MTG meets Shadow of the Colossus in upcoming Acolyte of the Altar


2005 was incredible for video games, with classics such as Resident Evil 4, God of War and Kingdom Hearts 2 all released in that year. When it comes to classics that cannot be ignored, Shadow of the Colossus is one that definitely needs mentioning. No games have truly embodied the distinct aura Shadow of the Colossus evoked, but it would seem we have another contender coming soon. Acolyte of the Altar asks the question of what if Shadow of the Colossus was a card game?

The art style of Acolyte of the Altar is immediately striking, evoking the barren lands and stony architecture of its muse. The cards and iconography appear painstakingly detailed and intentional. Perhaps most surprising and eye-catching though, are the special effects used quite liberally in gameplay. The aesthetics seem to harmonize well and create a very immersive visual display.

a digital card game being played, the enemy opposite of the player's hand is a turtle-esque creature

The music in Acolyte of the Altar exudes a darker and more surreal ambiance that emphasizes the gravitas of each encounter. Perhaps most important is what beasts you will be facing. At the time of writing, there are twenty fearsome beasts to encounter, each with their own quirks and abilities.

To me, the most interesting aspect of Acolyte of the Altar is how each of the beasts you will face has different limbs that can be targeted and removed, allowing you to deprive your foe of their greatest strengths. This addition to the standard card battle formula will certainly create a different style of play, something that I find especially intriguing from the forefront.

Acolyte of the Altar‘s description mentions additional boons you will be granted as you progress on your beast hunt. In traditional roguelike fashion, this game will feature many different options that will become available to you during your journey through the game, each choice further differentiating your experience from your previous hunt.

The following are extra details provided by the developer

  • New Enemy Design: A massive central opponent unlocks new abilities as turns progress. The number of turns you have until an ability opens up is tracked via “Rage Gauges” which can be stunned or sapped by cards, or even destroyed entirely.
  • Creature Combat: This game features full creature combat and synergies, which while common in multiplayer card games, are rare in single-player games like ours. This means you can summon an army of creatures with a health and attack stat and have them interact with each other and the opponent with more ability variety (or “design space”) than other games in the genre.
  • Gift System: Powerful Gifts can be formed from Beasts you’ve hunted to create new strategies, but they also will weigh down your Spirit if you take only the largest and heaviest Gifts. This creates some interesting decision points where you decide if the next tier of Weight is worth entering.
  • Unique Style: We present a surreal, distinct, and darker form of fantasy art, VFX and sound.

With all these details, Acolyte of the Altar is a promising upcoming title with new ideas sure to shake up the card battler formula. I’m excited to see how this game continues to develop and have already wish-listed it on Steam. If you want to keep up with the game, check out their demo and wish-list their Steam page here. I look forward to this title’s release on March 25th. Maybe we will have a new classic on our hands!