I absolutely love trading card games, whether they are online based, or physical card games. When I heard mumblings around of a new, physical trading card game coming out, I naturally got excited. After some diligent research, I stumbled upon the Lightseekers Trading Card Game. After some more digging, I found that this is also an app you can download and scan the cards/toys into the app to progress you further into the game. Enough about the app, because we are here to talk about the card game.
Lightseekers (we’ll go with this for the remainder) is a very easy to learn, but hard to master TCG with some interesting mechanics. Lightseekers features six major Orders, which each contain three different elements. The six different Orders are Mountain, Storm, Dread, Tech, Nature and Astral. Mountain includes the elements of Fire, Earth and Crystal and is an all around Order with really strong combos and solid protections. Storm includes Water, Storm and Air and excels at cheap powerful Combo cards and buff removal, but poor buff protection for itself. Dread includes Poison, Death and Shadow and naturally excels in damage over time cards. Tech includes the interesting combo of Time, Explosives and Mechanical and makes the player vulnerable in favor of high damage output. Nature is made of Forest, Animal and Soul and excels with it’s buffs and draws from the opponent’s state as well. Lastly, Astral includes Solar, Gravity and Lunar, where whatever is at the top of your discard pile plays highly into the power of this Order.
Each player will have a Hero card that represents the order that they are playing. You can only include cards that your hero has elemental access to. By this, I mean that each Hero has three elements on their card face, some will have more pronounced borders than others. Heroes also have abilities that can be played in place of an action card. I have not seen any heroes that have two different elements from two different Orders on their cards. I would love to see this feature as it would increase the amount of deck diversity between players. Each players decks are comprised of 30 action cards and five combo cards. You can have a max of any three action cards and no duplicate combo cards as these are some of the most powerful cards in the game.
Turn order is pretty simply in Lightseekers. At the start of your turn you rotate any buffs you have and resolve their effects. If you have no buffs, then you get two actions. You can choose to play action cards, use abilities (which count as actions) or play one combo card. Action cards are broken down to Buffs, Attack and Defend cards. Attack and Defend cards are pretty simple, you just do whatever it says on the card. Attack cards typically harm your target, whereas Defend cards usually benefit the player. The Buff cards are where it gets interesting. You have a buff zone in front of you, you can play up to eight buff cards in this zone. This is where a lot of the complexity of the game comes.
There are a few different kind of Buff cards. You have Rotating Buffs (with two different kinds of rotation), Combo Buffs (can be rotating or indefinite), or Indefinite Buffs. Rotating Buffs will have numbers in the corners of the card faces with either nothing, an X, or a number in the circle or square. At the start of your turn, if your buff card has a circle rotating symbol, you rotate it. If the corner has a number in it, you immediately do that effect. For instance, if it says, “Damage target for (amount in corner),” you deal that amount of damage for whatever the corner says. Unless it has an X, then you ignore the card effect. If the symbol in the corner is a square, you only rotate the card when the effect calls for it. For example, if a card says, “Reduce next source of damage by (amount in corner),” then you rotate when you receive damage. These Rotating Buffs can get complex depending on the Order you are playing and the rarity of the card. We’ll get to Combo Buffs after we cover Combos. Indefinite Buffs are buffs that have no rotating value and typically stay on the board unless stated otherwise. These cards will grant you attack abilities or defend abilities you can use instead of action cards.
The other unique cards in Lightseekers are called Combo cards. Now, there are no mana costs in this game, so you never have to worry about mana disadvantage. The Combo cards are extremely powerful cards that generally turn the tide of battle. These cards do come at a cost though. On the top of each card, there are different element symbols. Usually for action cards, there is only one element on those cards. These elements also play into the action cards you can play. If your Hero has access to Death and that element has a more pronounced border around it, you can play multiple Death cards in a turn (obviously up to two). Say the other two elements, Shadow and Poison don’t have those borders, you can only play one of each, so you have to be smart about what you play. Anyways, Combos have multiple elements at the top. Combos can also be Buffs, which are typically broken and change the game. For example, there is a Mountain Combo called Wrath of the Mountain that deals 12 damage and makes your target discard two action cards. This particular combo costs four elements to play (I think it’s two fire, one earth and one crystal). You would take the cards with those elements in total, place them in your deck and shuffle the deck. This is the cost of playing the Combo cards. It is worth noting you can pay for Combos with other Combos but can’t pay with more cards than necessary.
There are item cards in the game as well. You can equip these in the item zones to use for your character. Some basic items buff your damage whereas rarer item cards do different things for you. At the end of your turn is when your draw your cards, which is entirely decided upon what you do for your turn. If you play a Combo, you can drawn one card. The only other way to draw, unless a card states otherwise, is if you don’t do actions. If you do two actions you don’t draw, one action will let you draw one card, or if you do no actions, you can draw two cards. Each match will end when there is one player left standing. Lightseekers encourages multiplayer. We did a three player match that lasted for forty-five minutes and it was tons of fun. When playing with more than two people, when you eliminate your target, you can one Victory Point, gain five health and get to recover five cards from your discard pile. The player with the most Victory Points is the winner.
As far as the playability of Lightseekers, I tested it out with experienced TCG players as well as my wife, who was completely brand new to the game. Both parties instantly loved it, hell I still play with my wife every other night and she even wins most of the matches. It isn’t an expensive game to get into either. Booster packs will typically run you about $4 and starter decks start at around $16 USD. The decks come with a game ready deck, a booster pack, a quick start guide, a play mat and a character standee. So the price isn’t too horrible when you compare it to other major TCG’s on the market right now. I have high hopes that this card game sticks around, it is unique enough to breed competitive play. The only gripe I have is some of the wording on certain cards was difficult to interpret. There were numerous times where we had to discuss rulings over different wordings on cards. Other than that, though this doesn’t have a traditional score, I highly recommend this game to any TCG player, either veteran or amateur. Go out and get your cards and start playing today!
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Review statement: This product was supplied by the developer for the sake of this review.