Pantheon the Legends (iPhone): Over-Simplification Is Not A Good Thing

Card games. I wonder sometimes how convoluted the gameplay mechanics are for certain card games. Back in the old days it was easy and simpler with games such as Snap, Old Maid or even UNO. Then came Collectible Card Games with the still going strong Magic: The Gathering (MTG) spearheading the then new trend. I used to play MTG. The mechanics were relatively easy to understand compared to the two other games that I was playing at that time, the Star Trek TCG and the Marvel OverPower TCG

In one way the game resembled a turn-based computer game. You gathered resources from lands, in the form of mana, summoned creatures to do your bidding, took turns to attack and defend, cast various kinds of spells with the objective of reducing your opponent’s life points from 20 to zero.

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The simple gameplay masked a lot of depth and when any new CCG for iOS claimed the same thing, MTG would provide the benchmark for me to measure the new upstart against. I had the opportunity to review one recently called Pantheon the Legends, and from the onset I felt that the gameplay was too shallow. You build up a deck of cards which consists of characters from the Ancient Greek pantheon and mythology, enhancing them along the way with treasures (think Artifacts and Enchant Creature cards from MTG) and sacrificing other characters (a mechanic often found in Black cards in MTG).

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It sounds fine and dandy with the cute looking cards but when it came to combat, there was nothing to it except for tapping on a button and then a winner would be declared. It is like building a deck in MTG and letting a computer deciding the outcome of a match based on the perceived strength of the deck..no strategizing or thinking or even playing is necessary…just build the strongest deck possible. If that were the case in MTG, my blue Counter-Bounce deck would have been invincible, since everyone hated playing against such a deck. Throw in several Jester’s Cap and I would be banned from the local card club.

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Anyways, some casual players may consider the gameplay in Pantheon to be quick fun. Even so, I’m cradling my baby girl as I’m typing this with one finger on my iPad (this one-month old baby just loves sleeping on my tummy) and I don’t really appreciate this “over-simplification”. I don’t know, paying money to get more stamina slots (it’s a freemium title) so that you can participate in so-called battles, seems wrong. I’m not afraid to call a spade a spade, and if a a CCG game comes with an unfulfilling battle system that is this opaque, I can’t really recommend it. This goes to show that Wizards of the Coast needs to come up with a proper MTG title for iOS devices just to show all these wannabes how it is done.

Nineoverten.com rates Pantheon the Legends at a 2.5 out of 5. The game is available for free on the iTunes App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pantheon-the-legends/id582931583?mt=8.



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