Scrolls Rolled Out Next Week

Mojang’s fantasy card-deck battle game thing arrives next week! Scrolls, as it is so legally called, has been impressing a wave of beta-tester people with its tight production and carefully poised strategy mechanics. There’s a good chance that this will be the deck-building strategy of 2013. Not that there’s a lot of competition there, but you get the idea. Yeah. Anyway, it makes it official debut next week.

Fancy launch trailer below!

For more insight into the workings of Scrolls, you could have a read of Mr Stanton’s preview, where he says: “Scrolls isn’t about winning another slew of industry awards, revolutionising entertainment or even selling millions of copies. Scrolls is about making a great strategy game out of classic elements, and reinvigorating them with clever rules. So much so that it feels weirdly like a labour of love, or an homage, in certain respects.But let me put it very simply. Do you like card battling or turn-based strategy games? If the answer’s yes, prepare to like Scrolls an awful lot.”


  1. RedViv says:

    Sweet, I can’t wait to edit my character for five hours, never look at it in the game, and then abandon the main quest to just run around and kill things!

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Yep, Bethesda folks did it again. Wait, what is this?

  2. lowprices says:

    I can’t believe Bethesda have got this out so soon after finishing work on the last Elder Scrolls title.

  3. phelix says:

    Doesn’t Magic: The Gathering already do this?

    • Squire says:

      Yeah, was thinking Notch/Mojang is a bit too late to this genre to make the mega-bucks.

      They should have made a MOBA/Clone of DoTA & LoL, or whatever they are called these days, Massively Offensive Battling Arseholes?

      • Heavenfall says:

        Now there’s an oversaturated genre.

        • Berzee says:

          For a second I thought I was still reading the comments for that diving game and I thought you made an pun.

          • jrodman says:

            Feeling wet behind the ears?

            I don’t know, vell, um, it should all come out in the wash.

    • Chalky says:

      Perhaps – but Mojang made this game because it’s something the team has always wanted to make and I don’t think they actually care whether or not it’s a commercial or critical success. When you’re rolling in money all day every day, who the hell cares I guess.

      I’ll be interested to see what this is like – in theory, the freedom to do exactly what you want with a massive budget could yield some interesting results.

    • Arcadia says:

      In case you’re talking about Duels of the Planeswalkers: Nope. It doesn’t allow proper deck building, which largely kills the game for me.

      • Warskull says:

        It is decent for a light version of Magic. Not costing $50-200 per deck is a big plus. Actual Magic get very expensive, very quickly.

        • Arcadia says:

          I totally agree on Magic being expensive, which is why I stopped buying cards at age 14 or so.
          Duels of the Planeswalkers is probably fine for most people, it plays quite well and is a great introduction to Magic that can actually get rather challenging, but it doesn’t provide what I love about Magic: building a deck from a huge pile of cards. I just want Scrolls to offer that experience to me, without being crazy expensive.

      • Grey Poupon says:

        The newest iteration that comes out next month does allow deck building. Sort of. you get 6-9 booster packs from a pool of 150 cards and you build a 40 card deck. Would think the card pool will get increased in an expansion ’cause 150 doesn’t sound like much.

  4. HexagonalBolts says:

    Choo choo, here comes the money train!

  5. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    I’m not particularly pleased that there’s an upfront cost to the game as well as (as far as I can tell) a bunch of free-to-play hula.

    There’s a good chance that this will be the deck-building strategy of 2013. Not that there’s a lot of competition there, but you get the idea.

    There’s Cardhunter, not to mention the Blizzard thing.

    • Screwie says:

      Cardhunter is truly lovely. Scrolls looks nice too, of course.

      • Kaiji says:

        I think Scrolls looks terrible compared to Card Hunter.

        I’d be glad to be proved wrong, but my gut tells me a lot of the people who buy or become interested in this game will end up moving over to Card Hunter after it’s gained some popularity.

      • rawrty says:

        Card hunter had me at the d&d module graphics

    • deworde says:

      And Solforge. It’s actually looking like CCG’s are going through a resurgence. I suppose they fit the F2P/SAAS monetization model really well.

