Developer Mojo Bones reveals Chrono Faction, a CCG (collectible card game) blending in both action and strategy aspects. Coming digitally on Nintendo Switch and PC.
More information of the game as shared by Nintendo Life
This looks like a bit of a different take on card-based / deck battling, but with a shared ‘timeline’ in which attacks and moves are made by both sides. Is that right, or if not can you tell us about the core gameplay approach to the battles?
Chrono Faction differs from other CCGs in that it features a central battlefield/track for placing attacks. Physical space becomes key, a bit like a puzzle game. The scrolling timeline aspect – where attacks get triggered in a linear fashion – also requires you to think about placement. For example, triggering a Med-Bot at the start of the track lets you regain health before the enemy has a chance to deal with their Damage. Finally, both player’s hands are visible on-screen which makes reacting to your opponent’s cards a key strategy.
There are plenty of numbers on the battlefield, and actions can also affect the board, can you talk us through some of these aspects?
The core rules are actually very accessible. Each attack card has a yellow Accuracy value (indicating strength). Place a higher Accuracy attack opposite an opponent’s to shatter it. The blue values (Damage) get stored at the end of the track, ready to be unleashed in the Combat Phase (where attacks are triggered). Attacks also come in different lengths (Durations) so you also have to plan/consider physical space and fitting your moves onto the track (you might have a particularly powerful attack that just won’t fit).
In terms of attacks, we have 3 types. Standard cards allow the player to build their Faction Power gauge for protection. Advanced cards are powerful if used in specific ways. For example, we have an Advanced card that needs to be connected to the end of the track to receive its buff, another gets a bonus when placed opposite a gap. Finally, we have Critical attacks. These cards trigger special abilities in the form of Acid, Poison, Cryo, Thermo and Shock. There are many Critical effects, all designed to affect the battle in interesting ways. For example: spawn an ice block on your opponent’s track to restrict placement, or poison your enemy to reduce their turn counter.
We have over 145 cards spread across 5 categories.
Is this a game where you’re steadily improving and accumulating your ‘deck’ and gear with each playthrough, or do you reset and start afresh each time?
The main single-player mode – called City Run – sees you choosing a Faction and then trying to reach the end of the Shadow District. Inspired by the Roguelike genre, the city map is procedurally generated, randomising node and difficulty on each run. You start the game with a set of 20 cards – a Starter Deck of sorts – and as you move through the city you’ll upgrade existing cards and acquire new ones, giving you more options for future runs. Chrono Faction also features Weapons and Charms. Weapons add modifiers to certain attack cards (great for boosting specific deck designs), and Charms provide unique perks for the battle. The combination of your Deck, Gun and Charm get placed in your own Combat Case where their combined effects can be assessed.
Beyond solo runs through the campaign, is multiplayer going to be a focus in this game, and are you able to discuss whether this will be local and/or online?
Multiplayer is a big focus. We have a competitive mode called City War that pits you against other players across the globe. As you win battles you’ll earn XP and level up your account (earning new rewards that will give you more combat options). City War features a central crime database that shows a list of the city’s most wanted players. Your Bounty acts as a score – directly tied to your performance – which is displayed as a global rank.
Another key aspect of Chrono Faction’s design is local multiplayer. Because of the game’s unique design – where both player’s hands are always visible, – battles can be played via a single screen. This is a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch’s different configurations. Play on the go in handheld mode with two Joy-Cons or battle together on the TV. It’s designed to adapt to any situation which is a great thing for general VS play.