Orions: Legends of Wizards in Review – A card game of legendary proportions

orions1I’ll be honest.  I’ve never played card games on computers or consoles.  Sure, I’ve played hearts on my PC, but that’s about it.  I used to play Hearts, Euchre and Crazy Eights when I was younger, but I really haven’t played any card games since then.

After playing Orions: Legends of Wizards, I’m left wondering why I haven’t played card games in such a long time!  I’ve spent a few sleepless nights and days at work dreaming about what my next move and/or strategy should be for my next battle.  That my friends, is when you know you’re playing a great game.

orions2Ok, so we know I’m addicted to the game, but what am I addicted to?  Basically, it’s a turn based strategy game, mixed with a card collecting game.  It’s the best of both worlds in my opinion.  This game offers a lot of depth.  You have the duel mode which is in essence a battle of cards between you and a human or cpu opponent.  But campaign mode is where all the action and strategy can be found.  And boy, is there a lot of strategy to be found here.

Let me say this right off the bat.  I was lost at first.  Yes, I read the instructions!  In fact, I read the instructions multiple times.  And by multiple times, I do mean more than twice!  In fact, I even played through the tutorial twice.  It’s really one of those games that the learning curve is high, but once you figure it out, you are in for a treat!

orions3In campaign mode, you will choose your character type based on an element (water, fire, wind etc.), and it’s on to the role of capturing the other worlds and defeating the “big boss” of each island.  For the islands you own and will capture, you will have the option to build buildings which will in turn provide resources that you can use towards upgrading your cards, and your skills.  Just this strategy alone makes this game have a ton of replayability.  We’re not even at the battles yet!

orions4In battles, you and your opponent have 5 slots to lay down your cards which I think of as weapons.  You each take a turn (hence the term turn based strategy) placing a card that that either attacks your opponent’s card below, or casts a spell.  Once your 5 slots are full, you cannot place any more cards until your card has been “killed”.  I look at your opponents cards as their shield.  Once their card is gone, you start attacking their character.  Until then, it’s really only doing damage to the card (unless of course you have a card that attacks the player directly).  Each card has their own special powers and attributes and in essence, their own pros and cons depending on your strategy and the cards your opponent plays.  If it sounds overly complicated, it’s not.  It just takes some getting used to and some understanding.  But once you do, it makes the game all worth while.

orions5As much as I enjoyed and am still enjoying the game, there are really a few minor points I need to point out. The first is that I wish battles had been better explained.  Maybe it was just that I needed to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each card, but I truly felt lost at the beginning.  I can imagine that some people might quit before actually understanding how the battles work.  But again, let me assure you that once you understand the battles, there is a plethora of fun to be had.

One personal issue I have is when the device only plays in landscape mode, but only in one direction.  Why must I hold my device with my home button facing left?  I prefer to hold it the other way, and most games automatically flip the screen as appropriate.  Finally, once you start owning many islands, it can become a bit tedious and time consuming building on each island separately.  As you can only build 3 buildings per turn per island, it would have been nice to have an option to build multiple buildings at once to save some time.

Understand that these comments are minor and should not deter you from enjoying this game.  The graphics are well polished, with some nice special effects when casting spells.  There’s a ton of strategy and fun to be had. Just as pleasing for me is that it can be both a pick-up-and-play or a game where you invest hours in one sitting.  It’s up to you…

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App Summary
Title:Orions: Legends of Wizards (v1.1)Developer:MoreGames (Published by Chillingo)
Price:$4.99App Size:16.1 mb
  • Lots of strategy
  • Campaign mode has lots to offer
  • Graphics of cards are nicely detailed
  • Can’t hold device the way I want to
  • Difficult learning curve
  • Can get tedious to build resources on each island

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