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CARD HUNTER is a simplified card-playing version of the famous TSR game of Dungeons & Dragons(tm) and is played solo or with friends on your home PC.

It may not actually say "Dungeons & Dragons" anywhere but just take a look at the adventure/scenario pages, especially the headers, and the Player's Guidebook front page looks like it came straight from a TSR booklet from the early 70's.


Your character, who collects other characters en route, begins at Level One and and gains experience by completing quests and gains equipment from the Treasure Chest reward at the end of each scenario. Dungeons have several levels, depending on how experienced you are, and you can leave them at any time after winning a fight, to go back to the map. After a dungeon has been completed you are given notice of this, but if you leave a dungeon before you complete it then you can go back at a later time. Reasons for leaving are usually that you want to change a character or rearrange the weapons and equipment each has. 


Combat occurs on a squared board which is decorated and designed according to the name of the dungeon. Your characters are literally dropped in the position selected for the scenario and then the monsters land on their spaces. Each character is shown at the base of the screen along with the cards it has for the round. These can be equipment like Armour or Shields or Combat Actions, occasionally a special card pops up and you must follow the instructions on it. Combat is always your turn then the opponent's turn. Your actions include moving, cards with Move on them show how many spaces you can travel and by pre-selecting the card (ie not playing it) the spaces on the board where the card will allow you to move to are highlighted. You do not have to travel the full distance but if you stop the card is used. You have no idea of your opponent's cards and they can trick you sometimes into thinking they have no cards playable by selecting [Pass]. If you then Pass the round ends but if you move to get close to a monster don't be surprised if you have been lured into a trap and the opponent then plays a card with high damage that really hurts.


If you lose a character during combat the fight continues until it is concluded. If you win then the characters in your party return fully healed, including the dead ones, ready for the next battle, which happens almost immediately. If you lose the battles then the characters are also returned to you fully healed, but you are kicked out of the dungeon.

New dungeons appear onscreen on the map when you emerge victorious having cleared a dungeon out completely. The name of the dungeon and its "starting level" is shown along with any specialty you may find, such as elite equipment or treasures, or major villainous monsters. Always remember that if on the map it says Dungeon Level 6 then it will almost certainly be levels 6-7 for the first battle and then get higher as you progress.


Every piece of weaponry or equipment you have gives you a number of cards. You can right click on each card to discover its full potential but the icons make it quite easy to understand the powers and abilities which means you can generally play each card with impunity. Characters can be named by you or chosen at random; normally, like most role-players, I want to create my own names, but some of the random ones looked inviting so I just let the game pick them for me. Most of my adventures were carried out by Kohal, Drohk and Cankylmort. 


It's a fun game and like the Guild of Dungeoneers "Steam" game it is addictive. GoD is a little more forgiving because you can simply pass a turn doing nothing in it and get new cards to choose from (except the battle sequence of course as the cards are drawn randomly and you have to fight). In CARD HUNTER you only have the cards you are dealt with which can mean your top warrior doesn't draw a single Battle Card in a round, your Cleric has no Heals, or your Mage gets no spells, which renders them totally useless so all you can do is Pass and wait for your opponent to do the same. It has happened to me where the cards for all three characters have been particularly useless and my opponent has moved in and defeated me, their blows going through whatever Armour I had, and all three of my characters are killed in the same round. Thankfully this isn't a regular occurrence but there have been many rounds where I have been unable to Move or Fight, having just equipment/Armour cards available.


CARD HUNTER is a challenging game and good fun to play action role-play style game, though there really isn't any role-playing involved that has a Campaign Mode which is just you playing solo and a Multiplayer Mode which is you playing solo with some friends, only kidding, it is for several players to enjoy at the same time. I have to admit that I haven't played multi-player yet, possibly because I have no friends and possibly (more likely) because I have been too busy playing solo and building my characters up. If you like fantasy combat games where a little thought but mostly action is required my advice would most certainly be to get yourself a copy of CARD HUNTER.

The pictures on this page are actual screenshots, taken by my camera pointed at the screen, can't get any screenier shots than that.  


© Chris Baylis 2011-2015