Cardaclysm is an interesting take on the card combat genre. It tries to take the game play loop in a slightly different direction. While it does succeed in bringing about a new paradigm in the combat mechanics, the balancing isn’t quite there yet so it leads to some incredibly frustrating fail states.
The main difference between Cardaclysm and other card combat games is the limited currency pool to draw cards from. While it does replenish after each combat encounter, it does not replenish at all during combat (unless using certain creature cards/gear). The currency looks like tasty triangles so I will call them Doritos from now on. Joke aside, because each creature and spell card have relatively high costs, and your main currency pool is limited, that pretty much limits your active playing field to whatever you draw in the your first hand, and maybe your second if you have enough Doritos left over.
If you don’t play enough creature cards during the first turn, the enemy will wipe out all units and attack your main summoner. If he is hit once, the game is over and you will lose any cards and gear obtained during that run. You must start the level over again from the beginning.
The balancing in the game could use some work as well. Most combat encounters are fairly easy but once in a while, you will come across an encounter where you cannot win due to the hand you are given at the time. This leads to a feeling of frustration because you hit a fail state due to a random number generator and not due to any mistakes or misplays you may have made.
Overall, minor gripes aside, Cardaclysm offers a streamlined card combat game. Most of the combat is intuitive and easy to learn and rather fun to play. Since this is an early access game, hopefully most of the balancing issues will be fixed to decrease the moments of frustration. Purists of trading card games such as Magic the Gathering will probably find Cardaclysm less stimulating but the more casual crowd will definitely find this game approachable.