Card Hog (SnoutUp)
Card Hog by SnoutUp is a card-based dungeon crawler where you pick your little pig protagonist and then try to stay alive for as long as possible. Along the way, you get to slay all manner of foes and pick up different weapons with which to do the slaying. You’ll also want to keep an eye on your health and grab the healing potions needed to keep the porky protagonist alive. All in all, it plays like a typical role-playing game but presented in the most accessible way possible.
Although Card Hog is currently in Early Access on Steam it’s already playable and polished enough to put a lot of full releases to shame. Even better, it appears to be getting regular updates from a developer who is genuinely paying attention to feedback from players. As it is, the version that we played is already addictive enough that we spent close to ten hours gleefully stomping monsters, upgrading weapons, and figuring out what kinds of unique card combinations we could come up with. Apparently, a story mode is planned for the full version of the game along with some other gameplay modes, but there is already enough content here to keep players busy for a long long time.
The great thing about Card Hog is that you can get far by just winging it, but paying attention and planning ahead yields the best results. The game is turn-based and plays out on a grid where new cards constantly appear to replace the ones that were used or destroyed. There is obviously an element of randomness involved, so you never know if the next card that appears is going to be that healing potion you so desperately need, a better weapon, or a stronger foe blocking your way. Weapons degrade with every attack and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with monsters if you are not careful, but each death just made us more determined to plan better and try harder the next run.
Since the game is still in Early Access we’ll save a full review for the final release, but suffice to say that Card Hog already looks and sounds great. It’s also very accessible and incredibly addictive. The build that we played features a “Dungeon Loop” mode, endless mode as well as a neat variation called “Flame Escape” where you constantly have to push forward or get destroyed by a wall of fire. There’s also a couple of multiplayer modes, including a duel, coop crawl, and escape together. We love the different types of pigs available, such as a ninja that deals bonus damage with continuous attacks, a “pygro” that leaves a trail of fire in his wake, and a cop that snacks on health-giving donuts when not in combat. Players can also select traits for a custom character and thanks to the Steam Workshop support it is possible to download new character outfits.
Card Hog would honestly be a steal at five times its current price, so there is really no reason to wait before grabbing the game. It’s got monsters, traps, special attacks, bosses, merchants, side quests, and everything else you would want from a dungeon crawler, but can be picked up and played in a matter of minutes. However, once you start the game is so addictive that it’s a little harder to actually stop playing!
*Early Access Preview Based on October 23, 2020 Update.