      • DeVadder says:

        Also Duel Of Champions.
        Its really neat except it does not allow trading of cards (because on the otehr hand, it is free to play and you earn a bunch of boosters quickly, meaning trading would kill the monetazetion) and every card you own can only be in one deck at a time. The later beeing a MASSIVE inconvenience as you basically have to shuffle many cards around each time you want to play a different deck and put them back afterwards.

    • strangeloup says:

      I ended up with a beta invite for Card Hunter after applying for one about fifty billion years ago, and it didn’t bloody work properly. I don’t think I care enough to email them and chase it up, though.

      • GCU Speak Softly says:

        There’s been a bunch of new beta keys sent out over the last week or so. If you’re having problems, go to the forum and I’m sure the very nice devs will sort it out.

    • QQchan says:

      There’s a fairly successful kickstarter for and MMO TCG called Hex too, which should be out this year.

      • malkav11 says:

        Well, should hit beta this year. No firm estimate on launch yet, and it sounds like it’s likely to be in 2014. But if you back for at least $10 you’re in on the beta, which they’re positing will be in September, and it looks like that’s reasonably likely.

    • Randomer says:

      I am actually a little frustrated that this is coming out right after I got in the Card Hunter beta. Give me time to enjoy them both separately!

    • cptgone says:

      i’ve had a lot of fun playing The Trouble With Robots:
      link to

  6. Dachannien says:

    I’ve been playing a lot of King’s Bounty (from those Russian guys) lately, and seeing this promo trailer just reminds me of that. Except King’s Bounty has better graphics. Oh, wait, there’s cards or something in this, so I guess that’s why I would want to drop another $20?

    Seriously, though, I might be interested, but the trailer does nothing to pique that interest.

  7. Arcadia says:

    Wait, wasn’t there supposed to be a Linux version? Why doesn’t the website say so anymore?

  8. Soulstrider says:

    I don’t recall was this supposed to be f2p or paid?

  9. eatfrog says:

    is it just me or does this look boring as hell?

  10. Yosharian says:

    Is this game completely singleplayer or do you have to play against people?

    I’d like a mode like the old Microprose Magic game’s Shandalar.

    • BTAxis says:

      You should go look up an older title called Etherlords 2.

      • Rotekian says:

        Although if you do go looking for Etherlords 2 beware the DRM.

        • Berzee says:

          I read this post as if you were giving a warning to a bounty hunter about to embark on a hunt for two dangerous Etherlords.

        • Xocrates says:

          The game is on GoG, so that should be that part taken care of.

      • Yosharian says:

        THat’s nice but it doesn’t answer my question =p

  11. aliksy says:

    Whatever happened with that bethesda lawsuit? Secret settlement?

  12. deworde says:

    Can’t believe no-one’s mentioned Solforge on here. The beta’s really great, and it’s got just enough of Magic to be familiar, but with some cool mechanical differences. My family’s totally addict… god, this sounds like a spambot line, but seriously, my wife and I play this game most evenings. Lots of Beta Keys currently being released.

    • pakoito says:

      This one I expect a lot of. How can I get in the beta?

      “Playing SolForge is absolutely free. You can earn cards and currency through gameplay to improve your decks without paying a dime! ”

      Fuck this game too.

  13. pakoito says:

    €15 to get the beta of a RMAH trading card game. Nope.

    I also got a beta key for Infinity Wars TCG, and as the T implies it looks like another card game is getting ruined by an ancient business model.

    EDIT: Apparently Solforge does that too. So they’re sticking with a 25yo business model, in the year after LCG already won the monetization war.

    • malkav11 says:

      Did it, though? I’m pretty fed up with the TCG model myself and I know quite a few other people are as well, but what I’m hearing from people who actually sell games is that Magic and the handful of other TCGs that have a market collectively constitute one of their biggest income streams, whereas LCGs sell a few (<10) copies a month. Certainly Magic is still the biggest dog in town by far. (All this in meatspace, of course. I'm not even sure there are any digital LCGs at the moment. Ascension and Summoner Wars aren't quite the same thing.

  14. Dromph says:

    I just play Netrunner on octgn, thanks

  15. Kefren says:

    I like some card-type games, e.g. Spectromancer and Plants vs Zombies, but only for single player (or hotseat, with Spectromancer).

