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Feb 13, 2014 | 11:23 PM EST

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Author Comments

"..ingenious and accessible... just stop reading this and go play it." -Kotaku
"a surprisingly fun deck building game" -Penny Arcade

Highgrounds is an original multiplayer CCG with over 200 collectible characters. It's been called "Magic: The Gathering without the cards." We have tried to make it a game of skill above all else. Complete the single player campaign to amass a powerful army, then compete in multiplayer matches to prove your worth (and win more units). But be warned: this is a deeply strategic game, and more experienced players will likely teach you a hard lesson or three!

You can play Highgrounds both in real-time or asynchronously (if you like to play at a slow pace and/or juggle several games). Defeat your opponents by outmaneuvering them on the battlefield. WHERE you put your units is as important as WHEN you summon them. Front row or back row? 1st position or 2nd position? A well-timed move can spell defeat for your enemy… or for you.

Participate each week in our free tournament and events. Each week you can earn new free units and gems which can be spent on booster packs.

For much more detailed information about Highgrounds, including strategy tips, check out our forums:

Other Tips:
-Completing campaign missions as well as the daily ghost match event are great ways to quickly build up your character collection.
-Having framerate and game speed problems? Check out our troubleshooting guide on the forum!
-If your game is running slow, try turning off SPECIAL EFFECTS using the toggle found in the main menu OPTIONS. We also recommend using the Chrome browser and updating to the latest version of the flash plugin.



Rated 4 / 5 stars

i really enjoy the game, can be very fun. but as a noob, i wish there was a bit more. the single player can usually be beaten, even with weak decks, and that's just fine. but multi-player? not so much. be cool if there was another single player zone.

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Rated 2.5 / 5 stars

HEY! lets add some extra health to lower level players so that higher level players can feel awesome as they kill you in a few turns with their very rares, so they dont feel bad about paying money for gems!

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Rated 5 / 5 stars

Tons of potential! Would like to see more campaign content or daily activities.

spryfox responds:

Hi, you are in luck! We just launched a new update to the game that adds a new daily KOTH multiplayer event, and two new campaign acts (8 missions) among many other changes :)


Rated 2.5 / 5 stars

So, so much potential.

In an industry where the easiest method of gaining a quick buck or two is turning a free to play game into a pay to win game, it is understandable why you would choose to allow people to buy gems for booster packs. However, this means that the already high barrier to entry only becomes higher. Once finishing the campaign and entering the multiplayer sphere, newbies are paired up with individuals with greater mastery of the game and much, much better units. The handicap system of having more health is a token gesture because no matter how much additional health you give a new player, they're simply not going to win. The health just doesn't make a difference. Instead, perhaps giving the higher-level player some type of restriction, such as lowering the units they can have on the field or lowering their overall population, would be a better way of balancing the playing field.

Also, and I'm aware this has been beaten to death, if you're going to charge 200 gems for a booster pack, there need to be better ways toward finding new units. This is likely the biggest problem with the game right now, allowing anyone with access to cash purchases of gems to rank higher than anyone else. And it's very demoralizing to be matched up with someone who doesn't have any trouble trouncing you due to their purchased cards, making the multiplayer arena an unwelcoming environment and very hard to enjoy at times.

This is a decent game with a great amount of potential, but the focus on monetizing it is what holds it back from being a -great- game. The different bases that can be used, the different strategies, all of these are really interesting concepts to use in a game that I can't think of a label or genre for, but it all falls flat for the shortcomings this game holds. I would love to see an update that would at least attempt to address some of these often noted issues and I will be continuously checking back in on this page and the forums in the hopes that some change will be made.

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Rated 2.5 / 5 stars

I want to like this game. I want to like it so badly. The idea is unique, and the game is simple to learn but difficult to master. I like how their isn't one true deck that trumps all others.

But quite frankly most of the game is pretty bullshit, and I feel like a lot of the potential here is being wasted. In most cases of playing against the AI, a game will go one of two ways: 1 - It's so ridiculously stupid and winning is a cake walk, or 2 - The game forces you into an unwinnable situation. I felt no real challenge while playing through the 'campaign.' And it really sucks that it's so short.

But then we get a Daily Event like Uncertain Odds. It baffles me just how completely bullshit that game mode is. For the first round in most instances a player will only be able to play one 'okay' character or two 'sub-par' character. Then the AI magically comes in with two Rowas and a knight character, and there goes half my health before the first round is even over. I'm sorry, but there's a difference between giving the player a challenge and making it completely impossible for them to win.

The multiplayer environment is extremely unwelcoming to new players. A new player might only have a couple of boosters in addition to their starter deck when they start multiplayer. And without fail they'll will be put up against someone who has been playing for far longer, have either earned or bought a lot more gems, and have much better cards that synchronize well with each other. Whereas new players are forced to contend mish-mash of random characters that may or may not work together.

Lots of other people have said it before me, but the system of earning gems is just inane and idiotic. Daily Events don't give you nearly the amount of gems you should have properly earned, and some of the awards of gems from Achievements do not feel to scale with their accomplishments. Some packs are outrageously expensive compared to the other ones. And, this should be a "Play to Win" game, not "Pay to Win."

Some of the characters are horribly unbalanced. Jolien the Healer Fighter is far too expensive considering her skills. Epherius may only have two heal compared to three, but costing only four gold as opposed to seven is a much better deal. Not once have I ever used Jolien simply because she is not worth the money. The Bolt power some characters have is a good idea in theory, but Bolt X2 is horribly overpowered. Suddenly the enemy has characters doing double digit damage each when each of your guys are only managing three or four damage at a time. The characters with Animal Pack bonuses are a much more fair way of buffing a particular character's attack. Also, what's the point of Flair? Why would any one ever use a character that could potentially only harm them?

I do really like the idea of this game, and it really hurts trying to play and constantly being blocked at every avenue by some strange rule or a deck you have no way of properly preparing for. Quite frankly I don't want to play any more, and I don't plan on coming back until I see some serious improvements being made to the overall system.

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