Since 1997, Culdcept has been a strategy franchise popular in Japan. North America had a taste of Culdcept in 2003, when an expanded port of the second title Culdcept Second, released on the PlayStation 2. Now, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series, Culdcept Revolt has released on the Nintendo 3DS, and North America gets to play along! Cultcept Revolt blends games like Monopoly, and Magic the Gathering into a card-based strategy game filled with content.
Culdcept on PlayStation 2 passed under my radar when it originally released, so I was eager to get my hands on Culdcept Revolt to see what I had missed. Like previous Culdcept titles, Culdcept Revolt puts you in the role of a Cepter, or wielder of cards. As a Cepter, you engage in Cepter battles, where your goal is to gather the magic energy found in coins. This power is known as Gain and can be gained multiple ways during Cepter battles.
Culdcept Revolt revolves around resolving quests, which have a number of stages. Each quest involves a Cepter battle and has a certain Gain requirement to complete it. Aside from Quests, there is a multiplayer component where you can play opposite other players using decks you have created from cards you’ve acquired from quests.
Cepter battles take place on a board, with multiple gates and multicolored tiles. Each cepter has a book of cards, and uses them as they move across the board. Passing through all gates on a map and making a complete lap gives you a Lap Bonus, which provides Gain. In order to move across the board, you roll dice, the symbols on said dice count as a single space, but getting the same symbol on both dice gives you the option to move twelve spaces. Additionally, you accumulate Gain at the start of each turn, to use in order to utilize your cards and their abilities. Placing creatures on unoccupied spaces claims them for your cepter (like buying land in Monopoly.) However to claim spaces, it requires Gain.
Cards used by your Cepter can fall under a variety of categories. Equipment, Creatures, and Spell cards; Spell cards provide effects to your Cepter that change how your dice operate, or provide a variety of other effects. Creature cards each have an element, strength, and health. The creature’s element dictates how it performs on certain tiles. Ideally, you want to summon a creature of the same element as the land you are on, as it imbues land bonus effects on your creature. Summoning creatures (like spells and equipment) cost Gain, which dictates some strategy to make sure you have enough gain to last a long term battle. This is not to say that you cannot put a creature of an opposing element on an elemental tile, it just becomes riskier and leaves your creature without the land bonus. As you play, you can change the terrain element of certain tiles you occupy, but this costs Gain and can be a risky move.
After summoning a creature, that creature is fatigued, which requires you to pass a gate in order to utilize Territory Commands. Territory commands allow you to level up your land, to strengthen it and raise its toll. When you or your opponent lands on an occupied space, you have the option of either fighting over it, or paying its toll. This continues until you reach the required amount of Gain, or your opponent does. If you are an invading creature initiating a battle over land, you can utilize equipment cards (namely weapons) to strengthen your creature’s attack and take over occupied land. Conversely, if you are a defending creature, you can use equipment cards to bolster your defenses (these take the form of armor cards.) Certain creatures cannot use weapons or armor, so it is wise to know what you are going up against before taking on occupied land.
Culdcept Revolt is fairly straightforward but can be time consuming. It takes time to build up your tolls on your spaces, and acquire the amount of Gain you need. It is by no means an easy game either, but for fans of strategy and board games it is something unique and interesting. After successfully winning Cepter Battles, you can use GP (currency gained from battles) to buy card packs,, which unlock new cards and expand your card books.
Culdcept Revolt is a difficult, time consuming game. I only have a few problems with it. The first is that you can only have a maximum of 50 cards in your deck at one time. With the sheer amount of cards at your disposal as you progress, this can make picking the ideal deck somewhat difficult. The second problem with Culdcept Revolt is that the game is not really built for short bursts of play. Battles may last an hour or more, and there is no option to save midway through the battle and come back later. The biggest part of this problem is that there is hardly any way to salvage a match once you are losing; in fact, you may play for over an hour, only to lose the battle and have to do it over again. Despite this, Culdcept Revolt is a fun strategy game; it just isn’t for casual or younger players.
Culdcept Revolt is no doubt a strategy game that will fly under most people’s radar. However, for the true strategy board game enthusiast, it might just be a new source of enjoyment for you and your friends. It isn’t perfect, and you’re going to be in for long drawn out matches (especially in single player quests) but it has an interesting storyline and will keep you occupied for a long, long while.
A Nintendo 3DS review code for Culdcept Revolt was provided by NIS America for the purpose of this review.
- Interesting blend of Board game and Card mechanics
- Challenging Strategy gameplay
- Tons of Deck building possibilities
- Story built on Rebellion
- Card Limit on Decks is only 50 cards
- Matches are very time consuming
- Very difficult to recover from losing matches
- No in-game saving option mid match