Marvel Snap is a really good card game. On the one hand, you could say that isn’t all that surprising. Ben Brode is one of the minds behind it, and you might remember him as the lead designer of Hearthstone. Four years ago he and some of his colleagues dipped out from Blizzard and set off to do their own thing, and that turned out to be Marvel Snap. The pedigree is there. These folks clearly know how to make a good card game, so of course they went and made another good card game.
Some games are good. Really good, even, and you know you’ll play them for hours and hours. Other games maybe need a bit of work, a bit of spit & polish, and they could be good. Then there are some games I really want to love and enjoy and recommend but, for one reason or another, I just… can’t. Dungeon of the Endless ($7.99) is one of those. Not because it’s bad, but because it just… doesn’t capture my attention, can’t keep me coming back for run after run, even after months of not playing. It’s not immediately obvious why, either—the art is gorgeous, the soundtrack is good, and the minute to minute gameplay is quite enjoyable too. So what is it? Why, despite owning the game on three different platforms and trying to get into it dozens of times, does it consistently fail to draw me in, push me to really dig in to strategies, and finally beat the game? The answer, I’ve come to find, is simple: The post-run reward loop that gets you to come back for one more floor, to experiment with that thing you just unlocked, or to see if tweaking your strategy just so makes the difference, just… isn’t there.
Dracula. A classic book of desire, and triumph over a great evil. It is not, however, the focus of this review. No, it is merely the inspiration for a board game, one of mystery and deduction, predator and prey. A game that will, without doubt, find its audience with a digital port. What game, you wonder? Why, dear reader mine, none but the Fury of Dracula ($4.99).
When it comes to space-faring roguelikes on iOS, the gold standard everyone’s heard of is FTL: Faster Than Light, and for good reason. It’s a perfect fit for mobile, and there are very few roguelikes that can compete with it in quality or quantity. While not as well known as FTL, Crying Suns ($8.99) has very similar notes of urgency and mystery.