Back in February, I gave you a sneak peek at Pathfinder Adventures, the digital version of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Yesterday, the app was finally released for iOS and Android (about a month later than the original planned date), so get out your tablet and check it out!
Most of it looks pretty similar to the preview I gave you, although you’ll notice a few differences about the main menu shown above. There are now two main modes of play, Story and Quest. Before you play either, you’ll have to complete at least the first two Perils of the Lost Coast scenarios, “Brigandoom!” and “The Poison Pill.” Those two scenarios will walk you through the basics of the game and the interface. There’s also a link to the Store, where you can purchase additional adventure decks, characters, and more.
The game is free to play, with in-app purchases. Here’s how it works: when you play through the tutorial, you’ll get two characters unlocked: Merisiel the rogue and Kyra the cleric. You also get the 3-scenario Perils of the Lost Coast adventure, which is equivalent to the Deck 0 adventure that comes in the base set of the physical game. As you play, you get in-game gold for killing monsters, closing locations, and successfully completing scenarios. This gold can then be spent on other things: to unlock additional adventures, characters, and buy treasure chests. I was provided with 5,000 gold so that I could unlock the game to try things out.
Currently, Burnt Offerings (Deck 1) is on sale for 750 gold. Deck 2, The Skinsaw Murders, is available for 4,000 gold. When I purchased the Burnt Offerings adventure, it seemed to unlock everything–The Skinsaw Murders and all of the regular characters from the base deck are now showing up as unlocked, even though I only spent 750 gold. I’m not sure if that’s how it’s supposed to be.
The 9 regular characters from the base set are available for 1,500 gold each, plus the Character Add-on Deck (which is sold separately for the physical game) can be purchased for 10,000 gold, unlocking 4 characters and adding some additional cards to the game.
The Treasure is a new sort of thing, not included in the physical game. Each Treasure chest (available for 500 gold, or less if you buy in bulk) has four random cards in it, with one guaranteed to be rare. They’re not added to your characters’ decks directly, though–it just means that they may turn up while you’re adventuring, and you still have to acquire them. But it does add some fun bonus cards to your game. I suppose it’s a bit like a sealed booster pack, which is interesting since the physical Pathfinder Adventure Card Game does not use those.
And, of course, you can buy in-game gold with real-world money. The “Daily Gold” deal will set you back $1.99 and give you 200 gold every day you log in for 30 days. Or you can buy 20,000 gold for $19.99. Of course, if you’re prepared to spend actual cash, your best bet is to just buy the “Rise of the Runelords” Bundle, which is $24.99. That includes the entire adventure path (6 decks), all of the characters, and promo cards with each deck. Currently, only the first two decks are available, but the others will be automatically unlocked as they are released. While that may seem like a pretty hefty price for an app, it’s considerably less than the cost of buying the equivalent sets for the physical game–$60 for the base set, and roughly $15 per adventure deck and Character Add-on Deck. Still, if you want to just play for free, that’s doable, too.
And lest you fear that grinding means playing the same exact scenario over and over, remember that the app also throws in difficulty levels. Each scenario can be played at three different levels–Normal, Heroic, and Legendary–with added effects that will switch up the gameplay. Plus, you can play through with different characters (or party sizes) to get a different experience. Or, there are Quests–more about that in a minute.
The Story Mode is like playing through the regular adventure path–you start at the beginning, pick your party, and play. However, unlike the physical game, it’s so much easier to have multiple groups, because you don’t have to take apart the character decks and shuffle them all back in to play with a different party. Although “Multiplayer” is shown in the menu, it’s currently unavailable–for now, it’s just pass and play on the same device.
Quest Mode is designed to randomly generate a scenario for your party. In the app, your characters will earn XP, too, so more experienced parties will get harder scenarios. Each scenario in Quest mode can also be played in three difficulty levels, and it’s another way to earn gold without playing the same scenarios. Unfortunately, there are still some kinks being worked out–Quest Mode seems to freeze up the app, at least on iOS, so I haven’t been able to try it yet.
I’ve enjoyed the cut scenes and the way that the dialogue that’s displayed depends on which characters are present. I also found that you can give nicknames to the characters, so that you can keep track if you have multiple copies of a character with different decks. (I’m not entirely sure yet where those nicknames are displayed, though.)
Overall, it’s exciting to finally see the full game, and I’m impressed that there is a free-to-play option. I’m ready to play through this with a full party! I’ll report back after I’ve had a little more time with the game.