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Duelyst is shutting down for good next month

Card-shuffling strategy Duelyst is powering down next month. Such is the way of free online games, sadly. Bidding farewell to Duelyst in an announcement on Friday, developers Counterplay Games are “saddened to announce” that all servers will officially close on February 27th at 11pm (3pm PST). If you’ve ever wanted to give it a shot – and from the reception it got in the RPS treehouse, you really should – that’s four weeks to give Duelyst one last bash.

As of the announcement, Counterplay have suspended all sales of Diamonds – Duelyst’s virtual currency – and are offering refunds to players who picked ’em up between December 21st and January 24th. If you’ve still got a few kicking Diamonds around though, they’ll go much further in the game’s dying month, with Diamond Orb bundles now going for 1% of the asking price.

Seeking to stand out in a post-Hearthstone world, Duelyst smashed a traditional CCG into more methodical tactical battling. Drawing cards placed them on a grid-based battlefield, bringing positioning and planning into all those juicy CCG synergies. Matt flippin’ loved Duelyst when he reviewed it back in 2016, boldly claiming that “almost everything Hearthstone does, Duelyst does better.” We even named it one of our best free games to pick up in 2019, and one of the best multiplayer games, period.

But being smart isn’t the same as being sustainable. Counterplay don’t explain exactly why they’re pulling the plug now, but it seems like Duelyst has been in a slow decline for some time now. Fair play to it, Duelyst lasted longer than many, launching way back in the hazy mire of 2016. Sadly, it’s probably just a case of no longer keeping the lights on at home.

Looking for a new tactical card-shuffler, then? Roguelike Nowhere Prophet carries some light strategy into a roguelike deckbuilder, even if Matt wasn’t too hot on it. It may also be worth keeping an eye on Warhammer Underworlds: Online, an upcoming adaptation of Games Workshop’s grim monster chess.

I’ve hated every game of it I’ve ever played, but my partner assures me it’s very good, actually.

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Natalie Clayton


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