Shards of Infinity ready for polishing


#1

Originally published at: https://statelyplay.com/2019/03/11/shards-of-infinity-ready-for-polishing/

iOS, Android, PC

Temple Gates came out of nowhere in 2017 to rock our worlds with the, still fantastic, digital port of Race for the Galaxy. While we know they’ve been working on it’s dicey cousin, Roll for the Galaxy, we also know that they’ve hooked up with Stone Blade Entertainment and have been working on their 2-player card battler, Shards of Infinity. Looks like the latter has been getting the bulk of the attention because, today, they announced that beta signups are open.

Shards of Infinity is a 2-player deckbuilder which differs from that other big 2-player deckbuilder from Stone Blade in a few important ways. First of all, it’s not a victory point chaser. Instead, it takes a CCG approach in which each player is trying to reduce their enemy to 0 hit points. Secondly, it uses a resource called “mastery”. You begin the game with none, and can buy some each turn. If you reach 30 mastery, you can unlock your Infinity Shard and instantly beat your opponent.

The digital version from Temple Gates looks to follow in the very polished shoes of Race for the Galaxy. We’ve been promised online multiplayer, an AI based on Keldon Jones’ awesome AI used in RftG, and hotseat multiplayer. From the press release:

Shards of Infinity is the second mobile board game release for Temple Gates Games, coming on the heels of the award winning Race for the Galaxy app. “The reason to play a board game on your phone is to take advantage of digital-only features,” says Theresa Duringer, CEO of Temple Gates Games, “including AI, automated setup and score keeping, and the ability to play with friends remotely. Our goal is to nail these with lickety split performance.” The AI for Shards of Infinity is an extension of Keldon Jones’ AI for Race for the Galaxy, which uses neural networks to create challenging opponents.


The beta is open right now to iOS, Android, and Steam users and you can signup right here. From what I can gather, if you are an Android or Steam user, the beta will be in the Early Access format. That means you’ll have to pay for it up front, but will then own the app when version 1.0 rolls around. iOS, on the other hand, offers a free beta experience, but you’ll have to buy the app when it goes live at the actual launch. So, it’s pretty much the same thing, I think.

Head over and sign up now and we’ll keep feeding you any new info we can glean about Shards of Infinity before its expected release in Spring of 2019.


#2

I’ve started a diet today, so forgive me, but I’m in a grumpy mood. I have a hard time calling an app “very polished” when it hasn’t managed to be patched for the new iPhone resolutions in over a year. “Very Polished” is Through the Ages. “Good, but needs some updates” is Race for the Galaxy.

Shards of Inifinity sounds interesting but hopefully it does enough to separate itself from other card battlers.


#3

If I listen hard enough, it could sound as if they’ve taken the best bits of Solforge (which I ruddy adored) and polished them. Add in a good offline AI and what could there be not to love?


#4

Plays up to 4 players from what I’ve seen so far in app.

Has some of the good bits of Ascension and Star Realms merged into one, either focus on damage to kill off your opponents and their champions (champions being like bases from SR), or build up enough of the star symbol to power up your shard, which gives you infinite damage, allowing you to kill everyone else at once.

I’ve had a couple crashes so far, and it doesn’t yet support online multiplayer.


#5

Ah, okay. I got this from the press release " Named Best two player game of 2018 by The Dice Tower’s Tom Vasel," and assumed it was 2-player only.


#6

If this were some kind of 4-player Star Realms (meaning a deck builder where victory comes through combat) with asynchronous, I’m an absolute day 1 purchase.


#7

It seems like that’s exactly what this will be, pretty much same play loop as Ascension or Star Realms.

They’ve done async with Race for the Galaxy, I’d certainly hope they’d do it again for this.

Will chime in when multiplayer lands.


#8

Due to my, apparently, stunted reading comprehension, I missed completely that this is actually based on a tabletop game. That makes me even more interested.


#9

You’re going to love the fact that Shards has the same resolution issue.

Maybe they just don’t know how to fix it… :joy: :joy:


#10

Ugh. Its not a game beaker, but really? Ah well, enjoyment trumps eye candy, but eye candy doesn’t hurt…


#11

It plays ok on my galaxy s8. The one thing that bothers me a bit is that I cant see the champion (“bases”) cards that are in play. I have to click to see them.
Only easy AI and pass and play for now.
Havent played enough to form a decent opinion.


#12

Plays well on my iPad Pro 10.5, despite a few crashes. No tutorial yet, although if you’ve played Ascension it was pretty easy to pick up. I’m enjoying the game itself so far; it adds something to the Ascension model without being the swingy abortion that is Star Realms.


#13

Does the app play with more than 2?


#14

It appears that you can add up to 3 AI players…


#15

@Neumannium is correct - I played a 4p against 3 AIs last night. Took longer than I cared to play, which was good since it crashed in the fourth or fifth go around and I didn’t feel the need to fire it up again. 2p is nice and quick though.


#16

It’s a pretty Star Realms-esque game, isn’t it?

The Focus mechanic, to boost cards’ abilities, is a goodie, as is allowing some cards that you’re waiting to play on your next turn shield you from damage.

In a funny way, that it plays so slickly, for me doesn’t help. With Ascension, you’re in no doubt that it’s a card game at heart, the cards have a certain physicality about them; you read them, flick them onto the board, double tap them to see your options - relatively there’s a lot of manipulation to become familiar with.
With Shards, it’s just tapping gorgeous glass-like artwork that slides swiftly and effortlessly to and fro with a beautiful woosh. It works very well in RftG, but here I’d like a more ‘handsy’ experience.


#17

I don’t find it as irritating as Star Realms; my main objection to Star Realms is that I’d die before I felt like I’d gotten an engine going. Could just be the ineptitude of the easy AI, but…


#18

I downloaded it last night on my iPad, but did it too late to really want to try and learn it.

Did it today on my phone and learned the game, but discovered that I really don’t like playing it on my phone.

So iPad tonight it is!!!


#19

Online multiplayer is live and it’s pretty awesome.
Also they added full iPhone X support and it’s flawless as well…played a ton on my phone AT LAST.

There are some server problems at the moment for some (can’t create games and multiple notifications per single turn) but they are on it.
The app is on the right track to be glorious…it’s the child of Ascension and Star Realms which is awesome for me as I loved both and I much prefer fighting against an opponent than a multiplayer solitaire score chase.


#20

I haven’t logged into it in a couple of days. Do you have to set up an account, or do you have to set up each device individually?