Highgrounds – Browser Game Review

 

Games like: Advance Wars, Hearthstone

Play in your browser: http://www.highgroundsgame.com/

TL;DR

Time played: 3 hours

Prepare to battle for the Highgrounds. Developed by Heart Shaped Games, Highgrounds is a deck building strategy game that plays in your browser (for free, mhmm) and includes online gameplay mechanics to sharpen your skills and hone your deck building prowesses.

Campaign and multiplayer modes are available after completing the tutorial levels.

Campaign and multiplayer modes are available after completing the tutorial levels.

Highgrounds is a type of game that doesn’t see a lot of action and when it does it’s usually overshadowed by one possibly two entries. It’s a different type of strategy game that requires to take time before and after a match to decide on the best course of action. The skill doesn’t come from just playing over and over again hoping to right your reflexes. There’s quite a bit of randomization included as well so you have to prepare for worst case scenarios. Learning how you lost or won will help you make the right choices on what to keep and what to shave.

Each tutorial level gives you experience and a new unit to try out.

Each tutorial level gives you experience and a new unit to try out.

The game opens up with a standard set of characters (or cards) and throws you into a tutorial for the basics of gameplay. These units vary by importance on the battlefield. Your main two sources can be generalized as hunters and gathers. Those that hunt do the fighting which will ultimately win you the match while the gathers replenish resources needed to hire new units to fight for you. Whoever can take their opponent’s kingdom down to zero points first wins the match.

The battles are divided up into front and back lines on each side.

The battles are divided up into front and back lines on each side.

As you journey onward, you’ll level up your characters, unlock new types of kingdoms which, in turn, will unlock new units with new abilities. Every unit has their specific place on the battlefield yet they complement each other as well. Some units even have matching stats that work both for getting resources and attacking enemies. These units, although usually not as powerful as their counterparts, can really change the tide of the fight once in play.

Customize your deck with any new units you purchase or unlock to make your deck the best-est.

Customize your deck with any new units you purchase or unlock to make your deck the best-est.

The battlefield is divided up in four different areas: back and front of your kingdom’s side and back and front of your enemy’s kingdom side. Each unit does something different depending on if they are on the backline (or behind the kingdom) or in front of it. Typically the frontline units are for attacking and the backline units are for gathering resources or aiding to the wounded. Then there are units that will attack and heal on the front or backline in a single turn. Collecting and defining your deck will aid to your weaknesses or strengths as you go battle to battle.

You can purchase new booster packs from the experience points and gems you collect in-game.

You can purchase new booster packs from the experience points and gems you collect in-game.

Online play is available as well and I didn’t have any issues logging on and connecting with someone. Since I had only a few hours of time in, I didn’t have a good chance of survival against a seasoned player. Highgrounds compensates for the skill level by giving the lower player more hit points. Originally out of 15, giving the newer player more HP will give them a fighting chance against a better deck. Sadly, I still lost many battles online but was still gaining experience points that would aid in upgrading my units. The game seems balanced enough but like most online games such as this, the fan base will encourage proper patches for fair gameplay.

You can mix and match units from different resource needs.

You can mix and match units from different resource needs.

Games like Highgrounds intrigue me. There’s a sort of meta game that’s played. Sure there’s skill involved in being the best but it doesn’t come better reflexes or memorizing the game map. There’s strategy here that’s required much like you’d find in board games like Risk, Axises and Allies, or Chess. It’s not all about having the best plays but to have the better positions and thinking a couple of moves ahead. Building up to a bigger move is much more important than a couple of little moves. Those that find this type of high level thinking will enjoy Highgrounds.

At least my army is believes in me.

At least my army in believes in me.

Highgrounds is a digital collectible card game that requires deck building and critical thinking about your opponent that you would find with games like Hearthstone and Advance Wars. Complete quests to collect more units and build the ultimate collection of heroes to take on online foes in the battle for the Highgrounds. Play in your browser and sign in with a free account to conquer in your free time.

Play in your browser: http://www.highgroundsgame.com/

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