System Crash from Rogue Moon Studios released last Spring for PC and Mac through Steam for $14.99. The game recently published some additional DLC, indicating that the developer is interesting in continually improving and expanding the game. System Crash is a card game, although it differs from other card games in that there are no additional items to purchase. All cards are included in the original purchase and unlocked via gameplay.
The developer describes the game as a cyberpunk CCG-inspired by Blade Runner and Neuromancer. I definitely grasped the Blade Runner undertones. The cyberpunk story and theme are a standout for this game. The story takes places in “cutscenes” between quests which amount to card matches against the AI.
There is a LOT of reading. The cutscenes are text conversations between various quest givers. I enjoy reading the quests, but the game remains playable if you skip the text. The game does an excellent job of introducing the concepts of CCGs in the early quests, but you’d be fine without the intro if you’re a card game veteran.
Like other card games, System Crash decks consist of agents, support cards, attack/defense boosters, and direct point cards. Deckbuilding, like other CCGs, is tedious (my least favorite aspect of card games, generally). The game does a good job of explaining how deckbuilding works. The quests require you to actually tweak your decks for individual quests. This isn’t a game where you can pick it up and immediately bash through the matches without taking the time to learn the deck strategies and how to counter them with your deck building.
Overall, I found the game interesting. It captured my attention and, at times, was frustratingly hard to overcome. As all CCGs, a lot of the game is left up to the RNG of which cards you get. One battle in particular hinges on drawing the “Hexagon” card which prevents the other team from passively hacking and gaining OP. I placed two in my deck and it still took three attempts to beat that quest. Still, the unique story coupled with familiar game play made it easy to pick up and play.