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Altered Trading Card Game Preview

Earlier this week, Asmodee Canada invited me to their Canada Plays Trade Show in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Although this event is primarily for retailers to meet with distributors, a few select media folks were invited to attend as well, and it was well worth the trip. One of my favourite moments was getting to demo the upcoming Trading Card Game, Altered.

In Altered, players will be using their own decks to move both a companion and a hero from opposite sides of a map towards each other. The first team to unite their companion and hero wins the game. Moving across the map requires players to have the most points in their respective hero or companion play area – they are separate – for one of three terrain types which for now I’ll call grass, mountains, or water.

Each turn begins with players grabbing two cards from their deck, and then optionally resourcing one card from their hand as mana. Mana is used to play cards, so resourcing each turn is probably never a bad idea. Then with those mana points, players can play cards to the Hero or Companion section of the game mat.

Altered uses a really cool system where cards played will, unless an ability stops this from happening – move from the play area into a reserve area. On future turns, cards can be played both from the reserved area, as well as the player’s hand. Cards can (mostly) only ever be played twice, so after moving from the reserve back into one of the two play areas, that card will be discarded at the end of the round. This is a really cool feature that makes Altered feel unique and different from other games I’ve played, which is key to setting yourself apart in the Trading Card Game space!

Each round plays out with player staking turns, where they can play one card using their available mana. Turns go back and forth until both players pass and the value of their grass, mountain, and water values are compared, allowing players to move up by a maximum of one time for their hero and their companion.

The art in Altered is fantastic, although I knew that before playing. What I wanted to see was how the gameplay worked, and I was really surprised and even more excited for what is to come. There are so many cards in the first set, and lots of great options to build specific coloured decks around heroe cards with great, one-time-per-round abilities.

I also love how fast this plays. When talking with the play representative, he said once two people know how to play, a game can be finished in 15-20 minutes. I love that – if you are getting killed, it won’t be long before you can exact your revenge. It’s a lot better than losing a lopsided 30-40 minute game of Disney Lorcana, that is for sure.

Overall, I’m really happy with Altered, and where it is heading. We will have more over the course of this year, including a review when the game drops on September 13, 2024!


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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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