Pixel Tactics Online is a digital translation of Level 99 Games’ videogame-inspired physical card battler, which will be released on Steam this summer. (It will therefore be a videogame influenced by a card game influenced by videogames.)
Pixel Tactics’ cards depict characters based on well-known RPG classes such as knight, assassin, and summoner. Each player normally begins with a 25-card deck of characters and a 3×3 grid to deploy them on. The attributes and abilities of a card are affected by the square on which it is placed.
To optimise synergies, players take turns drafting and moving heroes across their unit grids. It’s comparable to autobattlers like Teamfight Tactics, except you have direct control over each of your units. The objective is to remove the opposing leader from the middle of each player’s grid. When I want a fast-paced, strategically gratifying 1-on-1 game with little setup time, I like to play the small-box card game. Matches are cutthroat and extremely replayable even with only the first core box set.
Pixel Tactics Online will play quicker than its physical predecessor, according to a recent Q&A webcast with the publisher, since the amount of actions players may do per round has been boosted from two to three. (I wouldn’t mind making it a new house rule for the card game, too.)
In addition to online PvP, Pixel Tactics Online will have a solo mode with 25 stages, each with three difficulty levels, for a total of 75 distinct stages, according to the publisher. There are no microtransactions or booster packs, as there are in the real card game, and the pricing has not yet been disclosed. By clearing levels in the solo mode, players will be able to gain extra cards, enabling them to build their deck with cards from different sets.
The original Pixel Tactics card game was launched in 2012, and has generated multiple sequels and spin-offs, including an officially licenced Mega Man version with all of the robot masters replacing fantasy classes (and more streamlined rules). Based on the screenshots, we can only presume that the Mega Man licence does not apply to Pixel Tactics Online.
Level 99 Games is a board game publisher and developer recognised for anime graphical styles and videogame-inspired themes. BattleCon, the company’s most popular game series, is a card-based 1v1 fighting game that was released on Steam in 2018 as BattleCon: Online.