If you missed the chance to be an alpha tester for Scrolls, the new card-collecting turn-based strategy fantasy game from Minecraft development studio Mojang, then you’ll be glad to hear that the open beta version is right around the corner, after a slight delay from the planned April release.
There have been a few bumps along the road for Scrolls, like Bethesda’s lawyers trying to insist that Mojang cannot own the word ‘scroll’ (a dispute that Notch immediately escalated by challenging Bethesda to a Quake 3 duel), but a new launch trailer for the game has finally given us a look at the ways in which gameplay has been updated since last summer’s initial Scrolls trailer.
The trailer debuted over on the official Scrolls site, and you can watch it above. There have been a few noticeable changes to the menu and HUD layout, and the new trailer also offers a better look at trading and match challenges. The game will be available in open beta from June 3rd, at a cost of $20 for Windows and OS X.
If card collecting and trading, turn-based combat and strategy games are your preferred genres of choice then the game mechanics being teased in that trailer are probably enough to make your mouth water. If Mojang gets the gameplay and the connectivity properly fine-tuned then interested players likely have a good game to look forward to, if a somewhat derivative one. Considering the fact that Mojang is famous for such a ground-breaking (pun intended) game as Minecraft, ‘derivative’ is probably going to come out as one of the most common criticisms of this new game footage.
With that in mind, Mojang has been very open, ever since the first announcing Scrolls, about the fact that they were not looking to reinvent the genre, but instead to fully bring collectible card games into video gaming and blend them with fantasy and RPG elements, with the goal of eliminating common gameplay flaws. Lead developer Jakob Porser has said, in response to questions about why Mojang is developing new games instead of focusing on their biggest seller, “The biggest advantage of Minecraft’s success is that it enables us to do the projects we really want to do. Scrolls is just that.”
This is really the biggest selling point of Scrolls – that it was made by game developers who love card-collecting, strategy and turn-based fantasy games, and wanted to make their own amalgamation of all three, one without publisher restrictions, limited budgets or rushed release dates: one which would retain the magic of table-top gaming and add to it the benefits of online play. Will it see the same success as Minecraft? Doubtful, but it sounds like Porser didn’t intend to make another Minecraft anyway.
Let us know if you’re looking forward to Scrolls, or intending to pass it over, in the comments.
The open beta version of Scrolls is available from June 3, 2013 for Windows and OS X.