Review: EDU Duel Card Game


If you were ever caught playing cards in your history lessons, you were probably held for detention. However, if you’d been playing the EDU Duel Card Game by PHD Gaming, then you might have been awarded a gold star. This game tries to combine some good old pen and paper role playing game (RPG) fun with gently improving your history knowledge. Read on to find out how well it plays.

Author: PHD Gaming LLC

Version Reviewed: 1.0

Buy Link | Download / Information Link

While not being the easiest of games to grasp, this is certainly one of the most original games that has passed over my desk in recent weeks.

EDU Duel Card Game plays more like a dumbed down table top RPG than it does a card game. This is because the cards either have defence and attack scores, or have special abilities to enhance the values of the other cards, or devalue your opponent’s cards.

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Splash screen and challenging historical conquerors

There is a detailed tutorial that takes you through the rather byzantine rules of the game. I found the rules so complicated that I could only start to grasp them after playing a few rounds in ignorance. In other words, you can only understand the tutorial if you’ve already played the game! (And there are a few typos in the tutorial too!).

The overarching objective in the game is to maintain your civilisation score - yes, there is a strange notion that you’re playing to defend your civilisation against great leaders from history. For example, only an hour or so before writing this review, I defeated Alexander the Great.

The “unit cards” are the pawns of the game that simply have attack and defence scores that are weighed against the sum of those played by your opponent. Green cards modify either your or your opponent's cards in your favour. Purple “Fate cards” can have a strong influence on the outcome of each round, if you’re able to play one.


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Dealing your cards against your opponent

(Sound FX: Nerd voice)
Each player starts with forty civilisation points. If your attack points exceed your opponent’s defence points, your attack points are deducted from your opponents civilisation points. Oh, and you have to remember that unit cards attack one place to the left too!

As you might have gathered by now, apart from performing simple arithmetic, you have to keep track of an unnecessarily confusing set of rules. So while this game can be good for flexing your strategic muscles, I felt that it was asking the player to retain too many minor details.


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Taking the time to delve into the historical content of EDU Duel Card Game

The game has an educational slant though. Every card is named after an important historical icon; e.g. Crossbow, Antibiotics, Bezerkers (ancient Norse warriors), etc. Viewing a card's details gives a short explanation of the historical significance of its name. The effect of the card loosely relates to its subject.

If you take the time to read through the cards, you do actually learn something. However, I fear that the amount of reading required to understand the complicated rules might be asking a little too much patience.

You can pick up EDU Duel Card Game for free in the Ovi Store.

David Gilson for All About Symbian, 10 October 2011

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