Column by Scott Thorne
Posted by Scott Thorne on July 25, 2016 @ 3:32 am CT
With the release of its Mystic Vale card crafting game last week through its Pro Retailer Program, three weeks before the official wide release at Gen Con, Alderac Entertainment Group is positioning itself as a larger game company with a proclivity for games with innovative game mechanics, first with 2012’s addictive Love Letter, then a series of other games from Korean designers and now Mystic Vale, apparently the first in what AEG bills as its Card Crafting System. Somewhat similar to deck building games such as Dominion and Legendary, Mystic Vale differs in that players "craft" the cards that they put into play by "harvesting" points that allow them to improve the cards already in their decks. Whereas the cards in the typical deck building game remain the same with the decks changing each game, in Mystic Vale, not only do the decks a player uses change each game but the cards themselves change as well, making for even more possible variations in each game.
With this game and its Pro Retailer program, AEG also firms up its position as one of the more retailer-friendly companies in the industry. While it still has some distance to catch industry leader Wizards of the Coast (it is really hard to match the amount of support WOTC provides retailers with its Magic pre-releases, Game Days and other events), giving retailers participating in the Pre-Retailer program a three week jump on selling the game prior to its wide release at Gen Con certainly runs counter to some other companies in the industry who release their hot new products at their own booth at conventions several weeks before their retailers see it arrive for their shelves. So a big Thumbs Up to AEG. Now if they can do something about making more of the Yeti hats available for their December release...
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
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