We were intrigued and more than a little enamoured by Altered TCG from the moment of its reveal. The design power of new studio Equinox includes Dixit designer Régis Bonnessée, Hearthstone makers, and plenty of professional Magic: The Gathering know-how. After launching it’s Kickstarter campaign, it seems we’re not alone - Altered has raised over $1.15 million in crowdfunding at time of writing.
Altered’s big divergence from other popular TCG players such as Lorcana, MTG and Pokémon TCG isn’t so much in the gameplay (although that is intentionally different) but the way players collect cards and manage ownership. Once purchased or pulled from booster packs and start decks, an Altered card can be freely and legally printed as much as a player wants - no more cracking packs hoping for a fourth copy of that one rare hero.
Additionally, players can buy and sell rights to cards via an official app marketplace - the only location Equinox plans to allow such transactions. Once secured, players will pay a small fee to have the studio print and ship a seemingly unlimited number of cards directly to them. Equinox’s foil card model revolves around blank “foilers” found in booster packs than can be applied to any card matching the rarity of the foiler - apply it to your collection and then order from Equinox for the same cost as the regular-degular version.Watch on YouTube
Altered’s gameplay model skews less violent than most TCGs, asking players to unite their deck’s chosen hero and companion from across the table by playing and crossing a variety of biomes. There are elements of Lorcana’s Ink system and MTG’s five-coloured Mana and lands, but neither task opponents with using their cards to construct an unbroken path and mounting expeditions in order to win.
Hero card designs will incorporate fictional characters from fairy tales, myths and popular legends alongside real-world figures and original designs. Each will belong to one of six factions that govern Altered’s high fantasy world that is absolutely awash in bright colours and striking visual design. Equinox has intentionally sought out depictions of marginalised groups in their heroes, showcasing disability, minorities and non-Western cultures in a diverse world and distinctly non-violent interactions.
Slamming through crowdfunding goals and garnering immense day-one interest, Altered’s Kickstarter campaign proves the TCG space isn’t yet saturated by the massive popularity of Lorcana and the impending release of Star Wars Unlimited. Backers will start receiving their starter decks and booster packs in July of this year, and retailers can begin selling the same products ahead of the official launch on the publisher’s website. Time will tell if Altered TCG’s unlimited printing model will foster a player base unshackled from bad booster luck, but people seem willing to buy in for the ride.