Cardpocalypse Review: Crayons, Cards, and Mutant Cats

Cute graphics, funny writing, and good gameplay make Cardpocalypse a rousing good time.

Cardpocalypse is a game all about a girl named Jess, and her first few days at a brand-new school. Having just moved to a new area, she’s a little nervous. Thankfully, she’s also an incredibly confident kid, and kind of a badass to boot. The one thing she doesn’t have is her own Mega Mutant Power Pets deck, but all of that changes thanks to her loving parents.

So, she arrives at her new school with a deck in her hand, a shiny new wheelchair to get around in, and all the confidence you expect from a precocious kid with more courage and bravery than people far older than her. She’s ready to make friends, take names, and collect some new cards.

Unfortunately, things don’t exactly go to plan. Jess ends up making something of a spectacle of herself, getting Mega Mutant Power Pets banned at the school, turning all but the nicest kids against her.

Oh, and weird cosmic goop appears randomly, and strange stuff starts happening. You know, it's a video game. 

Cardpocalypse Review: Crayons, Cards, and Mutant Cats

That’s the set up for Cardpocalypse, a single-player card game that takes you along a strange story through the medium of a trading card game. Cardpocalypse is a cool premise, and you’ll be glad to hear that it’s done pretty well.

There are four factions in Cardpocalypse, each of which is loosely split into different animal types (dogs, cats, rats, and snakes). Each of these has a different general playstyle, which can be further customized based on the champion you’re using.

See, the cards you can use are dictated by your champion; if you’ve chosen a champion from the Woofians (the doggos), then you can only use cards from that faction. The good thing is that are multiple champions for each faction.

For example, take the Woofians (I honestly just like typing that word. Woofians). One champion boosts the power of all the creatures with Defender, while another champion makes damaged creatures stronger.

The system allows you to craft your playstyle, and even have multiple decks to dive into whenever you want. This lets you be a bit more reactive with your deck choice, as you get to see what kind of Champion your opponent is using as you choose your deck.

Stickers For Days

Better yet, you can use stickers to alter your cards. If you’ve played other card games, you might be wondering how that’s allowed. Well, these are 10-year old kids we’re talking about; they make their own rules.

Stickers allow you to add abilities, reduce the cost of cards, and even boost card attack and defense. It’s a neat system and one that lets you get attached to a card, at which point you can rename it if you want.

Another neat aspect is that you even get to create your own card fairly early on. You choose the composite parts used as one of the other kids draws it for you. It’s a unique idea, and one that helps you feel like your deck is your deck.

The card system in Cardpocalypse is not the most complex in existence, but the variety of cards builds up well, and it does allow for some fun strategies as well. That being said, the system can feel a little unbalanced at times, but you can always change the difficulty if you’re finding it too easy, which is nice.

Cardpocalypse Review — The Bottom Line

 

Pros:

  • A fun and highly customizable card game
  • Incredibly charming story and characters
  • Genuinely funny writing

Cons:

  • It can feel a bit unbalanced at times
  • Some quests can feel repetitive 

Outside of battles, the gameplay follows that of a classic RPG. You move from place to place, chatting to people and doing quests. It’s well-written, and it genuinely feels like you’re dealing with the world inside a school, which allows for some heart-warming humor and charming conversation.

The art style of Cardpocalypse is kind of wonderful as well. The hand-drawn look gives the whole game a sheen of wholesomeness that deserves to be present in the setting, and even the cards look wonderfully wonky and weird. It’ll all have you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

Cardpocalypse is a fun card game wrapped in an entertaining story. While it's not necessarily going to change your life, it will keep you hooked throughout its playtime. The combination of cute graphics, funny writing, and enjoyable gameplay combine to mean that this is one apocalypse that is a good time all around. That's a pretty rare thing. 

[Note: A copy of Cardpocalypse was provided by Gambrinous for the purpose of this review.]

Our Rating
8
Cute graphics, funny writing, and good gameplay make Cardpocalypse a rousing good time.
Reviewed On: PC

Contributor

Jason likes the gym, roguelikes, and FromSoftware. There is a pattern there for sure, but try not to read too much into it. He's also a freelance games journalist who is slowly trying to take over the world. Not in a menacing way though, he'd probably just make everyone get pets or something.

Published Dec. 20th 2019

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