Sorcerer’s greatest trick? Shrinking a CCG experience into a single box


Enlarge / From the animist deck. I hope you like spiders…

Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.quickbitetech.com.

Card battle games are a cornerstone of analog gaming. From the venerable Magic: The Gathering to the recently departed Android: Netrunner, their addictive blend of brainy strategy and beautiful artwork have brought millions of players to the table. Their other big draw? The potential for personalization—players can spend hours honing and perfecting their decks, tweaking tactics and hunting for powerful card combinations.

It’s a rich, engrossing process, but it’s not for everyone. If recent releases are anything to go by, a substantial audience of gamers would rather just skip it. Keyforge, the recent game from Magic creator Richard Garfield, removed custom decks from the equation, instead handing players pre-assembled, algorithmically generated collections of cards. And now there’s Sorcerer, the latest release from Star Realms studio White Wizard Games. The game takes a more low-tech approach to bypassing deck construction, throwing players straight into a battle of cunning, cleverness, and giant spiky demons.

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