Beyond the MMORPG - The Continuum
In this week`s Beyond the MMORPG feature, we take a look at a game called "The Continuum". The Continuum is a flash-based game currently in beta that comes down somewhere between a miniatures game and a trading card game.
Every now and then here at MMORPG.com, we like to venture outside of our genre to talk about a game that, while it doesn’t exactly meet our game list criteria, still might prove to provide a little bit of fun for our readers.
Today in “Beyond the MMORPG”, I want to introduce you all to a little competitive game called The Continuum. Being developed by a company called Seven Lights, The Continuum is currently in the beta phase of production.
One of Seven Lights’ developers, a man named Tim Harris, was kind enough to take some time out of his production schedule to show me around the game a little bit, so that I could share what I learned with players like you who might be interested.
The Continuum I think is best described as a kind of hybrid between a classic trading card game, and a tabletop miniatures game. It’s done entirely in Flash. While that means that the graphics are, well, done in Flash, the game doesn’t need flashy graphics to do what it promises.
The first thing that I did after creating my account (which was painless enough), was to buy a deck of characters. This is how the game plans to finance itself. They will not be charging any kind of monthly fee, but instead will charge a nominal fee. Right now, it lists a starter pack at $12 USD and a booster pack for $6. The starter pack with gain you your first 40 characters (booster packs give 15), and similarly to most trading card games, will come with various tiers of characters, from common to rare (denoted by color).
“There are 35 character types, and there are different probabilities of getting each character type”, Tim told me.
The game can be played with either a small amount of characters fighting against each other (for example, a two on two skirmish), up to large armies. It’s entirely up to the individual player’s tastes (and pocketbook). This cuts down on the idea that buying a lot of cards will give you an extreme advantage. Before going into battle, players agree on a fixed PV (points value) before they fight. This is a kind of salary cap that insures that the fight will be a fair one.
The game, from my quick impressions, is almost as much about planning before you hit the battlefield as it is about the fight itself. As an example, before plunging into battle, I took my 40 characters (that I “purchased” in my starter pack) and divided them into a number of squads. These squads will be represented on the battlefield by a single model. They will fight as a group, and so it’s strategically important that you put the right squads of characters together before the battle takes place.
The battle itself is also pretty strategic. As you move your squads around a digital terrain, not only do you have to figure out how best to navigate to gain advantage over your opponent, but you also have to keep an eye out for special tiles that give your squads bonuses (for example, to speed).
Of course, it just wouldn’t be a proper competitive online game if they didn’t have some kind of scoreboard. Being a web-based flash game gives The Continuum a bit of an advantage here as their main entrance interface is a website where you can keep track not only of your profile, but of your own personal accomplishments, summaries of battles that you have fought, as well as an interesting award system that sees top players awarded accomplishments and a daily .
In the end, this article is really just a quick introduction to the game. Personally, I had a good time during my tour / play session. If you enjoy trading card games, miniatures games, or are just looking for something quick and new, I would suggest that you check this game out.
Fortunately, the game is currently in the beta process, so MMORPG.com readers can check it out for themselves. Before our tour ended, Tim was kind enough to extend an invitation out to all of us to try out the beta.
If you’re interested in trying out The Continuum, visit the website and sign up, then write to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them that you came from MMORPG.com. Tim tells me that he’ll get you right into the beta.
Check out the game's official website here.