Hiding in the trailer for Genshin ImpactThe upcoming 3.3 update is perhaps one of the biggest additions the hit free-to-play game has featured so far: an in-game collectible card game. Summon Genie, the game, according to developer Hoyoverse, “combines the fun of Genshin Impact’s element-based combat system with strategy development.” It’s a very dry way of saying that in addition to all the countless things to do in Genshin Impactit is now possible to have fun playing a card shark role, defeating all the characters in this game you learned a few moments ago and building an unstoppable deck of cute character portraits.
There really is nothing better than a good deck of cards in a video game. How cool to hear that a crazy game developer, like Xzibitwants to hook up so many that they didn’t just make a baller video game you love, but put another game inside that game – a game that, in its compelling simplicity, might even be better than the complete game in which it is? It doesn’t even have to be a bespoke in-universe game like Summon Genie. It can be just a basic deck of cards, like Lansquenetthat you can play in this year’s medieval murder Repentanceor Texas hold’em in Red Dead Redemption 2.
Nor is it have be a card game. One of the best additions to Forbidden Horizon West compared to its prequel wasn’t just the vast new locations or machine-hunting tools, but Mechanical Strike, a tactical strategy board game that encourages you to travel around the world and collect more coins. At the other end of the open-world gaming spectrum is ocean of stars: The Divine Forcea game that has a much less dense world to explore but is very happy to populate it with absolutely crazy characters Es’Owaa board game that looks a bit like backgammon with statistics and figurines.
The scope of a game also seems to have nothing to do with the decision to include full tabletop games as a diversion. One of the funniest things about Square Enix’s RPG Voice of Cards Trilogy – besides their amazing runtime, with three entries released in less than 12 months – is their presentation, in which every element of the game is represented through cards. .
Naturally, this leads the player to wonder if they can actually play a card game in the, uh, card game, and it turns out you can! In each town there is a arcade, which allows players to play a card game which is a kind of variation of gin rummy, but with a bit of RPG flair. You can even play it with others via couch co-op, which is a particularly fun feature – even as someone who really enjoys Voice of Cards games, that’s very funny that they assume two to four people will gather around one to play weird rummy.
But maybe none of this speaks to you. Maybe you are someone who (reasonably) thinks: If I wanted to play a card game, I would buy a card game. It’s just. Consider, however, the things that are gained by merging the two. In their most minimal form, they can flesh out the fiction of the world – characters have lives and jobs, so why not entertainment? Allowing yourself to participate in this diversion is a good way to get that much sought-after “immersion” that many games seek. Part of the magic of Repentance is that much of it is about demystifying a period of history that, in the popular consciousness, is thought of in unusually sterile and flat terms. Including Lansquenet, Repentance can subtly elaborate on its 16th century cast, making them seem more human.
In larger games, adding a persistent card or board game – as opposed to the one-off “mini-games” that are a video game staple – is a rewarding way to encourage the player to think outside the box. beaten in a way he otherwise could not. This gives players a secondary, smaller game that they can only get better at if they get better at exploring the game they are already in. At their best, as in Final Fantasy 8it is Triple Triad Where The Witcher 3: Wild Huntit is Gwyntthe card games themselves fold into the main game, becoming either a plot point in an optional story (The Witcher 3‘s Gwent tournament) or a mechanic (Final Fantasy 8refinement of the map).
Although these are all wonderful things, a card or a board game in the game box do, it’s also worth noting that they’re valuable in a way that requires little justification: sometimes it’s just hard find other people to play a weird board game with, and sometimes the greatest fantasy a game can provide is just when there’s a whole world of people ready to sit down and play a game of society with you.