A recent trend has emerged in the world of video games: free to play content. This news is fantastic for parents; rather than shell out fifty to seventy dollars for a video game, parents can now find fun, new exciting ways to keep their children entertained without breaking the bank. Which is good, considering the cost of just about everything else marketed toward children. One of the hallmark, free to play online games is Sony’s Star Wars: Clone War Adventures. Home to over 10 million players, the game allows would-be Jedis to race through space blasting Tie Fighters into oblivion, grants them the chance to fight alongside favorite heroes like Anakin, Yoda, and Obi Wan Kenobi, and offers an impressive array of options for character customization. Further, the online community is vast, and it’s fairly easy to find and add a collection of friends to help out your young Padawan on their journey.
The original Clone Wars Adventures game is enough to keep pretty much any hardcore Star Wars nerd satisfied, but Sony Online has recently upped the ante. Launching this week is a free add-on to their browser-based game. Titled Star Wars: Card Assault, it essentially mirrors trading card games of yore. Back before Skynet the internet was an essential part of our lives, human beings would actually congregate face to face with a deck of cards in hands, flawlessly designed to annihilate their opponents. Popular versions of trading card games have taken the form of Magic: The Gathering, YuGiOh, Pokemon, and others. Now, however, the gaming platform has gone digital, and a younger generation of nerds can still experience what it means to enjoy the thrill of watching their meticulously designed deck of cards in action.
Card Assault works much like its predecessors. Players collect cards and craft decks with which to do battle. Much like other trading card games, the difficulty comes in the creation of a functional, unique build that balances everything a player needs to win. An individual can own over a hundred different cards, but each deck can only hold a maximum of forty. Meaning that some very judicious choices will have to be made with what stays and what goes. The cards themselves are based off of the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated television show, and offer unique strategy only to be found in the Star Wars universe, such as the utilization of the Force to deploy cards more quickly or to prevent bad things from happening (like losing to their little brother). The card game is online and free. All your nerdling has to do is head on over to the Clone Wars Adventures website and make an account.
Of course, the internet is the modern day Wild West, and parents who are iffy about letting their wee Jedis run off into the blue yonder of a potentially hostile world wide web can relax. Sony Online Entertainment has taken great pains to ensure that the experience is enjoyable, but safe. Filters exist for online chat, there is a system that will ban anyone seeking to harass other players, and all personal information is kept private. So there’s really no reason to hesitate. Get going and may the Force be with you. (Did we mention it’s free?)