard named Harry who didn’t go to Hogwarts and doesn’t have a lightning scar on his forehead. I just wanted to let you know that I know the difference between Harry Dresden and Harry Potter before anyone gets angry that I mixed up the two worlds in the headline. I may be a muggle, but I’m an informed muggle.
The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game landed on Steam back in November, and Nick quite liked it as did I when I finally gave it a go. All you mobile gamers out there can now join in on the fun, as it arrived for both iOS and Android devices Sunday. [yeah, it launched on a Sunday -ed.]
The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game is a shot-for-shot remake of the cardboard version from Evil Hat Productions which, lucky for us, is a pretty great card game. It’s also unlike any other card game you’ve ever played which is covered in great detail in Nick’s review.
Short recap: This game has you controlling 1 or more characters from the Dresden Files books and going up against villains and set pieces from those same books. That said, it’s quite abstract. If you haven’t read the books or are worried about spoilers because you plan on reading them, don’t worry about it. Basically, there are four types of cards, Challenges, Obstacles, Advantages, and Cases. The Challenges are bad guys that you need to defeat by playing cards that deal damage. Obstacles are, well, obstacles from the books that you need to defeat by playing cards that allow you to tackle Obstacles. If they remain undefeated, they have passive powers that make your life more difficult. Advantages are items you find that can actually help you, and Cases are the entire point of the game. Play enough clues on them to “solve” the Case and remove it from the board.
Sounds easy, but the board is laid out in two rows with the cards to the far left being rank 1 and getting farther and farther away as you move to the right. Thus, you may have an Obstacle and a card that lets you remove said Obstacle, but it’s five cards to the right and your card only has a range of 3. You can’t reach it and all that bad stuff it’s doing will continue to happen unless you find a way to extend your range or move that card closer.
Each investigator has a starting hand and it’s very likely those are the only cards you’ll see all game. There are very few chances to draw new cards, thus at the beginning of each game you have nearly perfect information with a puzzle to solve. How do I solve more cases than there are bad guys on the board by the time I run out of cards?
It’s a wonderful solitaire game, where you control three investigators and can just sit back, relax, and ponder the best way to proceed. I haven’t played multiplayer, but it seems like not having insight into everyone’s cards at all times would make the game even harder, which is definitely not something the game needs. It’s already brutally hard even when difficulty is set to easy.
The mobile version has both solitaire play as well as every form of multiplayer you could think of: pass-and-play, LAN, and online for up to 5 players. I haven’t tried the online multiplayer yet, so I can’t tell you if it’s asynchronous or not. My assumption is no, but you know what happens when you assume, which is probably why I keep doing it.
There are multiple expansions already available, each introducing new characters and character cards, and also new cards for the different novels in the series. The initial game comes with 5 different book decks, so it might be a while before you need to splurge on more content, but I find that I like playing with different characters so, for me, the IAP was a no-brainer.
The mobile version works on both phones and tablets and has been available for two days. Would have told you about it yesterday, but <insert excuses here>.