Shadow Era Review (Android) Blochchain-Based Trading Cards?

The Blockchain-based trading card game.
Any mobile gamer knows that a tablet is the best possible way to play any tabletop game digitally. This goes for card games as well. The thing is, most mobile games are clones of other games, or exist for the sole purpose of selling ads. Outside of Heartstone, you rarely ever find a real game on this platform. But Shadow Era seeks to change all that with its turn-based card game.


One of the slickest presentations in card games.
This game is deliberately low-profile --containing no voice acting, or character animations. That being said, a lot of care has been put into the menus, making it a top-tier experience, even on a sh1tty android tablet.
The music is surprisingly good, considering this is a game about playing trading cards. I don't know how they pulled this together, but the work done to make the music this impressive, but it lends to the atmosphere of the game very well.

The biggest gripe I have with the game is it's lack of sound effects for most animations. If you ever turn the music off, this game is more silent than a padded cell in an abandoned insane asylum. It's eerie how quiet this game is without music playing

Other than that, this game manages to look top-tier, while also keeping it simple. Menus are easy to understand, and can be accessed anywhere in the game.


This game looks good.

Graphical requirements are bottom- tier; able to run on even the lamest Qualcomm and Mediatek chipsets on the Android platform, but you're going to need at least a 720p screen just to be able to read the texts on the cards. Other than that, this game takes advantage of the fact that nearly all the 3D geometry is 2 polygons, and so it looks really good.

This game also sports some fantastic artwork, worthy of Wizards of the Coast itself. I cannot stress enough that the art on these digital cards is top-tier, and scales well on a high-res screen.


The attack phase.

Let's stop kidding ourselves here. This is Magic: The Gathering, without the mana. If you've played magic, and you keep getting mana clumps, and are sick of having to leave cards out of your 40-card deck just to keep enough mana in the game, you need to play Shadow Era. Instead of tapping mana every turn, you simply throw your useless cards in the resource pile, just below the graveyard. Yes, anything is mana in this game. Have a set of cards that work against other opponents, but not this one? just throw it in the resource pile

The biggest gripe I have with the game is that the A.I in the campaign is slower than turtles performing Tai Chi in the park. Obvious attacks will see you waiting nearly thirty seconds just for an attack to take place. It's just way too slow.

Besides the A.I. Being what it is, the gameplay on this game is surprisingly solid. This is a serious game that seems to be designed to cater to Magic players. 

The Catch

The part of the game where you can buy individual cards.

Here at RageFor, we always know that a game has a work up it's sleeve; some way of monetizing the hell out of you, in order to cover the cost of the game, and that's what we are here to examine in this section.
Crypto nerds will be glad to know that this game employs a 'blockchain strategy' in order to handle the value of every card in the game.

Blockchain is a peer-to-peer record keeping leger, designed to used cryptography in order to have records that spread across multiple highly secured machines. This is to protect the authenticity of digital information. It works by confirming multiple copies of the info over several machines, in case one piece of the data is tampered with. This is called a "smart contract," and those who host computers on the blockchain are rewarded with "crypto currency".

Much like digital card games like Gods Unchained, Shadow Era lets you use crypto currency to pay for its cards, and even keeps the rare ones as digital information held in the blockchain for security reasons. This prevents the cards from being counterfeited.

There are many different brands of Blockchain, and this game uses a newer brand called Waves, which pays its players out in a crypto called "Shadow Coins".

Though rival card game Gods Unchained uses the vastly more popular Ethereum, players can exchange crypto currency between the two games, since Vera and Ethereum are somewhat exchangeable.
As cool as that is, Shadow Era lets you buy booster packs for around $7.00 through Google Wallet, just in case you don't want the hassle of having to deal with complex 'digital wallets.'

This game also lets you watch ads in order to earn Shadow Coins. These ads are 30 seconds long, and you have to play a round or two just for the privilege of even seeing it.

As far as microtransactions go, this is the least obtrusive I have seen in a mobile game. As far as Free-to-play games go, this is an accomplishment.


It looks like we found a good card game. Fantastic artwork, amazing music, and flexible game UI makes this one of the best card-based games on the android market.
The Good:
Best UI, good gameplay, blockchain based...
The Bad:
Slow A.I., very few sound effects...
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About Tom Hollis


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