Magic Sword Tactics is a solo-only tower defense game. The Demon King is marching upon the city and only your arsenal of magic weapons may defeat it! The campaign is live on Kickstarter and will last 29 days.
You set up the game by making three identical stacks of enemies; the Demon King is placed at the bottom of the third stack. Then, you spawn the first enemies by drawing four cards from the first stack. Enemies are spawned in a 3x3 grid. Each enemy card has a letter that specifies the column in which it will be added. You always place the enemy at the topmost available spot of the column. Then, you pick four cards to form your hand, three short swords, and one card of a higher tier (longsword, mace, or spear).
The game goes as follows. First, you draw enemy cards from the enemy deck. You draw one from the first stack, then when that stack is empty, you draw two from the second, and in the end, you will draw the cards three by three from the third stack. Enemies are then placed as in the set-up, depending on their letter. After the enemies have spawned, you get the opportunity to strike. For this, you pick a weapon card from your hand. Different weapons have different ranges: some attack a single spot, some target an entire row, others an entire column. You roll a d10 to see the power of your strike, as specified on the card. You can then allocate the damage to your enemies, one by one. All enemies have a different strength value that you must beat in order to kill them. If your weapon has a bigger range than a single spot, the first enemy absorbs as much damage as their strength, and so you are left with a smaller amount of damage to apply to the next enemy, and so on until you cannot defeat any more cards. Before applying damage though, you may enhance your weapon by spending cards from your hand. Destroyed enemies grant you Fame points with which you can level up your weapons, up to level 3, or buy new cards. Fame points don’t carry over from one round to the next, so if you want to upgrade a level 2 weapon to a level 3 one, you must kill enough enemies during the round.
If there are any enemies left out of the grid after the battle, they attack the city: you flip the enemy card and cover one heart of the city. The city can absorb 4 damage that way, and if it gets attacked one more time after that, it is destroyed and you lose the game. At some point, the Demon King will appear. The Demon King moves forward by one step every turn, pushing down all its army at the same time so that no card is ever left behind the Demon King. If the Demon King reaches the city before you defeat this last enemy, you lose the game! If you kill it though, you instantly win. You can then calculate your score: remaining hearts grant you 2 points, and you get additional points for all the weapons you did not purchase. For variety, an alternative boss is also included, the Necromancer, who resurrects dead enemies during the final charge towards the city.