Award-Winning Deck-Builder Ascension Ascends To VR

You know how sometimes you just stare at an email and the individual words make sense but it won’t quite come together as a whole? So, one of my preferred mobile deck-building games is getting a virtual reality adaptation: Ascension VR [official site].

I feel like that should somehow make sense to me, yet here I am, standing firm in the path of progress and saying “but… it’s a 2D game and I play it in not VR?”

Let’s take a closer look:

The game itself looks interesting. You’re sort of playing cards into the air in front of you in the middle of a forest clearing. If you fancy playing online rather than single player there’s also an eye to social features with lip and animation sync as well as “spatialised chat” which I assume means you can get a feel for the location the voice is supposed to be coming from.

I feel like that side of things will potentially be the most rewarding. When I was playing with the Dota 2 VR spectator mode the best part of that was the little interactions with the other spectators – waving or doing a little dance just to share a moment of humour and warmth in the digital space.

Now I just need to try to bridge the gap between what I’m seeing in the trailer and the part of my brain that is screaming “DO NOT MAKE ME ADAPT TO SOMETHING NEW I WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS”. Maybe this is how people who play the physical version of Ascension created by StoneBlade Entertainment feel about the Playdek iOS adaptation.

Anyhoodle, Ascension VR is £6.99 / $9.99 / €9.99 over on Steam.


  1. lagiacrux says:

    what exactly is the benefit of vr support for this exactly? the trailer doesnt show anything remotely interesting. now the cards float in front of you instead of on a table.

    the few social features doesnt seem to be all to relevant as well. i feel like the developers missed the benefits of vr.

  2. Skid says:

    This is a step in the right direction, now if someone would do it properly so that the summoned monsters burst out their cards and land on the play field Yu-Gi-Oh style, then you will have all my money.

    • ThePuzzler says:

      Yeah, that’s what I want. I’d make dramatic gestures and announce all my plays out loud. “I summon Black Eyes Magician: Envoy of Void! A card that’s completely useless in all other situations, but which in this case, instantly wins the match!”

      • Geewhizbatman says:

        I’m pretty sure they are making such a thing–For Yu-Gi-Oh specifically. I remember all those excitable feelings with Eyes of Judgement: link to I wasn’t actually willing to buy the special map and weird camera and all that but it felt like the dreams that convinced me to try and have consistent, non-competitive fun in a fantasy card game could come true. One day…

        I think those dreams have died for me. Not in the sense that I may never play them but–I don’t know. I think the spark has gone for me. Now! From what I see in that video, the dream that I could be in a cliche ridden sci-fi anime, appearing as my strange and mysterious, motion captured avatar of a victorian lolita girl wearing a giant hello kitty head and speech to text voice, “Lady Kat,” who also plays a card game? Sure, that sounds like a good time on a Tuesday. Yu-Gi-Oh or Ascension is fine, whichever lets that kind of craziness come to life. Heck, I’d go back to NeoPets for that so whoever wants to get the ball rolling wins.

        • PhoenixMage says:

          I think that if Microsoft could get the Hololense right when the price drops it would be an ideal platform some of these deck builder/collectable card games.

          They just released the devkit for any one to buy but its $3k, though I am sure there are Yugi/Magic fanboys out there with some spare cash and an inclination.

  3. Faldrath says:

    I have no interest in VR, but man, Ascension is an incredible game. It’s a shame the PC port is apparently not very good, but if you like card games, you definitely should pick this up in the mobile platform of your choice.

    • mukuste says:

      How does it compare to Hearthstone?

      • DrollRemark says:

        It’s quite different, but as someone who’s enjoyed both, I thoroughly recommend it. I forget the terminology for them, but Ascension is a game where you build your deck as you play, not beforehand.

        So you (2-4 players) each start with a very basic deck, and play five cards each per turn. As well as having a power value (for attacking*), cards will also have a buying value. This buying value is used to acquire new cards to add into your deck, from a shared pool in the middle of the table. Your deck shuffled and re-used every time you reach the end, so those cards you bought will eventually show up in your hands. So the idea is that you progress through each game by acquiring better and better cards, and discarding the weaker ones. The challenge comes in whether you acquire cards that are better at buying or attacking, whether to get “normal” cards or constructs, that stay on the board between your turns, and whether your cards are in the same factions as each other (this often triggers bonuses on the cards).

        *Side note: In Ascension you don’t actually attack one another. As well as there being cards to buy in the shared pool, there are also monster cards that must be defeated. This is what you use your power for. If you want a very similar game to this where you do attack each other, check out Star Realms. It’s also great.

        It’s great fun because it’s such a simple game to set-up (We have a physical Star Realms pack in my house because of this), and there’s no such thing as having a better hand just because you’ve played longer or spent more. Everyone is on an equal playing field, and it’s just up to you to grab the best cards you can.

        My only mark down for Ascension would be how ridiculous the power creep gets in the later expansions. The original game and the first expansion are the probably the _purest_ fun, whereas the later ones will generally end up with one player utterly steamrollering the other. This is fun when it’s you, but not so much on the receiving end.

        • DrollRemark says:

          Good lord, what a lot of text. Sorry.

        • Skid says:

          Deck Builders, the game type is called a Deck Builder :) As you build your deck while you play, rather then Collectable Card Game where you collect your cards to build you deck which you then play with.

  4. deadfolk says:

    Just a quick request for Pip: when posting about announcements for VR games, it would be useful to mention which headsets are supported. Ta!

    For anyone else interested in this info, Ascension VR appears to be supported on both Rift and Vive.

  5. manny says:


  6. Szhival says:

    Can we have Etherlords HD VR?