Developer: Elder Games
Publisher: Headup Games
Platforms: Switch, XBox One, Xbox Serise X, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 13/08/2021
Price£11.99/$14.99 $13.49
On sale until 21/08/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.

Deck Builder games are becoming rather popular nowadays, and this can only be a good thing. Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four is different because it is not a rougelike, it is more of a general RPG. Let’s see if it works.

You play as a dark wizard, who has been playing with magic you do not understand. While casting a spell, you unleash The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and you have to get rid of them before the magic council finds out.

Cardaclysm-game

Gameplay is what the folks over at Elder Games put their efforts in to. Cardaclysm is a mix of ARPG, card collecting and card-RPG elements. 

Cards

These are the only way to defend yourself against the hordes of the Four Horsemen. Cards have a few elements to consider when building a deck. – Elements, for example, Earth, Dark, ice and so on. This will change the effectiveness of enemy cards.- Cost, each card has two cost values: Gold Ruin Cost and Soul Orbs. These will increase depending on the level and power of the card. Gold Ruins are found with in the dungeons these are a permanent resource. Same for the Soul Orbs.- Damage and health. Increase when upgrading cards.

We can upgrade cards up three levels, we do simply this be combining two of the same card together. Each level will increase all the stats and costs. We can also downgrade cards….. if you like.

Battles

This is very simple, you place monster cards by spending Gold Ruins and Soul Orbs. If you have a magic spell, these cost Gold Ruins only. As you can guess, you are very limited in the early stages with very limited resources to spend. Defeating the enemy is as simple as destroying the opposing enemy cards.

Dungeons

Cardaclysm has procedurally generated dungeons. They are not long, but depending on the RNGods it could affect the games difficulty. I found the first fifteen-ish runs are as I had almost no Gold Ruins or soul orbs. Then there was an influx of each that made the next levels less of a challenge. 

While traversing the dungeons, the main aim is to defeat all the enemies on the map. You will also collect keys to open doors and will need a red key to leave the level. The keys are straightforward to find. However, after we kill everything, you will be hunted down by the current Horseman. You can run or fight. To progress to the next Horseman, you need to defeat the one hunting you down.
RPG elements

There are two elements in Cardaclysm that made me think of RPGs. Firstly side quest, these are mainly collect an item or kill an enemy. Doing these will net you a new card, and are fairly simple. Second, and by far the best part is the wizard can equip gear that will augment cards and have set bonuses. Depending on what you decide to go for. It’s the usual gear you expect in any decent RPG.
Even with this being the best part RPG element, there is one glaring problem with this. The limit for storing gear is tiny, and the game throws gear at you, meaning lots of deleting gear you might use. Whereas there is a storage chest for cards, just add gear storage in the trunk.

So close

I have one more nagging, annoying problem with Cardaclysm the Switch version is not optimised well. It is evident that the game is to be played with a mouse and keyboard. On the Switch, I lost what I was selecting way too much. As moving the curser is a pain and it was not visible. I wish that more time was spent on making it work better. As this problem took most of my enjoyment and made what could have been a fun game frustrating.

Overall Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four is a decent enough deck builder with a nice twist. With plenty of potential to be loads of fun, if they put the time in to make it work as well on consoles as it does on pc. 

I feel Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four is a game that you should wait on to get a few updates before getting.

5-10
AVERAGE

For more reviews, check out The Falconeer: Warrior Edition and Destroy All Humans!