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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Mullin

Review - SolForge Fusion


Developer: Justin Gary, Richard Garfield

Publisher: Stone Blade Entertainment

Available on: PC (Steam), physical cards

Review system: PC (Dell G15)


Build Your Collection!


SolForge Fusion is a hybrid deck-building game from the creators behind Magic: The Gathering that allows players to fuse different decks together to use in person against their friends, online players, or in a roguelite campaign.



A New Concept


SolForge Fusion is the second iteration of the SolForge franchise. The newest version has the unique ability to play with physical cards in person or to scan your deck(s) for use online. Each half deck is algorithmically generated allowing thousands of combinations and can be leveled up ensuring your victory.


While I wasn’t able to play the physical card game, I was able to play an advanced copy for digital play on PC. The game starts with a robust, but short tutorial that gives players the basics of gameplay. Upon completing the tutorial, players are shown a premade fused deck and are invited to start fusing their own decks.



Every deck has a Forgeborn that acts as the leader of the faction of cards and brings Forgeborn abilities to aid in battle. When fusing decks, players choose a single Forgeborn to be the leader of that deck. Every card is shown at its base and evolved levels with a description of card abilities at each level. Cards are divided into Spell and Creature cards.


Play consists of two rounds where each player can play one card each from their initial hand of five and activate applicable abilities. Playing cards levels them up for use later in the game. At the end of the placement phases, there is a battle phase. Cards battle each other and any attacks not blocked by a card hit the ForgeBorn. Play continues through four such rounds until one of the ForgeBorn is at or below zero hit points or, at the end of the fourth round of play, whichever ForgeBorn has the least health.



Cards in the Campaign


As far as actual play is concerned, there are a lot of ups and downs. Initially, the learning curve for knowing what cards will work with other cards is pretty high (there are currently 864 cards listed on the SolForge website). If you are facing off against the UI, they have significantly upgraded cards and abilities initially which makes the campaign feel a little tedious until you level your decks up. Once you have a deck that works well and has leveled up a bit, the game gets much better.


Having a deck that synergizes well with its other half is crucial. This can lead to some trial and error and sometimes the UI will absolutely crush you even with a well-built deck. It took me about eight hours of gameplay with a few different fused decks to find a combination that worked well with my playstyle. As you progress through the campaign you unlock more cards for each of the four starting ForgeBorn decks that then have you relooking your deck.



When playing the campaign players pick small bonuses to their cards and then one of three opponents. Defeat your opponent, grab another bonus, and choose a new opponent. The campaign continues like this until the culminating boss at the end. Fail to be victorious at any part, you must start all the way over.


Keep in mind, I only had experience with the development version. I’m positive the final product will be a little more polished and balanced. I experienced no crashes or slowdowns during play. There is an option to speed up animations to make gameplay a little faster and I highly recommend using it after understanding the cards of your opponents a little better and, trust me, you’ll have plenty of chances to learn.



Verdict


Overall, I think this game shows great promise especially if the deck-building genre is one of your personal favorites. I’d like to see a little more synergy between all the decks and the ability to build your decks from individual cards to really get that custom deck feel. Having the ability to use your physical deck(s) online enables players to get more games in without buying more versions of assets they already own. Live play scheduling has always been the bane of in-person games, so this mechanic alone makes this game a pioneer. You can currently download the demo or purchase the game on Steam.


SolForge Fusion IS RECOMMENDED


A code was provided by Stone Blade Entertainment for the purpose of this review.

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