I’ve been taking my time with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and getting my head around the numerous systems and mechanics that exist within the game. It’s perhaps one of the more daunting console RPGs I’ve had a chance to play.
As you push Geralt further in his numerous quests you often find an opportunity to play a mini-game of Gwent against NPCs. What is surprising though is just how much fun it can be and will turn into quite the in game distraction.
In The Witcher, Gwent is basically a collectible card game (CCG) where players construct a deck from their in game collection that contains a limited number of cards which are used to battle an opponent. Games are short, consisting of only three rounds with each round lucky to last a couple of minutes at most. It’s been a few years now since I last played any CCGs (Star Wars/Trek were my thing) but I remember how long games could last and see this as a great alternative that distills the ideas from these kinds of games down to something that is worthy of a few minutes of your time.
It works really well and could easily be seen as a separate product that would appeal to a lot of people; moreso if you felt overwhelmed by something like Magic the Gathering. The rules are simple and the game is deliberately designed to be short through the limited number of cards you can play with at a time. One fan likes it so much they’ve created a version that works outside the game.
Within The Witcher 3, as your travel further you get an opportunity to purchase new cards from vendors or win them in competition against NPCs. There’s even an achievement for collecting them all if you’re that dedicated. I’m just happy to play a card game that reminds me of the old days without the need to spent a fortune on cards, remember a pile of rules or dedicate an entire evening to complete.
CD Projekt RED could be onto a winner with this if they decide to take it further.