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Free Game Weekly: BattleForge

Remember when “card game” used to mean either something as innocent as gin rummy or as cutthroat as poker? Then, thanks to a little game called Magic: The Gathering, playing cards took on a more strategic role-playing flavor, and instead of baseball players, gamers were suddenly trading spells and creatures. If you’re looking for your collect-and-trade-cards-to-use-them-in-a-fantasy-setting fix, then we’ve got just that in our Origin Free To Play catalog: Battleforge.

Battleforge blends together real-time strategy gameplay (think Command & Conquer) along with collectible card game mechanics and a fully enabled online community. In the game, your card deck represents units, buildings, and spells in your possession, and you use your cards to capture power generators and monuments which then let you play out more powerful cards in your deck.

If you’re all about collaboration, then you’ll appreciate the multitude of cooperative player-versus-environment scenarios. Some of them are simple single-player skirmishes, while others call for two, four, or even twelve players total. Rewards for these scenarios include upgrades for the cards in your deck, gold to spend on upgrading your cards, and experience points. If you’re all about individualistic competition, there’s also a player-versus-player mode that lets you show off just how awesome your card decks are. Unranked PVP won’t give you any awards, but does provide a safe spot to test out card strategies; earn gold and tokens to use for upgrading your cards in ranked PVP matches once you’ve honed your approach.

As a new player you start with two decks consisting of 32 cards total (eight cards apiece from each of the game’s four main powers—Frost, Shadow, Nature, and Fire). You can play any scenario in the game, and can either purchase Booster Packs (a random array of cards bundled together) or bid on specific cards in the Auction House once you reach a certain level. If you want to get all 383 cards, get ready for lots of intense playing and trading! 

Like other CCGs, Battleforge satisfies the collector in you, and the RTS gameplay provides a pretty cool visual representation of what used to be just a bunch of players slapping cards onto the carpet. Plus, now that Battleforge has recently added a new 3-versus-3 PVP mode, there’ll be plenty of players to trade with or play against when you try it out on Origin for free.