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Deck-based beat 'em up Phantom Dust out now free

Phantom Dust is one of those games that lots of people talk about but nobody I know actually bought back in the day. Originally released for the Xbox None in 2004, it’s a 3D fighting game set in destructible environments. The twist is that all of your character’s abilities are determined by a deck of cards, so you can switch in new attacks, blocks and specials when you earn/buy new cards.

Today Microsoft re-released it free on both Windows 10 and Xbox One, with cards available as microtransactions. You can, I believe, unlock every card in the game by playing. Here’s a video from Microsoft explaining how it works.

PowerHearthStone. That’s what I’m calling it.

I like the look of it, especially if the singleplayer campaign can make me consider my own lonely life in the way the Microsoft man suggests it might. I’m not writing about it because I like the look of it though – I’m writing about it because I told Alice I’d played it so she asked me to say a few words. And I wrote this: “A guy who lived down the corridor at uni had it and it was the best reason to talk to him.” I should add that the person question was a good friend and I wasn’t being entirely serious. I really liked Phantom Dust though.

Except, no I didn’t because I’ve never played Phantom Dust. I’ve thought I had for years but I was actually confusing it with a different obscure collectible card game from around the same period, but on a different console. I thought Phantom Dust was Culdcept.

Now, it turns out that Phantom Dust actually looks more interesting than Culdcept so I’m happy to swap out one cult favourite card game for another, but what an odd thing it is to realise I’ve been wrong all these years.

Anyhow, you can download Phantom Dust over at the Win 10 store.

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Adam Smith

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