stone blade entertainment tagged posts

SolForge open Beta has launched!

Normally at Castles and Cooks, we avoid talking about electronic games beyond the occasional port of a board or card game (you really should pick up Ticket to Ride and Ascension). It isn’t that we don’t play video games, but it just isn’t our focus.

Then there are exceptions. There are two groups in gaming that I will blindly follow: Richard Garfield and the team over at Stone Blade Entertainment. Then again, the only game I play more than Ascension is Magic: the Gathering. So when the SolForge Kickstarter started, I went all in.

And yesterday launched the open beta of SolForge for both Steam and iPad and has released SolForge: Core Set.

The new beta introduces five big things to the game:

  • Core Set is released – this is 180 card set, which means a lot of new stuff (especially those not on Steam)
  • Booster Packs & Collection Management – three kinds of boosters are now out, along with the ability to manage your collection and deck building
  • Free-to-Play – normally, I tend to dislike F2P games since it means getting nickeled and dimed the whole way, but SolForge allows everyone to play and earn cards just by playing.
  • Cross platform compatibility – yes, you can now play on your iPad against your friend’s Steam account. Oh and Sean, I challenge you.
  • Game Timers – A little thing that goes a long way, now online matches have a timer to keep everyone moving (and to prevent others from stalling)

I haven’t gotten to play much since it got released last night, and the iPad version keeps crashing right now – but guess what. It’s a beta.

See the full press release after the break.

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Arena Review: Ascension Rise of Vigil

 

Since it debuted, Ascension has quickly become one of my favorite games. It perfectly hits the balance of a card game and Magic, with just enough resource management to make me constantly want more. So when Ascension Online was announced, I backed it without a second thought – especially since it included a physical copy of the newest expansion: Rise of Vigil.

Suggested Ages: 13+
Suggested Players: 2 to 4 players (5-6 players when combined with any other Ascension)
Playing time: 30 minutes
Contents: 259 cards, 50 honor tokens, gameboard, full-color rulebook, storage tray
Retail price: $39.99 available at Amazon.com

Between the two core sets and two expansions, Stone Blade Entertainment has really begun experimenting with the core of Ascension. The same basic game principles are there: using runes and power, you fight monsters and acquire new heroes. But there is a twist: there is a new resource, called Treasure.

Want to win a copy of Rise of Vigil? Well, we’re giving two sets away along with some other great prizes!

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[CLOSED]Ascension & SolForge Giveaway from Stone Blade Entertainment!

You can win all of this!

It’s been a while since we last had a contest here at Castles and Cooks, but we’ve got a big one this week thanks to Stone Blade Entertainment. With the release of Ascension: Rise of Vigil happening last week and the release of the SolForge Beta on Steam, Stone Blade has been very busy.

So here’s what you can win from us here at Castles and Cooks – we’ve got five prize packs to giveaway!

The Grand Prize: Ascension: Rise of Vigil, Ascension: Immortal Heroes, 5 Ascension Promo cards (Lotus Siren, Ender of Days, Deep Drone, Kythis, the Gatekeeper, and Cobra, the Sordid and a SolForge Uterra deck code!

Second Prize: Ascension: Rise of Vigil, 4 Ascension Promo cards (Void Mesmer, Soul Collector, Cobra, the Sordid and Kythis, the Gatekeeper) and a SolForge Uterra deck code!

Third Prize: 3 Ascension Promo cards (Vortex, Nethersnare, Control Room) and a SolForge Uterra deck code.

Fourth & Fifth Prize: A SolForge Uterra deck code.

ENTRIES ARE NO LONGER BEING ACCEPTED. WINNERS HAVE BEEN CONTACTED.

RULES
Entries must be received by 4/13/13 at 11:59:59 pm EDT. Winners will be announced 4/15/13.
Entries must be unique.
One entry per person and please use an email address that you actually check.
Winner must have a U.S. shipping address for the prize to be mailed to. Non-US entrants can still win the SolForge decks as codes will be emailed.
Anyone affiliated with Castles and Cooks are not eligible to participate.
Winners will be notified by email.
Winners will be selected at random and have 72 hours to respond before forfeiting their prize.

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New Ascension Promos & Rise of Vigil is now available!

Want to win some Ascension and SolForge cards? Enter our contest!

Two new promos have been shown off by Ascension Fans, and both of them have a holiday theme! Whether it’s celebrating Easter with a new monster or the best flavor text in the game for April Fools’, both cards are certainly interesting… and maddening.

We’ve also received word from Stone Blade Entertainment that Rise of Vigil is now out and available! The full press release is after the break, and we’ve got the complete spoiler available as well.

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Arena Review: Ascension Immortal Heroes

I love Ascension. I honestly don’t think there is any game I play more than it. The combinations of deck building, card drafting and battling all happening simultaneously (and super easy to clean up) makes it my go to game whenever possible. But there is one catch:

No one will really play Ascension with me anymore.

The iOS version of Ascension is my go-to game. Waiting for the bus? Play a game. Riding the bus? Play three games. Sitting in my car waiting to pick someone up? There’s another game. I play a lot. And this means that when I get the chance to play the physical game, my friends quickly grow tired of the competitive battling and prefer more co-operative games. Then I force them to play more.

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Ascension Rise of Vigil Kickstarter Previews

With the new Ascension Online Kickstarter in full swing (but ending Thursday at 9 pm), Stone Blade Entertainment has turned it into a preorder-stravaganza as well! After Rise of Vigil was accidentally leaked, SBE is now previewing the upcoming set – which you can preorder through the campaign!

Rise of Vigil is looking to be a new block that expands Ascension in a different direction. Chronicles of the Godslayer and Return of the Fallen introduced core mechanics, Storm of Souls and Immortal Heroes brought us events, soul gems and trophy monsters. Now Rise of Vigil drops events and soul gems for treasures and energy.

Those probably need some explaining. According to SBE:

Treasures are cards that do not take up space in the center row. Whenever a treasure card enters the center row, you continue to place cards on top of it until you hit a non-treasure card. Whenever a player acquires or defeats a card with treasure under it, that player also acquires all of those treasures.

The Energy Shards are treasures, and they generate a resource called Energy and draw a card whenever you play them.

Energy is a new resource in Rise of Vigil. Unlike Runes or Power, Energy is not spent. Some cards have Energize abilities which turn on when you reach a certain Energy threshold. The Energize text on a Hero, Construct, or Monster reward is active if you have gained energy equal to or greater than its Energize number that turn.

So what does this energy do? Absolutely crazy things!

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Kickstarter Alert: Ascension Online

We love Ascension here at Castles and Cooks. Personally, I play the game a dozen or so times a day and am eagerly waiting for Immortal Heroes to come out on the iOS version (speaking of which, expect a full review of that expansion this week).

But a lot of people wanted Ascension on Android – and now is your chance! This super limited Kickstarter (it ends 2/28) has something for everyone – even those who don’t have a Droid device. It also doubles as a preorder for the new Ascension expansion, Rise of Vigil!  The goal of $125,000 is a big one, but hiring a new programmer or two isn’t cheap. And they are working on a PC port too!

The levels of support range from simple ($10 for all expansions in digital form) to absurdly awesome ($10,000 to become a god in Ascension). If you haven’t played Ascension, it is one of the best deck building games on the market and it is even better in digital form.

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