Cross Blitz Preview
Once again I dive into a card battling game, this time we have Cross Blitz developed by Tako Boys Studio and published by The Arcade Crew along with Gamera Games. Cross Blitz is an RPG deck builder that is full of fast-paced card battles and loads of cool cards to build your decks with.
As soon as you begin Cross Blitz, you have two different modes to play: Tusk Tales, where you battle across the regions of Crossdawn Isle in a rogue-like adventure; or Fables, where you play through the hero’s story and unlock new cards as you progress on your journey. Whichever mode you select, you begin by selecting a hero. There are five different characters shown, most with animal forms, and the final is a girl with purple hair. In the beginning, for Fable Mode: Redcroft, a mighty lion pirate who sails the seas around the Isle searching for treasure and adventure, or Violet, the popstar bard known for her free spirit and extraordinary performances are available to select. If you play Tusk Tales you will be working your way up a map to fight the boss at the end, similar to Slay the Spire, stopping at campfires to heal or stores to buy more cards.
To start, I selected the Fables mode as I was curious as to what exactly a pop star bard would be like. Does she attack by singing, or how does that work? There are three chapters of the story to play: as you would expect, you have to play through the first before challenging the others. Violet is hunting down a mystical trinket to stop a doppelganger impersonating her. Your first objective — shown on the top right of your screen — is to find a lead on the whereabouts of this trinket. The game is incredibly lighthearted and full of silly humour which adds to the fun factor!
A lead brings Violet to the city of Dawndell where she meets Mawson the purple floating cat. This feline will teach you how to battle against your foes with your deck of cards. You can see which deck you have equipped on the left-hand side of the screen. At first, Violet has her own collection of cards, but you are able to create your own deck or edit the current one. Having multiple decks is handy as it allows you to strategise and switch up the cards you have available to use in that battle to find something more effective against the enemy. As you battle and earn more cards, or buy them at the shop, you can add them to whichever deck you like, taking out some of the more ‘useless’ cards as your deck can only have 30 cards.
Crossdawn Isle is displayed on a hex map. There are different types of nodes placed around the play map, to walk to them you will just click on them — as the game only has keyboard and mouse support — but the path between them must be clear to get there, if it’s not then you can’t get there and you need to find a route around. To open new pathways, you need to visit event nodes or be victorious in battle. The cities you visit are super cute and have a variety of buildings and decorations like fountains to see. You may even find some chests that you can open and collect items from to use to create new cards for battle.
Your characters and all the others you interact with are really adorable and have great animations when you are standing around as they are constantly marching. When walking around moving from one hex to another, it looks like they are floating on water and bounce when you step on them. Everyone you interact with has a unique personality which is great so you don’t feel like you are fighting the same character over and over again.
When you battle, the game determines which opponent gets to go first, if you are second you are rewarded with a prism that will give you extra mana for battle. Each side of the battle table has eight spots — a front and back row with four slots — where you can place your cards. Your side of the board is blue and is the closest to you on the bottom of the screen.
Each turn you play, you earn one mana to spend on playing a card, so the first turn you only have one so you are stuck playing a weaker minion. When your next turn starts, you will have two mana and it will increase by one extra every turn. Once you have selected your card, place it on a spot where there are no enemy cards in the way as you can attack the main player, or put it somewhere to block your opponent from hitting you. When your opponent's turn is done you will draw a random card from your deck to play in battle. The battle is over when either of the contestants drops down to zero hit points.
The look of Cross Blitz is incredibly fun and vibrant. I have always been a fan of highly detailed, pixelated sprites with tons of personality. The soundtrack is no slouch either, it is super energetic and catchy, fitting this colourful world very well! There is no voice acting here, but I’m okay with that; I think it would seem weird if there was.
Cross Blitz is one of the most entertaining deck-battling games I have played so far. The visuals, humour, and characters create a lighthearted world that I can’t wait to explore more of. The battles really challenge you and when you lose, you just want to battle again because changing up a few cards can really make a difference! This game is so much fun and challenging, I highly recommend checking out Cross Blitz for fans of this genre, you will not regret it!