Nostalgix is a Hero vs. Hero trading card game with two win conditions. Either defeat your opponent’s Hero or 10 of their Fighters. You and you’re friends bring your decks and battle it out in this inter-terrestrial card game. It has great game mechanics, a great art style, and a beginner-friendly game. If the Nostalgix team continues to put out good products and stays on the path they are we might have a top 5 TCG on our hands.
When it comes to setting up to play Nostalgix, it doesn’t take much at all actually. You need at least 2 people with 50 card decks and a hero card. You would also need some kind of indicators to keep track of your mana, how many of your fighters have been defeated, as well as the health and counters your hero/fighters may have. Dice are widely used in most TCGs and are what I used when playing Nostalgix. Some people would even have playmats that have different zones for the game indicated on them. It isn’t needed, but very useful for people learning the game.
After you decide who goes first shuffle up and you can begin. I love it when there aren’t a lot of moving parts in games. One of the big reasons I don’t play board games very often is all the many different pieces you have to keep track of and put up when done. I remember learning about the World of Warcraft Board Game years ago and it was a nightmare learning and keeping track of everything. Trading card games, including Nostalgix, have a very simple set up which I enjoy. A big reason I’m drawn to them over board games.
Best of Mechanics
Nolstalgix does something cool when it comes to its game’s mechanics. That is it pulls some of the cool stuff from other TCGs and converts them to your game to make the best possible experience. Another newer card game called Elestrals uses a similar strategy of pulling the best stuff from other games and sprinkling in their own to create the best trading card game experience Nostalgix can.
The mechanics are fairly easy to understand which allows for new players to quickly grasp the game’s fundamentals. Nostalgix utilizes Fighters and Heroes that can attack opposing Fighters or Heroes. Each of them can have different attack values and abilities that will help you on your way to victory. Victory is obtained by defeating 10 opposing fighters or defeating the enemy hero.
You also have mana which increases by 1 on each turn until you have a max of 10. This mana is used to play fighters, surprises, spells, arenas, equipment, and use some abilities. New people might be slightly confused at first as they would for many TCGs, but it wouldn’t take long to get the hang of everything.
The phases are different in Nostalgix slightly too from other games. After you draw you can play different cards and attack, then you can play more cards and attack again with something else if you wanted. This is different from other games where phases are normally Draw, Main 1, Combat, Main 2, and End Phase. It differentiates the game which can be a breath of fresh air.
Nostalgix provides multiple different card types that might give some flashes to other games. You might see some flashes to Magic the Gathering when it comes to equipment. Surprises might seem somewhat similar Yu-Gi-Oh Trap Cards. The Fighters can evolve just like Pokémon can in the Pokémon TCG. Even the Hero cards might seem similar to the World of Warcraft card game and Hearthstone. Nostalgix blends all these different card types and mechanics well which allows for a streamlined experience.
In my experience, Nostalgix matches could be fast-paced or as slow as you wanted. Depending on the cards in your hand and what you did with your board you could stomp someone relatively quickly with the right strategy. On the flip side though, if both players have cards to use to counter-act each other like good surprise cards or spells games could last a while. From my experience, I never played one match longer than around 25 minutes.
Deck building can also play a factor in game length. The company sent a starter deck along with 36 booster packs (1 Booster Box). With all of these cards, I didn’t know the best strategy to build for a 2nd deck, but I know some strategies can easily stretch the game’s length. Control-style decks are common in many different TCGs.
The starter deck I received was the Mystery of Mako. As you can see in the image above Nostalgix presents a unique style of packing for its decks. Unfortunately, when taking the deck out of its plastic packaging, I accidentally did minor damage to one or two of the cards’ edges. Luckily, it was nothing serious to where the cards can’t be used, but a little damage nonetheless. Each starter deck comes with a ready-to-play 50-card structure deck: 1 foil Hero Card, 4 dice for Hero Health and Mana tracking, and a small Nostalgix TCG how-to-play guide. Admittedly, the how-to-play guide was a nice and useful touch.
