Finally got to play The Key of Avalon tonight. We visited the Capcom arcade in Kichijoji last week. That's where I discovered the game and bought a starter pack from the vending machine. There are other card based video games such as the soccer one, but this games' the 1st that I've seen that seems to be based on a similar concept as Magic The Gathering. I couldn't play last week cause there was 9 people waiting in front of me (see photo). F*kin NERDs. ;)
There are four touchscreen based consoles that are interconnected to the big screen. Whenever you get into a battle, the big screen is used. Each game runs at 300yen (current exchange rate is roughly 120yen per dollar), and you are allowed to put 900yen each time you sit in front of a console. That's like feeding the machine $7.50 for about 20 minutes of play. Before you shove money into the black hole, you insert your IC card that has your personalized info regarding your character into the machine. After the IC card, you feed it your life savings, and then put your deck of 30 monster and spells. The game reads your deck in a couple of seconds, and off you go into their world.
I was barely able to keep up, because everything was in Japanese. Here's what I did understand about the game:
There is one player called the key Holder and three players called Chasers. The Holder's goal is to visit 3 out of 4 towers, which opens access to the main castle. Then go to this castle. Chasers need to stop the Holder. By stopping the Holder the key is transferred to the Chaser and the roles are switched.
Your deck consists of monster cards, monster support cards, and character support cards. Each monster belongs to a color category(green, yellow, blue, and red) and has a movement, attack, and defense value. All cards have a rarity value(common, uncommon, rare, very rare, and super rare). Your deck can contain any combination of cards, but can't have more than 3 of the same card.
You move about on the board by using a monster card. The distance you're able to move for a single card depends on the monster card's movement value, monster's color, and your character's position on the map.
I think there's two phases of the game: Holder and Chaser. During the Holder phase that character can move, and attack. Remember there's only one Holder. The Chaser phase is in real time with other players; therefore, the faster you are at getting to the Holder the better. First come first serve to battle.
During your phase you're able to move, attack, or defend using your cards. You're allowed to use six cards in your hand. If you're not attacking, then before using your sixth card you should protect your character w/ a monster card. If you are attacking, your monster attacks first, unless the defending player has some type of monster helper card. You win the battle if your monster's attack value is greater than the defending monster's defense value. You automatically win if there isn't any defending monster. I'm sure I'm missing alot of details and strategy, but I panicked during the battles. Basically getting my ass kicked. ;) If you defeat a Holder you'll receive the key, and become the new Holder.
After you're done playing, the machine rewards you with a single card for each game you played. If you played with the max credits of nine you'll receive three cards. I picked up a Rare card this way! I'm not sure if you can get good cards through the starter packs. There's a super rare card on Yahoo! Japan Auctions going for 20,000 yen, which is roughly $167.
The game's highly addictive. I was watching and playing for around 2 hours, and never saw a seat empty. Every time someone sat down they put their 900 yen into the game. Let's see: 20 minutes for 900 yen. Let's say the game center's open for 12 hours. 12 hrs x 60 min = 720 min. 720min / 20min = 36 turns. 36 x 900yen = 32,400yen x 4 players = 129,600yen per day. Roughly $1080 per day. Plus people buying starter packs for 1000 yen.