Spells of Genesis developed by EverdreamSoft and published by All 4 Games is a mobile hybrid collectible card game and brick-break game rolled into one, and is one of the first games to use a new in-game economy based on the crypto-currency, bitcoin blockchain. If you’re not familiar with the tech, in short it allows you to own and trade cards for bitcoins that can be exchanged for cash.
So, with the scent of the possibility of being able to make some real cash firmly in our nostrils we dived into Spells of Genesis to see if we can be sipping cocktails in the Bermuda by the end of the week.
The storyline is pretty unimportant, and is essentially nothing more than a way to tie in the various levels. Shamefully stolen from the official site…
For years, the Askian Valley had managed to retain its independence and neutrality from the tyrannical Empire of Sayosia. By staying out of wars and conflicts, Askian has developed a strong economy thanks to the precious crystals and gems hidden in the depth of the mountainous region it is located on. However, The Emperor Daryen of Sayosia doesn’t give up so easily … The future may reserve some unexpected surprises.
Moving briefly on…
Now this is where it gets interesting. Unlike standard collectible card games which have you drawing from a deck of cards to place warriors and monsters, embellishing them with spells and normally trying to reduce your opponent’s life points to Zero before they do the same to you, Spells of Genesis does something different.
Once you have chosen your team of up to four cards (each with their own health and damage) you’re taken to a screen that has your opponents liberally scattered around the screen. Taking it in turns you use each card to throw a fireball or attack towards one of your opponents. You aim in a very similar way to many mobile snooker/pool games, and your shot can bounce if it hits one of the walls. So, line up your shot and attempt to hit your enemies, easy.
The various cards have different attack and health scores, some attacks will go further and bounce more. Generally, as you can probably imagine the rarer the card the more powerful it is. Some cards have powers that will generate small floating orbs on the screen. These orbs will provideadditional effects if you hit them with your shots. Some orbs remove shields or heal your team members; while some give you an additional attack or increase tour damage against the enemy. Generally, they are good things to try to aim for and can make the different between winning and losing.
Oh, did I mention the enemies attack back. No? I didn’t? Well they do, just as you have an attack and a health pool so do your enemies, and a number on them stating how many turns you have until they attack again.
As hybrid gameplay goes it feels fairly original. I’ve never experienced this combo before personally, and it works for me. There seem to be so many collectible card games out there, that it seems refreshing to see something different.
Spells of Genesis has its own BitCrystals tokens is designed to run on the Blockchain Gaming Platform. These BitCrystals are a type of cryptocurrency based on the Bitcoin Blockchain that are not contained within the game so they can be bought and sold outside of the game itself.
I’ve had no contact with anything to do with Bitcoins and crypto-currency before. It always seemed complicated and one of those things that only a select few highly-technically minded individuals ever used. Well, that’s certainly not the case but there are certainly a few things you need to get sorted before you can get going.
I downloaded Book of Orbs, the mobile app that helps you manage your bitcurrency and got it linked to my Spells of Genesis account. There’s a long security phrase to copy down, which you mustn’t lose except on pain of death (or at least loss of Bitcoins).
Once I was all up and running the app itself was fairly simple to use. If you already have a bitcoin balance then you can use this to buy cards from the market, and if you have cards you can sell them at the market. If you’re a user and you fully understand how to use bitcoins and bitcurrency then this is a fantastic additional feature of the game though if you’re a complete novice like me, it might take you a while to get your head round everything.
Like the stock market, if you want to make money it’s all about buying low and selling high. Without a natural aptitude for it, it turns out that I may not be going to the Bermuda as quick as I originally thought.
Graphics & Sound
Spells of Genesis is not going to burn your retinas out with graphical glory. It’s a mobile collectible card game with block-breaking gameplay at the end of the day. There’s really not else to say about them, you’re shooting different coloured orbs of magic at stationary icons for enemies. It’s exactly what’s required for this genre without any ‘pudding over-egging’ taking place.
The overall difficulty of Spells of Genesis starts off quite low, and depending on how lucky you get with your cards can become a little too easy. Have a team full of rare or powerful cards and you’ll storm through every level as long as you have a rudimentary understanding of geometry. Try to get through on basic or common cards and you’re going to struggle on higher levels as your poxy, measly attacks can’t take down the enemies quick enough.
It’s a mobile game so the controls are gloriously simple, you tap and swipe. You want to select something tap the screen. During the game itself everything is done by swiping. Swipe to aim and then let go. I can’t imagine many people will have difficulty with any of the controls.
Now we come to the real bane of many mobile games. What is there that will keep you coming back to Spells of Genesis? From a game side, Spells of Genesis has all the things to entice you you’d expect; the possibility of getting more powerful cards or increasing the strength or abilities of the ones you have.
However, with the added feature of the Book or Orbs and the Bitcurrency then you have a very real and financially driven motivation to come back. Of course, you have to know you to make the money in the first place.
If you want to take a look at Spells of Genesis for yourself you can download it from here (Android) or here (iOS).
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Jim Franklin is a freelance writer, living in Derby UK with his wife and his player 3. When time allows he likes nothing more than losing himself in a multi-hour gaming session. He likes most games and will play anything but prefers MMO's, and sandbox RPG's.