Card Hunter perfectly evokes the feel of old-school, red box Dungeons & Dragons, in a way that manages to be charming even if you never played D&D back in the day. Because it doesn’t just mimic the art style, it also includes staples of the broader experience of old-school D&D: cheesy snacks, big bottles of soft drink, pizza, pimpled teenage awkwardness, and an older brother who looks down on you for not taking it more seriously. And all of this is wrapped around a tactical combat card game that’s intuitive and fun to play. To top it off, it’s also free-to-play in a way that lets you play about as much of the game as you want without paying a cent. I’ve been playing it in beta, but Card Hunter is having a proper release on September 12th.
I’ve had a blast playing Card Hunter, but I kind of feel the same way about it that I do about Mad Men: I enjoy it while I’m playing/watching it, but when I’m not playing/watching I never really feel any strong desire to play/watch more of it. I suspect that, like Mad Men, it’s the texture of Card Hunter that I love, the milieu it evokes, as well as appreciating how it evokes that milieu. But I only really want that taste once in a while.