While Hearthstone certainly wasn’t the first collectible game to attract a large digital audience, it has certainly elevated the genre’s prominence. A number of other titles have sought to capture that audience, though none have knocked it from its perch yet.
Duelyst is the latest free-to-play entrant in the space, and it has some impressive names behind it. Developers include creative director and producer Keith Lee (Diablo III, Ratchet & Clank) and lead artists Glauber Kotaki (Rogue Legacy) and Christophe Ha (Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Diablo III).
The team also includes board game mastermind Eric Lang, who is credited as designer of Fantasy Flight’s XCOM: The Board Game, Wizkids’ Quarriors and the Dice Masters games, and (one of my all-time favorite tabletop games) Chaos in the Old World. Originally a successful Kickstarter campaign, Duelyst puts players in control of one of six factions with unique play styles and creatures.
There are currently more than 350 units and spells to collect, from which players can build their squads. Play takes place one-on-one on a gridded battlefield.
While full release is planned for early 2016, Duelyst is in open beta starting today (available on the official site). For more, you can check out the gameplay trailer above and watch us chat and play with Keith Lee in a Test Chamber from February of this year.