Are you a big fan of collectible card games? Man, have I got a game for you. It's called Hearthstone and... oh? Are you confused? Were you thinking I was going to say a different game? Well... I suppose there's Gwent. No? Oh, you want to know about the game I played, Cosmos Invictus. Uh... Sure you don't want to play Hearthstone?
Okay, let me be serious. There's nothing wrong with Cosmos Invictus. It does everything it says on the tin. CCG. Energy rises every turn and used to play cards. Destroy cards or attack the player directly. Drop your opponent to 0 and win. And yes, it even has a few unique features, like customizable play areas that affect your cards depending on where you place them. But, otherwise, it doesn't really stand out.
There's a story in Cosmos Invictus. Just to make a point about how memorable it is, I'm not going to look up the two faction names. I think they're... Unity Alliance... and Frontier... something. One is the more empirical group, one a rebellious faction. Earth and the solar system has almost run out of resources, but they have stumbled on some kind of ancient tech. It's unclear what it does, but apparently it can save Earth. Or be used to slingshot mankind out of our solar system to a new one. But only one or the other, I guess, so the two factions are at odds. And that the last you need to know.
The story is an excuse to split the deck into red cards and blue cards. Pick your side and you're initially limited to those cards, but after winning you can use your opposing deck's cards, too, though at a high energy price. Strategy comes from not only picking your deck, but deciding where on the battlefield to place them. Some places may lower defense, but raise attack. Others may repair a mech by a certain amount every round. Still another will force your opponent to destroy them before they can attack your capital ship.
The story quickly becomes secondary as every battle is just a card battle. There's no voice acting, no cut scenes, and nothing to make the battle your fighting seem special. Still, you are assured that this card game represents saving a mining colony or rescuing a stranded ship. I suppose I could live without all that, but nothing else seems to really catch my attention. Sure, you can attach pilots to ships to augment their abilities or change your formations to gain and advantage, but nothing about it is really game changing.
And you know, if this was a mobile game, that'd be perfect. Waiting for a burger? Play a battle. Class in ten minutes? Play a battle. But to commit to sitting down at my PC, I feel like I need something beefier to sink my teeth into.
There are decent online elements, but you'll learn quickly that there are certain card/formation combinations that you have to use if you want to win. Why? Well, the balance still needs a little work and if you use a certain type of mech (a lot) and in a certain formation (which I won't share) you'll basically destroy anyone who isn't either ten levels above you or isn't using the same tactic themselves.
Again, there's nothing particularly wrong with Cosmos Invictus, it just doesn't stand out. It feels like a mobile game trying to be on PC, and yes, that means it does in game purchases with the highest one I found being $70. But if you decide to grab it, you can still have a lot of fun with it. I can just think of a lot of other ways to have MORE fun.
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.