Since becoming active on Steemit again, and in particular in the gaming tags, I have noticed a lot of posts about splinterlands, which is a Blockchain based card game that uses the Steem blockchain as well as others to exchange cards.
This idea intrigued me and after doing some research I decided to give it a try and see how it went.
After first signing up and reading the rules on how to play, I looked around at the UI and tried to find a VS AI feature, but couldn't find any. This was rather disappointing as usually I do like to try any TCG I play out on AI to make sure i understand the rules and the process of the game before jumping into the PvP experience.
Regardless I soldiered on and tried to play some games, that's where I hit my first big snag. To put it simply, it is very hard to find other players to play against. I waited and waited over 20 minutes in some cases before getting a match. Of course this may just be a result of playing on an off time zone where there is not much activity, but I would have liked to see more players.
Finally after waiting and getting into a game, I was surprised how smooth the game was. Although they don't do a great job fully explaining the game to you in the how to play section, after playing through a match it becomes somewhat easier to understand the finer parts of the game.
Splinterlands feels like one of those games that is easy to learn but hard to master. The combat is pretty hands free and you often have no real direct input on the match after choosing your monsters and where you place them. This also means that prediction becomes necessary and the true game lies in the planning stage.
Once I hit this point, after a couple more games I was able to actually win a match! though I do feel my win was more about random luck than skill by any means, but I was happy to win a match.
Splinterlands is a fairly unique card game, both in its combat approach and in its blockchain compatibility. I have to say that at this current moment, I'm rather neutral to it all so far.
I would really like to see a standalone client, this is something other blockchain based TCGs have done and I would like to see one here eventually. I would also say that I think by far this TCG is the most accessible of the blockchain TCGs. Since quite a few basic cards are free, it is easy to jump into the game and get a feel for what it has to offer.
I will continue to play splinterlands for sure, and eventually I will buy the starter pack. I do hope though that over the course of time, new cards and ideas are introduced and we will really see an influx in players and tactical diversity.