I was able to grasp Nostalgix’s ruleset mostly from the included guide. In addition, It’s always good to have a reference when a question arises. I like that you can see the Hero Card through the front of the packaging, so you can get a feel for what the Nostalgix Starter Deck might be. You also get a chance to see the cool art style of your hero and the proverbial leader of the deck. The booster boxes are small and compact boxes like Pokémon Booster Boxes without damaging the packs and cards. Damaged cards would not be an issue with these booster boxes. Each 10-card pack is relatively easy to open and avoids potential damage.
However, a few things of note would be to include a field mat with starter decks. A starter deck is geared toward new people a lot of the time, and having a little mat that unfolds into a playing field would be great. Other card games have done this in the past and I liked it a lot. With all the different card types I feel it could help new players immensely. Being that this is still a new game bringing people into the community is a big focus. The plastic wrapping the starter deck is in could benefit from having a little pull tab. This would make getting plastic off easier and prevent any damage to the cards.
Creative Art Style
Just like a video game’s art style is one of my biggest things, it’s the same when it comes to trading card games. My favorite TCG Magic The Gathering has some of my favorite card art styles and Yu-Gi-Oh also has amazing art as well. One of the things Nostalgix does very well is to create some of the most unique card art I’ve seen in any game. I mean haven’t you seen Gelephant? A big thing I liked is how the art isn’t all confined to a little box. They actually try to use as much space as they can on the card to provide art. Might not have each character all over the card, but the entire card feels decorated.
Many of the artists for Nostalgix have worked with different card art in other games too, so I can see why it transfers so well here. The colors fit what you see on the cards very well, and what they use for images on the cards are unique and fit the different and some interferential themes they like to go for. If a card seems like it’s going to be a dark and not-so-happy card the colors fit that theme with dark colors. Conversely, if the card is a more bright and happy card you can see how they used more bright colors to empathize the cards.
This type of art style is my favorite thing so far in my experience with the Nostalgix TCG. I am excited to see some of the future creations in other sets.
At times, sleeves can be difficult to judge. One of the biggest things when it comes to protecting your cards from spills as well as other damages is having sleeves. I got a pack of 60 sleeves and immediately sleeved up the starter deck. The sleeves seem to protect the cards well and still no damage up to this point yet. Personally, I am a stickler when it comes to sleeves and these aren’t my favorite style. I like a particular sleeve by Ultimate Guard called Katana Sleeves. They shuffle really well because of their nice pristine design and just feel like a premium product. Sleeves are hard to explain sometimes, but these Nostalgix sleeves are average.
If the sleeves were more like the Katana Sleeves it would be an immense positive and I could rave about how good they are for hours. This would allow for easier shuffling and prevent most damage to the sleeves. I like Katanas more than any other sleeve I have ever used.
After interviewing Nostalgix President Hunter Angell and using the product for a while, I can say Nostalgix is a good time. The game combines some of the good things from others and makes them it’s own for the best Nostalgix experience. The sleeves were decent, but they were just not my style. The starter deck comes with things that I feel can help new people learn and keep them in the game. The Base Set Booster Box comes with 36 packs and has 10 cards in each pack which is 360 cards. There are over 180 cards in the set to collect. Last but not least the Nostalgix TCG overall as a game shows a lot of promise. I think my favorite experience besides opening packs because everyone likes opening packs was being able to play with the unique-looking cards. They did an excellent job making each card unique and a piece of art.
You can find accessories, booster boxes, starter decks, and much more at the Nostalgix TCG Store. They have everything from starter decks being $13 to Booster Boxes being $120. You can even pre-order Harmonic Surge right now for only $75. Prices all seem reasonable based on every other card game out there.
With everything it offers, I believe Nostalgix has some longevity and could be around for a long time. Do I think it will overtake the big 3 TCGs which are Magic The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, or Pokémon, no. They have fan bases that have been around for years and have a big lead on new games. However, once Nostalgix gets more developed and implements the things Hunter told us about in the interview like the digital port of the game for example. I’ve played many TCGs and Nostalgix could be a top 5 down in the long run.
Note – The company provided the Mystery of Mako Starter Deck, a Base Set booster box of packs, and a pack of sleeves for the purpose of this review.