Demo Days – Wildfrost

I wanted to play a deck builder, so I browsed Steam for one, and somehow I ended up on the Nintendo Store downloading a demo for Wildfrost. This week is a pretty dope deck builder with a few rogue-lite elements. This week is Wildfrost.

Wildfrost is a rogue-lite deck builder from Deadpan Games and Gaziter published by Chucklefish. Wildfrost will release on April 12th on Steam and Nintendo Switch for $20.

Eternal winter has come and your village is the last bastion of humanity. Take your magical cards, acquire new ones, and beat back the eternal winter.

Wildfrost introduces itself right off the bat, introducing a battle immediately to the player. The battlefield is set up as two rows with three spots for character cards. Cards have an attack, HP, a timer for their attack, and, usually, a passive ability. Games start with drawing a hand of cards and the turn ends when a card is played. At the end of the turn, the attack timers tick down, and when it hits 0 then that specific card attacks. Causing a card’s HP to drop to zero removes them from the board until all enemies or boss is defeated.

The gameplay of Wildfrost is deceptively complex. On the surface, attacking enemies seems to be the most effective method, but as the player keeps playing, it changes into a dance of stunning enemies and picking them off in an effective manner. In the beginning “snow stick” seemed like a dead card until I figured out its function and synergies with ally cards. The same goes for the other perks that allies and champion cards can have: block, poison, dealing double damage, blocking an initial hit of damage, and the list goes on.

There was a run when I was able to put four poison counters on all enemy cards when my champion attacked (draining 1 life for 4 turns). Blissful.

The map reminds me much of Slay the Spire. The map rolls out and gives you a choice every once and a while, on what path you would like to choose. This choice usually extends to acquiring currency to use in the shop, perusing the shop, choosing between three ally cards, or acquiring a charm.

I feel like the only thing that needs explaining are charms. Charms are a consumable to “upgrade” a card. For the poison run that I recently had I was fortunate enough to have an actual upgrade, and a hit-twice charm attached to my champion, making her hit for A LOT.

The rogue-lite aspects come from rebuilding the town. Going on runs and doing certain activities, like healing ally cards, will unlock companions, powerups, and even more.

Beautiful looking video game. The art on the cards is clean and, a majority of the time adorable. The attack cards are distinguished enough, that in a matter of no time, you will know what the cards do just from the art. The overall aesthetic of Wildfrost is just plain beautiful.

Wildfrost has the potential to be one of my favorite demos of this year. The game is concise with what kind of game it wants to be. So far the battles are quick and enjoyable. I sit down, start a ruin and immediately I am playing cards, watching the timer on the bad guy cards and setting up turns that end with explosive amounts of damage and on to the next fight. It is enjoyable to build some semblance of a deck that I would like to play. I have played the demo for some time now and I can safely say that I like the block deck a lot.

The Wildfrost demo is a gem and I am glad that I got to play it.

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