  16. mwoody says:

    It was mentioned once above, but RPS really should comment on Hex before the Kickstarter ends. It’s not like they need the cash, with that insanely successful run, but it’s actually the most promising out of all the upcoming TCGs (Scrolls and that Blizzard one included).

    It’s largely interesting to me because it has a focus on PvE, including entire dungeons and raids, plus loot. Not to mention crazy other stuff like cards that level up for alternate art and socketable cards.

    • pakoito says:

      Another scam, just double scam this time. If the F2P are bad offenders to consumer rights, Hex is the ultimate F2P bs.

      • mwoody says:

        That’s a pretty hefty and, frankly, insane accusation to be throwing around willy-nilly.

  17. waltC says:

    The notch games have, regrettably, done nothing for me. Looking at Minecraft–I was initially put off by the fact that trees, granite slabs, and people looked so much alike (Bizarro World.) I can’t get past that, actually…;) Computerized, turn-based board games have never done anything for me, either–with the glaring exception of chess! Even so, it’s been a long time since I’ve played computer chess, frankly. However, and perhaps this is a contradiction, I really enjoy turn-based *computer* rpgs…

  18. Flavioli says:

    Does this game let you earn cards and build a deck out of it, like the Microprose classic Shandalar for MtG? Or is it like Pox Nora where you pretty much have to buy a premade deck and don’t really have much of any ability to build your own deck? I’ve been dying to play something like Shandalar but nothing similar seems to have come out, as far as I know… all these F2P card games where I need to buy cards and decks are just not doing it for me… I wanna pay the full game price and earn my cards through gameplay.

    • edwardh says:

      Well… on their website, it says:
      “Every item is available for gold. A few can also be purchased for shards – our real-money currency. I’ll be posting specific examples of how it works tomorrow, but it’s worth mentioning that shards are completely optional, and will never be required to stay competitive.”
      link to

      I still don’t like that one bit. May just be that in the end, you’ll only get like 30 cards for free and you have to pay for 300 others.

      • Flavioli says:

        Well, I’m no Notch fanboy (or even close to it) but he does tend to take the more pro-consumer side of things, at least with regard to most controversies like DRM and stuff… here’s to hoping he will do the right thing and makes the gameplay fun without being tempted by the usual style of the very lucrative F2P card games.

        Just once I’d like a game like of this style but where there is no option to buy anything with cash microtransactions, even if it’s not *required*. The problem from a design perspective is that by having that option, they can’t offer the choice of paying one single price to get all of the game’s content (which I much prefer to the free-but-grindy alternative), as the possibility of charging for content encourages them to hold back on the really good stuff. That makes it so that these games are simply not very fun, in my opinion =(. Usually seeing “Free to play” is enough to turn me off from the purchase right away, because I simply have not enjoyed any F2P games I have tried so far (although there are some which are admittedly well-respected, like TF2, DOTA and LoL, but that’s not my style of game, sadly).

        I’m confused about whether or not Scrolls is pay-to-play or whether that only applies to getting early access or something… because I wouldn’t really expect a pay-to-play game developed by Mojang to ALSO have microtransactions. I hope there is some clarification of just what “shards” do in the game… hopefully they just put funny hats on the avatars or something. If that’s the direction it goes in, then Notch might get my money.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          Is Notch even involved in this?

        • d32 says:

          Well, it definitely is and will be a “pay once than get tempted to pay again and again” game, which is a no-no. Also, whatever author’s stance on DRM is, Minecraft DOES feature a bit-of-a-DRM…

  19. cgh123 says:

    I really like the CCGs, this one looks OK. If it has a card market I think it could be good. My favourite CCG is Urban Rivals which has been around for many years and has a great in game market for cards.

  20. edwardh says:

    To me, it’s a deal breaker that one can buy additional cards. I can’t stand micro transactions, I want to buy full games.

  21. Apocalypse says:

    HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft is supposed to be in beta soon and be released end of 2013.

    So we have at least a new mtg game, HearthStone and scrolls in 2013. Sounds like at least some competition to me.

    • jrodman says:

      I’m extremely doubtful that blizzard can meet a projected release date.