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Android Review - Vludkin ClaNz

Mark Webb
United States
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Name: Vludkin ClaNz

Device: Android

Price: $2.99

Players: 1-2

Multiplayer: Solo vs AI, Pass and Play

Designer/Developer:Stephen Winterflood

Google Play Store:

"VludKin ClaNz is a game about the struggle of the VludKin for control over the Vlud, the energy upon which their world is built" is how the author describes his new app for Android. How they struggle for that control...well that involves a deck of cards and a die roll. You go though a deck of cards and attempt to push your influence number up. The player with the lowest influence number on one of their Vludkin at the end of the game loses.

Here's a quick overview: You have two randomly drawn Vludkin cards, each with an associated color and an starting influence number. Your opponent has the same. The main deck of cards has influence cards and power cards. Power cards have abilities. Influence cards show how much your influence will go up or down if you win the card by having three colors that might match your Vludkin, and numbers positive, negative, or zero that shows how much it changes. See the screenshot on the right for an example of what I mean.
For power cards, if you win the card, you get to do the ability. There are also two color symbols on each. If your Vludkin's color matches the one on the left, your roll is easier by one, harder by one if it matches the one on the right of the card.

You flip the top card of the deck, see what it is, and then choose one of the two of your Vludkin to do perform the roll for you. As mentioned above, the color and numbers on the cards may modify what die roll you are shooting for. You will either succeed or fail your roll. Failing the roll, you get a penalty influence point for failing, and your opponent attempts the same card on his turn.

Succeeding, you get the card and can either apply it to either of your Vludkin, or the opponent diagonal from the one that performed the roll.
This continues for every card in the deck, or until one Vludkin reaches 10 influence points.

Those are the basics of the gameplay, so let me get down to the quality of the app itself. Being that this was game I was not familiar with prior to looking at this app, I was very pleased to see a complete rules rundown in the app. No measly link to a PDF file or website with the rules here, but instead forty-three screens of examples and illustrations to tell how to play the game. The game plays two players, either one player against one of 3 different AI, or two humans via pass and play. The game stores the win-loss record for up to four different human players. Other interesting options include doubling the deck size, and of customization to your play experience by specifying blocks of power cards to make up the composition of your deck.

This game plays quickly. It is also pretty easy to learn. However, I noticed that this game seems to be more about making decisions than worrying about mechanics. This game throws a lot of randomness at you with card draws and dice rolls, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The way the rules work, you need to pick the character of yours that will take the roll. Because of the colors, and influence numbers, one may have a better ability to succeed in the roll. On the other hand, it is not a guarantee, so you have to weigh the benefit of success versus the affect of the negative influence if you fail. With that factor, trying to catch up when falling behind can make you fall deeper and deeper into the hole. Another factor to consider is that you can play bad cards against your opponent, but only the opponent's Vludkin that is diagonal from yours that took the roll. This results in decisions where you may want to do something less than ideal in the hopes you can knock your opponent down a little. Remember, the object is not to be first, just not to be last. It is about risk management. It reminds me a bit of the Friedemann Friese solo game Friday where sometimes you want to lose an encounter, because it helps you more than winning it does. In one play, I won a game because I gave the opponent a good card for his one character, that caused it to have 10 points, ending the game, because his other character was the lowest at the time. Overall, it is a nice app, with a very nice illustrations, and a good amount of extra features I didn't expect. It may be lighter than some like, if you are in to heavier games, but for me, it is overall enjoyable.

For that I rate Vludkin ClaNz 4/5

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Subscribe sub options Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:27 am
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