Popular Japanese Deck-builder Soulvars receives English localisation | iPhone & iPad Game Reviews

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A popular deck-building JRPG originally released in Japan in January 2022 has been fully localised for English speaking audiences. Developed by GinoLabo over 3 years, Soulvars is a deeply customisable deck-builder with simplistic controls and some deep gameplay guaranteed to hook players.

After three years in development by a solo Japanese indie developer, Soulvars released in Japan to no small acclaim. It reached number one in the RPG category sales ranking for paid apps, and second in all paid apps for both iOS and Android. With a touted play time of 15 to 20 hours to complete a normal run through, and 50 to 100 hours if the customisation and New Game + mode grip players enough, Soulvars sounds like an outstanding choice and good value for money by the numbers.

Soulvars is set in a world where souls can be converted into data and weaponised for combat by individuals wielding a device called a Soul Driver. The game’s protagonist, Yakumo, is one such person. Scouted by the private organisation DDO and recruited by recruiter Genzo, Yakumo must fight alongside the DDO and the other Soul Bearers to combat monsters known as deformities that suddenly appeared from nowhere.

Unlike many deck builders, players have a three-character party that they must customise with equipment and “Soul Bits”, which are slotted into gear and used in battle to pull off attacks or to defend against monsters. Bits are drawn and replaced as fights go on, and whilst initially, in each battle, only one bit in the hand can be selected, this number increases throughout the battle, depending on various conditions. When two or more bits of the right type are combined the character can activate skills called Arts, powerful moves that can unleash devastating attacks, heal the party or influence the battle in other ways. Attacks can flow between characters with the Driver Link system, a combo system that can rack up damage and pull off Union Arts to deliver devastating attacks.

Soulvars is available to buy now from Google Play and the App Store at a cost of $4.99, a fair price for a very interesting looking game.

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