With the recent death of the Emperor, a new leader must take the throne. Since the Emperor hadn’t named a successor, it is up to you to back one of the country’s Princesses and help her gain enough public support to win the crown! Are you up for the challenge?
What Is It?
A digital implementation of Heart of Crown, of course! This is a deck building game where players start off trying to acquire cards that help them generate money, draw cards, and give them powerful abilities. Once they feel their deck is up to snuff, players can select a Princess to endorse and start helping her win the coveted seat on the throne! They must shift their focus to buy succession cards which they give to their Princess to show support of the loyal subjects. Once a player earns 20 points, they can trigger the end of the game with a Coronation!
The digital version of the game is very much the same as the original, which is great! Instead of being restricted to who you can get to the table, players can play online, against CPUs, or even by themselves if they just want to try out some potential strategies! The digital game also has a campaign feature which adds in more story elements for players to uncover as they play!
Who Is It For?
I would definitely recommend this game to lovers of the board game. I was a little nervous at first to try the digital, since I’m so fond of the original, but I adapted to it quickly and found it super enjoyable! I’d particularly recommend it to fans of the deck builder who are looking to play on their own, and/or interested in a faster game, because this definitely speeds it up since you don’t need to hand select and shuffle the cards. Additionally, completionists out there might appreciate this as well, since there are a bunch of achievements to strive for!
Even if you’re not a diehard Heart of Crown fan already, you might be able to become one! If you enjoy deck builders, digital gaming, quick gameplay, and/or anime, you’ll probably want to check this out!
Extras / Expansions
The Heart of Crown game on Steam includes both the cards from the original base game and the Far East Territory expansion. Players can also purchase the Northern Enchantress expansion separately for additional variety in cards, and Princesses, and music too!
The game also offers extra components beyond that of the card game. There are obvious things, like being able to play against CPUs, or online versus people who aren’t at your table (though you can do that too if you both own the game).
A key extra component is the campaign feature which lets plays spend campaign points earned while playing to draw cards which unlock stories to help players become more immersed in the the world of the game. It’s really cool and adds a lot of “flavor text,” if you will, to the game a whole. There are also ranked matches available to compete online for a spot on the leader boards! A lot of options available which is definitely super cool.
- Interactive tutorial for new players
- Super fast to play if you are experienced; minimal set up (just card selections) and no clean up is way more convenient than I realized
- Fun features like music and setting the Princess you like best to be on the welcome screen
- The backgrounds of the games also change depending on what set you choose to play with, which is a nice touch
- The CPUs actually provide a decent challenge which is great so that you don’t feel like you’re always guaranteed a win
- The achievements you can earn on Steam are cool and help keep the game fresh
- Interface is clean and easy to use
- A lot of card combos/options, especially if you get the expansion
- I couldn’t get ranked matches to work, and wasn’t sure if that was just me or if there’s a bigger issue with the game
- There doesn’t appear to be any way to undo a mistake (i.e. if you accidentally double click a card to purchase and didn’t actually want it) which is annoying since it’s common to change your mind or make a mistake in a turn and just needing to go back one second
Going into this as a fan of Heart of Crown already, I expected to like it, but kind of thought that I’d still lean more toward the physical board game. But this surprised me a little bit! It plays so fast and smoothly, and it’s easy for me to decide on a whim that I want to play a quick game, so I’ve been playing it a ton! It’s great if you only have a little while to play, because you can do a 2-player game easily in under 30 minutes. I think if you’re looking to try digital board gaming and want to start with something that is pretty light, this is an awesome choice. You can try it out solo (1 player) just to get a feel for some of the cards, then more on to 1-3 CPUs, and then play against some people online once you really get the hang of it! There’s even a helpful Discord group to find players if you need it. Overall, I can’t recommend this enough, so I hope you get to try it out!
My Final Ratings:
Game – 9/10
Difficulty – 2/10
Aesthetics – 8/10
Replayability – 8/10
All images are in-game screenshots
Developers: illuCalab, FLIPFLOPs, Japanime Digital
Publishers: Culture Select, MangaGamer
Heart of Crown on Steam
Northern Enchantress on Steam
Complete Set on Steam
Board Game on BGG
*I was provided a copy of these games to do this review*
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