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Friday, December 3, 2010

Pox Nora

Game: Pox Nora

Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment

Download or web based: Both, but download offers more graphic options. However management and arranging of runes is only done on the website.

What you get if you pay: Station Cash is bought and used to purchase expanded Rune packs, campaigns, tokens for upgrading Runes, and tickets into draft tournaments.

Review: Pox Nora is a war between factions over territory. Individual turn-based battles are fought over fields containing Nora Fonts that emit energies allowing the controller to summon larger champions and cast more spells. Campaigns can be waged in a single player mode or battles fought against other players.

“Runes” are collected and assembled into stacks of 30 to be used in combat. Beginner sets are acquired after completing a tutorial and series of battles to familiarize a player with each faction and their Champions, abilities, and play style. When assembling custom stacks all 30 runes can be from the same faction or a 15/15 split of two factions can be used.

On each turn runes are revealed from the players collection. These runes contain Heroes, spells, or equipment. With enough Nora it is possible to summon the Champions to the field, cast spells, or place equipment on a player's Champions.

Each Champion has its own amount of AP gained each turn. AP is used to move around the field, use abilities, and perform basic attacks. Most abilities and attacks increase in AP cost if used more than once in the same turn. Any AP left at the end of the turn are rolled over and added to any gained the start of the next turn, up to a maximum that varies from Champion to Champion.

Spells vary from simply damaging an opponent's Champions to changing the terrain itself. Most spells can only be cast within a player's “area of influence.” This area can include targets within a certain distance of owned Champions. Some factions also have helpful spells, from resurrecting a Champion after he falls to teleporting a Champion out of a troublesome spot.

Victory in battle is accomplished by gaining control over all the Nora Fonts and defeating all the enemy's Champions or destroying the opposing Shrine.

Multi-player formats include one-on-one combat or tournaments. Some formats effect the overall influence one faction has over the others.

Rating: 8/10 The variety of Runes allows for a variety of play styles. While the animations of Champions are limited the visuals of spell effects are varied. Ten minute time limit per turn allows for considering and action while still having a deadline to get things done. Between solo campaigns and player tournaments the play options are nearly endless.