It seems these days that digital card games are a dime a dozen. It is hard to argue with the success Blizzard’s Hearthstone has enjoyed in recent years and every game publisher wants to follow in their success. Being a moderately successful paper TCG player, earlier this year I set off looking for a digital card game that I enjoyed.
If you follow me on social media, then you likely know that I found what I was looking for in Hex TCG. I often have people ask why I prefer Hex to the literally dozens of other digital card games, so today I would like to talk a bit about why this is. Before you read on though – I would like to remind you that a lot of what I am about to say is purely subjective. It is my opinion and not a personal attack on folks who disagree with me.
Hex is a TRADING Card Game
The thing that makes many of the digital card games hard to get into for me is the fact that they are simply Collectible Card Games. This means cards you purchase or acquire are permanently locked to your account. In order to really dive in and try one of these games you have to invest a lot of time or money into the game – neither of which you can get back.
With Hex, after I spent a few hours in the more casual aspect of the game, I felt fairly safe buying a constructed deck to do battle with. Worst case if I did not find myself enjoying the constructed I could get some of my investment back by reselling the cards I had purchased. Most digital card games today I would just be completely out my money if I did not enjoy the game I had invested in.
Hex is focused on gameplay, not time constraints
Many of the digital card games I have sampled are not trying to develop deep or interesting gameplay. Instead the focus on being mildly amusing, while making sure to not occupy too much time per game. This allows them to be played for 3-5 minutes here and there while you are doing other things. While this is great for some folks, it does make the games feel like they lack depth. When I am sitting down to enjoy a game I want interesting and deep gameplay to be the number one design goal.
The competitive constructed in Hex is best of three matches – which I personally find ideal in games that have variance by design. By requiring a player to win multiple games you allow some variance to be mitigated, allowing the more skilled player with win the match a bit more often.
Hex has regular set releases and diverse constructed formats
I started playing a good deal of Hex towards the end of February, 2016. In the seven months since then they have introduced two new sets each with hundreds of new cards to the game. Each of the three different constructed formats I have played during in these last months has had over a dozen viable, competitive decks. For each of the two seasons that have passed I was finding new deck ideas right up until the very end.
Regular set releases are important to a card game. They keep the formats you are playing interesting allowing for infinitely more replayability with all the new possibilities to explore several times per year.
Hex has free, ranked ladder play
A ladder is a match making system that tries its best to pair players based on the skill level their account is currently at. This creates more meaningful gameplay as less experienced players are far less likely to play against someone much better than them. This leads to less frustration for everyone involved. The lower ranked player has a better chance of winning and the higher ranked player has more of a challenge.
As an extra bonus – this ladder system is not only completely free to play for constructed, but also has prizes attached to it so you can build your collection while playing.
Speaking of prizes…
Hex has cash events
The only thing better than spending hours playing a game I enjoy is getting paid to do so. Earlier this month I top 4’d their first $5,000 cash event that myself and 116 other people played in. Players qualified for this event by playing on the ladder I talked about above.
This was not the last of the cash events Hex has in store. Today Hex Ent announced that not only was there going to be another $5,000 event following the end of the second season in November, but there is also going to be a $5,000 open entry and free to play constructed event on October 8th. No qualification needed – just have a deck and sign up in client.
Three $5,000 events in three months. None of which required any entry fee to play in. For the last $5,000 prize event I played for a paper TCG not only did I have to drive over two hours to play in it, but it also cost me $40 to enter and required me to put pants on.
Hopefully this sheds some light on why I enjoy Hex TCG as my digital card game of choice. At the very least this gives me something concise to link people to when they ask why I enjoy Hex.
If you are thinking of giving Hex a try you can download it directly from their website or simply search for it on Steam. If you find you enjoy the game after trying the tutorial / single player and are looking to dive into constructed you can find a few decent budget / starting decklists here.