GamePress

Pathfinder Duels

Game Database
Analysis by SpecialKei

Pathfinder Duels is a collectible card game released in early 2018 by 37Games.

GamePress Review
Overall
Gameplay
Cost
Aesthetics
Commitment Reward
Longevity

Game Screenshots

Gameplay Analysis

Pathfinder Duels is a card game very comparable to Magic: The Gathering and Gwent. You and your opponent fight against each other on a board with two sides, each with a 2x3 grid. Players choose a hero and start at 25 health. When either player reaches zero it's game over. Each turn players simultaneously place their cards on their respective side of the board. Players each start with two Arcana, the main resource of the game, and gain one every turn. 

The game starts you with a hand of a mix spells and creatures from your 50-card deck, and a card representing your hero. The card representing your hero has four pieces of equipment that you can set when you create your deck, and they give your hero abilities that range from middling to overpowered. Creatures or spells are placed in one of the six spaces on the board. They're executed in order of left to the right column, and top to the bottom row.  Creatures can only attack on the turn after they're played unless they have the "Haste" ability. Abilities can either have a description or one of over 20 keywords such as "Trample", "Adapt", and "Magic Resistance". These abilities will sometimes have numerical modifiers as well. Other card attributes include alignment(every Hero has up to two alignments allowed in their deck), attack and health stat, rarity, and creature type.  

Game modes available at the time of writing are Ranked, Story, and Practice. There are ten chapters in the Story mode with five or more parts in each. You can also unlock heroes by defeating them once in battle(there are 10 heroes to choose from.) There is a drafting mode available on weekends only. 

Overall, the game seems a bit barren of content, but the content it does have can be a bit confusing. This is most likely due to how new the game is. With 10 different heroes to choose from and 20+ different abilities, on top of the hero cards that include different pieces of equipment, it can be hard to keep track of what does what. Also, there's a bit of a hitch with how the turns are taken in Pathfinder Duels. When you're done playing out your cards you have to wait for the other player to finish before everything gets executed. The game animations and speed, in general, is slow, so this waiting time does become noticeable.

Cost Analysis

There are two currencies in Pathfinder Duels: Gems and Gold. 

Gold is earned through achievements and winning matches. You can use gold to purchase cards, one at a time, for 500 Gold each. Or, you can buy a set of five cards for 150 Gems(it costs $2.99USD for 300). To break this down with a bit more math, it would cost 2500 Gold to get $1.50 in value. Also, you earn about 60 Gold per win. Without achievements or other sources of Gold, it would take nine wins to receive one card. One card! To get a pack of five you need to win about 42 games. Also, there's nothing like a "guaranteed rare in every # of pulls" either. Only one pack option has that, and to acquire one you need to buy a $49.99 USD bundle.  

You can also buy a set of some alignment cards, plus a bonus pack(for cash, not in-game currency.) At the shop, you can also buy equipment for your Hero cards that add stats and effects(1500-2500 Gold, or 25 to 42 games.) You can only buy them with Gold, but luckily you can spend Gems to buy Gold. 

There are so, so many things wrong with this spending model. It's completely unfair to F2P players, currency generation is totally messed up, and gaining cards is prohibitively expensive. I felt I had to use italics to emphasize how awful it is.

Aesthetics Analysis

Pathfinder, as a tabletop series, has an established art style that shows in Pathfinder Duels. Traditional Pathfinder art is abound in the game and all creatures and heroes are inspired by the beloved property. However, the game's art assets aren't of the highest quality. 

Overall, the user interface isn't typically pretty to look at. To me, a person with only a passing familiarity with the pen & paper RPG, it looks generic. And the music feels uninspired.

Commitment Reward Analysis

Login rewards are available and are coupled with event rewards. Two daily logins exist without counting the event, but their value is very low due to the economic structure of the game. Quests are also available and don't expire.

Longevity Analysis

37Games has been around since 2011, creating browser and mobile games for US and international markets. Their games are in many different markets including Turkey and the Phillippines, their biggest being Blades and Rings

Pathfinder is a respected pen and paper RPG franchise that's been around since 2009.

Overall Analysis

It's difficult to recommend Pathfinder Duels. Players who are interested in card games may be intrigued by the lane mechanic paired with the technicality of Magic: The Gathering card effects. Otherwise, the game is prohibitively difficult to grasp. The tutorial is 3 shortened games, and then you're all set to play. Except you don't know what many of the cards do, and cards cost an insane amount.

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Game Details
Company37Games
iPhone Release
Android Release