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Faeria Review: Land Grab

/ Sep 11th, 2020 No Comments

Faeria Review

Faeria combines the excitement of terraforming land with the strategic depth of card battles. It is like Catan by way of Yu-Gi-Oh. Or another board game where you create land and a different card game. Regardless of the mash-up elements, Faeria is an excellent game with a lot of content.

A Friendly Game of Cards

When you enter combat in Faeria, you get a blank slate. On both sides of the board are you and your opponent, two wells with energy (faeria), and infinite possibilities. However, those possibilities are only limited by the moves you make.

Each turn allows you and your enemy to do a number of actions. The goal of every match is to diminish your opponent’s life down to 0. To attack you must play cards. Cards require energy to play. Yet you can’t attack your enemy or play cards without land. So the first step is to fill the game board with land. As you can only summon cards on your own land.

Faeria Review
Building out your board takes time and consideration.

Strategy in Faeria operates on two levels: board/land creation and card play/movement. There are five different land types: prairie, forest, water, mountain, and desert. The prairie grants you 2 hexagonal board pieces, but can only summon neutral creatures. Forest, water, mountain, and desert only grant one hexagonal piece, but can be used to summon more complex and powerful elemental cards.

How you play land relates to your battle approach: are you going to rush for the offensive or focus on amassing faeria and cards for the defensive? It also plays into your deck build. Are you going neutral with an eye toward building out the board quickly to focus late game turns drawing cards or bonus faeria? Or do you want to play the elemental game where you have to build out the board slowly with an eye on defense and ending the game in a few choice attacks?

Faeria Review
There is no greater feel than dealing damage to your opponent’s avatar.

Once the board is filled out, the real fun begins. This is where the thrill of battle unfolds. The mix of card draws, faeria accrual, and deploying your cards makes up the core of battle. What’s important about combat is how personal it becomes. How does your strategy and deck hold up against a ferocious AI or even more fearsome opponent online?

Faeria has a ton of game modes! Adventure mode has single-player and co-op missions where you can take on challenges against AI of varying difficulty and tackle puzzles. Ever increasingly difficult adventure modes open up as you level up. Battle mode is classic Faeria where you can compete in casual or ranked battles against other players online. Those are both available out the gate.

Other modes are locked behind experience levels. Every adventure mission you complete or match you win in battle nets you experience. Leveling up earns you rewards like chests filled with cards and golden shards to use at the in-game shop. The first goal is reaching level 5.

Faeria Review
Pandora mode is ill, crafting your deck is nerve wracking, but the rewards are worth it.

At level 5, you unlock Puzzles and Pandora modes. Puzzles give you even more challenging puzzles than what you encounter in adventure with the possibility of learning new strategies. Pandora, though, is the money mode. 

You draft 30 cards to create a unique deck. Each round lets you draft a card from an option of 5. After you complete your new deck, you have to wager chests or shards in order to compete in a gauntlet of matches. The hope is to win 6 matches to get maximum rewards. If you fail, you’ll gain some plunder and Pandora Points to earn further rewards at the end of each season. However, it combines the thrill of Faeria with the thrill of gambling.

Faeria Review
Late game is where Faeria causes the blood to get pumping for real.

Pandora matches also add some additional fun to the standard Faeria gameplay. Over the course of a match pandora shards accrue. When 5 pandora shards are drawn, Pandora rules go into effect. It gives you and your opponent the ability to gain treasure when those rules are in play. It throws additional stakes into the match and supercharges the end game.

Outside of the various game modes, you have daily and lore challenges to complete. By completing these challenges, you gain new cards, shards and chests. It creates engagement with the game to keep coming back each day. There is a lot to do in Faeria, which is a treat!

Overall

Faeria is a lot of fun with a ton of game modes. There is a ton of replayability in terms of ranked and casual online battles. Not to mention a lot of single-player and co-op modes to keep enjoying the strategic card battling.

If you’re itching for more cards and more challenges then there are plenty of expansions to pick up on the eShop.

Faeria was reviewed on Nintendo Switch with a code provided by the developer.

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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FAERIA REVIEW: LAND GRAB

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall82%

GAMEPLAY8.5

Faeria has a great strategic depth both in deck construction and actual combat.

GRAPHICS8

Faeria looks great with its game boards, deck art, and effects.

SOUND8

Crisp sound effects and a dynamic score that lull and trills during battle makes Faeria a joy.

REPLAYABILITY8.5

Faeria has a ton of single-player, co-op and competitive content out the gate. There are hours and hours of gameplay.

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