Top Critic Average
Artifact is a challenging, deep, and surprisingly approachable card game.
Building the best decks will cost you, but Artifact is an intricate and rewarding card game.
For card game enthusiasts, Artifact is an intense, clever conflict that offers a continually shifting board where hundreds of micro decisions lead to eventual victory or defeat.
Artifact's mix of Dota 2's mechanics with that of a trading card game is a brilliant flip on the TCG formula that allows for new and complex strategies.
Artifact is daunting. But if you’re willing to take the time and delve into it, Artifact can be intensely rewarding. It’s not for everyone, but for the deck-building, number-crunching card nerds like me, it’s something you need to see.
Artifact is not for everyone. It isn't for people who are red/green colorblind, for one. It isn't for the die-hard deck builders who would rather grind games than pay cash. But it is for people who enjoy card games with an incredible set of fair and unique mechanics that reward out-playing your opponent over luck and randomness. And while it may be based on Dota 2, with a lot to love for its fans, knowledge of the Heroes or universe is in no way needed to enjoy Artifact. All you'll need is $20 and an open and creative mind.
Dota 2 fans will find a lot to love about Artifact if it stays on this trajectory. Those who don't have any particular attachment to the Dota franchise and want something simpler might want to focus their attention elsewhere.
Ultimately, though, Dota and Artifact both appeal to me for the same reasons. Both can feel overwhelming and unfair, but both those feelings can be quashed with experience – at least, outside of the competitive modes. For now, those are the preserve of the wealthy – and a question mark on the game’s longevity for everyone else.
Artifact presents a challenge that is not suitable for everyone.
Robust tactics and elegant design ensure Artifact's often sublime strategy isn't complex. But a lack of long-term goals and a risky monetisation strategy leaves the game's future feeling uncertain.