Pros and cons of Nightfall
Pros: Moving boards and cards convey the details clearly; card chain mechanic system is marvelous, excellent tutorial
Cons: For a first time there might be deluge of details, leveling up to higher strategy levels might ake some time.
Detailed review of Playdek's iOS board game Nightfall
Nowadays it feels like a new iOS game title pops up every alternative day. And more frequent is the release of new board games. Now I have the option to either decry the death of the original "board" games or just try out these digital versions and be pleasantly surprised with the opportunities that arise with playing them on a digital device.
Nightfall is a deck building game. This genre of board building game came out a few years back and since has rocked on the gaming scene with tons of releases. The first game, Dominion is one which is still pointed out by many (myself included) as being the one of the classics. But while many of the released board titles have been a waste, some have been really invaluable which includes Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer which was soon turned by developer Playdeck into a fun iOS port. Now, Playdeck is again back into the scene with the release of Nightfall
The biggest shortcoming in most of the deck games is that it does not feel like you are playing with another player, rather it feels as if most of your time is spent playing against the game itself just to get points. Level of interaction between the players is almost negligible.
Nightfall has directly taken on this shortcoming and has made it the focus of the game design. The game is violent in nature and works on the rule of last man standing. All your cards represent some type of attacks and once your cards are activated and they hit the table; you are forced into a violent struggle with the opponents cards.
In Nightfall, winning does not come by gaining points, but by damaging your opponent. You attack each other with the attack cards or minions, sometime for defense and sometime for offense (mostly attacking in any case). When one of your minions is successful in passing through and directly hits your opponent, he/she gets a wound card to add to their deck. At the end of the game the one with the most number of wound cards loses. It not only decides the fate of the game but also fills up the deck of your opponent with useless cards.
Nightfall has an interesting chain system to get the cards in the game. On your turn, you are able to start a "chain" of cards with the card you have played n the table. Each of the cards has a colored moon of the left top corner of it. Alongside it there are smaller moons of different colors. Suppose for example, if you have a big red moon, then small purple moon and then small blue moons; then after this you need to play a card with large blue or purple moon on it. Then you can start the chain with other moon colored cards following the color pattern of the previous smaller cards.
After you are done, your opponents will add to the chain. After everyone has exhausted their turn, the cards are resolved in reverse order of LIFO.
As the cards are resolved in Last in, First out order, you have to carry out the attacks specified on them. Some give out damage and wounds while others let you exile the cards from the deck. Others let you place minions in front of you to defend or attack. It all sort of sounds confusing and it is honestly so in the start, but the game tutorial has been put up nicely so that soon enough you don't only understand the game but also start enjoying it.
The gaming interface has been designed differently for different functions. For instance the card layout during the attack phase and the distribution phase is very different. Also, the moving cards and the rotating game field help you to focus what is important in each hand of the game. It gives out the details in the cleanest manner possible.
You can play the game both in offline and online mode just like it was in Ascension. Both the types give you various options to play.
There is no con I can mention in this game. I found it one of the best designs Playdek has ever given. Those who might have became bored with the lonely nature of Ascension would find Nightfall a worth combative game to play. Nightfall is a strategy game where you will get better with each game and I promise to those who play it, will be hooked up on it for a long time.
Pros and cons of Nightfall