We think it’s odd that it’s taken this long for someone to whip up a collectible card game (TCG) based around the setting and characters of the Stargate television series. After all, a show about space-hopping, intergalactic intrigue and high-tech combat seems to be ideal fodder for the intertwined nature of collectible gaming. Fortunately, for fans of the show and TCG players everywhere, Sony Online Entertainment’s online version of the trading card game (which it also created) nails this combination perfectly. So pack up your gear and get ready to jump through the Stargate with us as we reveal what makes this game so enjoyable.
The initial set offers 300 cards focused around the SG-1 series; future releases will bring the Stargate: Atlantis series into the fold while the upcoming August expansion System Lords will offer players further options during the Villain phase of the game. In fact, so many of our favorite characters have already been cleverly translated into the game’s mechanics that it’s hard to imagine what else the developers can add to the mix for future releases – Jack O’Neill, Samantha Carter, Daniel Jackson, and Teal’C all represent the heart of the show’s cast within the cards, to name but a small selection of Stargate icons available for your card-flopping pleasure.
Good TCG game design offers multiple victory paths and Stargate provides you with three: victory by experience points, glyph acquisition, or villain scoring. You acquire the first two types by undertaking and successfully completing “Missions” with your chosen team of four characters. These characters are rated in each of the game’s primary skills: Culture, Ingenuity, Combat, and Science. Using support characters, gear, events, and a few other tricks, your team will try to surpass the skill score necessary to beat each mission. Success nets you experience points from each Mission card (consider it a measure of that mission’s difficulty) as well as a glyph, which you’re allowed to attach to one of your characters. These glyphs frequently pump up a character’s skills as well as adding to your victory totals, so they’re important to acquire.