Ancient Enemy, the latest computer card game from indie veteran Grey Alien Games, launches on Steam today.
One of the most famous video games ever is Microsoft’s Solitaire. Bundled for free with versions of Windows since 1990 – that’s Windows 3.0, if anyone’s counting – it has to have clocked up some serious playtime over the years. With no sales figures to speak of it’s hard to quantify, but if we were counting Solitaire? It’d be enormous.
Some people turn their nose up at the idea of computer card games. They think they’ll be staid and boring. But like Solitaire, developed by then Microsoft intern Wes Cherry, there’s a way to spice them up: in Solitaire’s case, that was the “jumping” animation when you beat the game.
And if you’re Grey Alien Games, an indie developer that specialises in computer card games – including a natty line of historical solitaire games – you learn a few tricks to spice up your deck over the years.
It’s not unusual to see animated flourish in card battling games, but Grey Alien’s latest game, Ancient Enemy, does something rare: the cards physically interact with one another. Fireballs pop and lightning crackles at a distance, but if your card stabs an opponent’s? The two cards will meet in the middle, and one literally stabs the other.
It’s a really simple thing, when you think about it, but it makes a massive difference to the action and impact of Ancient Enemy. It bridges the gap between computer card game and turn-based RPG, for a really pleasing mix of the two.
And with former video game journalist and exceptional wordsmith, Jim Rossignol, supplying the writing for Ancient Enemy? This one should be on your wishlist when it releases on Steam later today. (Usually somewhere between 4 and 6 pm in the UK, depending on where we stand with daylight savings time between here and Steam’s home in Washington on the Pacific Northwest.)