Earthcore: Shattered Elements – A Breakout Card Game

Earthcore: Shattered Elements by Tequila Games is the new card game on the block. That is the iblock. Earthcore is at its most simple a fancy game of rock paper scissors times three with elements. However it isn’t quite that simple. There are two more parts of each card we will go over later in the review. Earthcore is a unique take on a classic formula.

Earthcore’s game play is unique with it’s three column rock paper scissors like set up. The cards are one of three elements; Fire, Water, and Earth. The win lose combination of the elements are absolute; Fire scorches Earth, Earth absorbs Water, and Water extinguishes Fire. There are two more parts to the cards in addition to the elements. The first part is the Skill of the card. This can be anything from direct damage to the other player to being able to change the base element of any card on the playing field to dust which will lose no matter what. This is balanced by only being able to use one of the three skills on your cards in any given round. The main part is the penalty system. This is how you win or lose the match as a whole. Each time one of your cards lose it hits you with a penalty. This adds a dynamic strategy system to the game. Balancing the risk of a penalty and the reward if you win of a strong hit from the card’s skill is the ultimate challenge.

Earthcore has two play modes. You have first player where you can hone your skills and learn the lore. Then you have online pvp where you can play your hand against the best and brightest players across the globe. You start in first player. Here you learn the basics of the game and start developing your unique style and strategy. The most interesting part of the first player mode is the bits of lore and story before and after each match. This is probably the unsung hero of the game. These are very well written and add a lot to the depth of the game. The biggest draw for players by far will be the online pvp. Here you can pit yourself against the best and brightest of the game. Try out new decks you customized with the card creation feature and level up the leader boards to become the best over all the realm. 

Earthcore screenshot

The downfalls of this game are small but significant. The first really isn’t the developers fault just a symptom of a new game. The lack a major player base. This type of card game draws people from games like magic the gathering and star craft which has huge player bases. So coming into a game early like this is a bit of a culture shock but one that will resolve itself over time. The other issue is the in app purchases they are rather steep for the limited benefit. But the developers have families too so I guess we can forgive them.

Earthcore: Shattered Elements is a dynamic and interesting take on a classic formula. This game has unique traits that makes it stand out from the magic carbon copies that have flooded the iOS platform in recent years. Tequila Game two thumbs up for giving us a good game with tons of good points and only few downfalls.