I love card games. I’ve played Magic: The Gathering for almost twenty years, dabbled in Pokemon, and even learned how to play Flesh and Blood. I still have Slay the Spire on my wishlist and just never picked it up, but I recently played the demo of Wildfrost and absolutely loved it. Master the mechanic of counting down this week with Wildfrost.
Wildfrost is a rogue-lite deck builder from Deadpan Games and Gaziter published by Chucklefish. Wildfrost was released on April 12th on Steam and Nintendo Switch for $20.
The forever winter is here as the sun has been frozen over. The last bastion of humanity stands with your village, Snowdwell. Build decks and make your way to the sun temple to beat back the frost and release the sun.
Wildfrost has standard card game elements: cards have an attack power (sword icon), a health number (heart icon), and a number on the bottom indicating the timer (number of turns) to trigger the attack of the character. Non-character cards on the other hand with have text in the textbox and a sword (if it’s an attack) or nothing at all.
The main mechanic of the game is the countdown system: Navigating the game with the lingering threat that the enemy will always attack. Enemies attack and they usually attack hard enough (at least later on in each run) to defeat your champion, so it is imperative to keep track of that timer for both you and your opponents.
The difficulty of Wildfrost lies in the deck building and timer management. There are specifically three different factions to choose from when venturing: The Clunkmasters, who utilize junk to deal massive damage. The Snowdwellers slow down enemies with snow for multiple turns and the Shademancers who summon and destroy their own monsters to dispatch enemies. Each faction has a deck that can be upgraded along the way with the help of chests, charms, and allies out in the barren snow waste.
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 said shop, choosing between three ally cards, duplicating and trashing cards. The shop provides the player with much-needed cards and a crown, which allows the player to place a card when the game starts. Ally cards are random and can be from any of the three main factions plus others. Duplication and trashing cards allow for decks to become more consistent.
Charms are something that requires some of the most focus in Wildfrost. The sheer amount of them and the abilities that they can bestow on a character card is pivotal to winning a fight and even the game. There were times when I was approaching the end of the game and I banked a lot of money trying to get a charm, and I was able to get it and it make a huge change to combat. It is a shame there are some incredible charms that are completely useless and just sit in my inventory for the remainder of the journey.
The rogue-lite aspects come from rebuilding the town. Challenges have been added to make subsequent playthroughs more difficult like cinder in tiny rogues or whatever it’s called in most games. The challenges play an important role in replayability. Playing the game allows for a more upgraded village, which allows for more starting buddies, cards that can be found during the journey, and vendors that can be found out in the world.
Wildfrost is still a beautiful-looking video game. The card styles, card art, and animations are all top-notch. I enjoy how everyone in this apocalyptic world is gorgeous and happy to be a part of your journey.
The soundtrack is still only two songs and damn are they good songs.
I have eleven hours in Wildfrost and I cannot stop playing. Wildfrost is fun even when not grinding for extra stuff. The difficulty never really feels like it is in the favor of the opponent. Everything is really smooth and runs are short and sweet.
I love this video game and I hope you get to play it.