Hands on Preview: Moonga

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I was given the opportunity to take a look at the beta version of Moonga, a Customizable Card Game coming soon to the App Store. I do feel like one of the few people who’s never really gotten into the whole CCG scene, but this one looked like a nice simple CCG to ease myself into. I liked the fantasy style art, so I was immediately drawn in to this easy to play game.

I’m going to do a quick run down of a typical card before I move on to describing how the game is played. A card will show you a picture of the character or creature it represents, along with a brief description of what it will do. There are three numbers to the left side of the card. The top one, over a sword, is your attack strength. The middle shield number is your defensive strength. And the bottom number is the damage you will actually cause to your enemy.

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When actually playing a game, you will play 5 cards against either a computer or live opponent. You get to decide which card you are going to play in what order, not always knowing what card your opponent is going to be playing next. Once you choose a card, you’re brought to a set up screen, where you can decide to add extra points to your card for additional attack strength and defense. You have a total of 10 points for the entire game, and can choose to add them a few at a time to each card played, or all at once to just one card. You also have an extra defensive card that can only be played once, simultaneously with one of your other cards.

Then the round begins, and your attack strength is compared to your opponent card’s defense strength. If your attack is greater than his defense, then you do damage for the amount shown on your card to his overall HPs (20 total for each of you). You will then be shown the same attack from your opponent against you, and you’ll move on to the next round. The one with the most HPs (shown as a heart) at the end of the game wins.

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In the beta, you’re limited to just the starter deck of 6 cards – there’s no upgrading or customization yet. There seem to be a number of future plans for this game, including online player vs player and tracking of high scores. There are also lots of additional cards – though I’m not sure if these will be a part of the standard game, or purchased as add-ons. It’s not clear as of now if there’s a narrative holding this game together, in beta form it’s mostly just a clean interface to allow you to play the game itself.

But I found it to be an enjoyable experience. It was easy to learn to play – I’m a complete newcomer and quickly figured out what was expected of me. At the same time, the difficulty seems average – I won as many rounds as I lost; like any card game, it was kind of the luck of the draw. As I said at the beginning, the fantasy trappings of the game are a real draw, and I think it could be just the kind of game some folks are looking for once it comes out. I don’t think it’s as deep as some CCG out there, but Moonga seems like the perfect size for this type of on-the-go gaming.

Into card games? Check out our review of Orions: Legends of Wizards

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