ScreenPlay CCG Early Access Review – Heart Is In The Cards

Trading card games often require you to attack the opposing player to win. Triumph over enemy forces, cast spells, and come up with your own strategies. ScreenPlay CCG adds a twist to this formula, as victory is decided by fulfilling certain victory conditions. Taking several calls from games like Hearthstone, ScreenPlay CCG turns into a battle of letting your lead actors shine. If your actors fully charge their star power before your opponent, you win.

ScreenPlay CCG by Comico Games, currently in Early Access, is a card game where you compete against opponents to give your lead actors star power. Using the concepts of cinematics and directorial knowledge, you find ways to power your lead actors. You must also devise methods that prevent your opponent from doing the same to their leads. It’s an interesting take on the world of cinematics that tries to be unique, but currently doesn’t have the tools to do so. However, the concept is interesting enough that you should track ScreenPlay CCG’s development because it could be lots of fun.

Screenplay Early Access Card Battle 1
There’s a steep learning curve when you play.

ScreenPlay CCG involves building a deck of cards around three lead actors. These actors must build star power to finish their character arcs. Games are won if two of a player’s lead actors complete their character arcs. In a twist from combat-based card games, winning isn’t about reducing life totals. Some lead actors require you to dodge attacks, play minor actor cards, or even attack to generate star power. Instead of reducing life totals, you fulfill objectives to win. This works to ScreenPlay CCG’s advantage in two ways. First, it adds an extra tactical element since victory isn’t all about fighting. Play your cards correctly and you can win without ever throwing a punch. Second, it means you must consider your opponent’s moves carefully and understand their cards. Failing to intervene properly results in your loss, giving you an incentive to learn and strategize.

Players use a film reel to determine their actions. There are only five spots at first, but they slowly increase as lead actors fulfill their character arcs. This reel is crucial because it decides when your characters, crew, and tropes take effect. Sometimes your scenes play out first, and sometimes the opponent’s does. Order matters because attacks, dodges, and counterattacks depend on whoever is going first. This dictates whether your dodge works, your attack lands, or your trope arrives at the right moment.

Screenplay Early Access Opening Card Packs
You need cards, but they are hard to come by.

The concept of timing raises the learning curve. It’s not easy figuring out the timings for dodging or when your characters are defeated. While this is part of the game, it’s similar to playing three games at once. You must focus on the cards, plan what your opponent is doing, but also mentally visualize multiple outcomes. There are lots of cards to be aware of and that makes it difficult to plan. Just like a trading card game, you must play many times before you rise above the amateur level.

There are several obstacles that prevent you from learning effectively. The first is the lack of cards that players have. While you can earn tickets and reels to exchange them for card packs, this is a slow process. ScreenPlay CCG is free-to-play but it does feel like there is a pay-to-win element. Similar to Hearthstone, it is possible to turn extra cards into components that go towards creating more powerful cards. But this is a time-consuming process in the beginning.

Screenplay Early Access Card Battle 2
It soon becomes apparent that you need cards to win.

This isn’t helped by the fact that unless you are dropping lots of money on the game, you won’t have many starting cards. The only way to earn more resources to purchase card packs is by playing online. If you are lucky, you play bots who aren’t difficult to defeat. Unlucky players are matched in battle against each other where the stakes are higher. While playing against other players is necessary to learn the game, seeing the stark difference in cards is discouraging. It makes you feel like it’s difficult to catch up, discouraging you from playing.

However, there’s still more content coming in the future that improves the experience. Boss battles, new cards, and special events make it easier to procure better cards and earn some practice. It’s still in the early stages and plays similarly to Hearthstone, but there’s a good chance for ScreenPlay CCG to differentiate itself. But it needs time to develop before that is the case. For now, ScreenPlay CCG is still a good game to dive into and earn some cards. Be aware of the large learning curve and the need for better cards, and you should have a decent experience.

Victor played ScreenPlay CCG on PC in Early Access.

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