Megapulse is a 1-4 players card-driven futuristic racing game, in which you drive a hovercar and may attack your opponents when they get ahead, or just to stay in the lead. The Kickstarter campaign for the game will be live on October 26.
You first pick a hovercar and its pilot, and choose a track to race on. Each pilot has a unique “catalyst” ability which gets stronger as you lag behind. You start the game with 7 basic cards in hand (which are specific to your hovercar) and three superbombs that you may drop during the race to damage your opponents. Your nitro level, a resource to activate powerful cards, begins at 1, and your speed level at 2.
Each round, you go through four phases: selection, instant, execution and ready-up. In the selection phase, you pick 2 cards from your hand and reveal them. Cards with an instant symbol trigger effects that take place in the very next instant phase. In the execution phase, the main phase, you use your remaining cards, and then decide to either race or repair (lose all speed and remove all damage taken). When you race, you move by a number of steps equal to your speed. You can drive forward or sideways, but beware of the curves in the track: they will make you lose traction and you may crash against the walls, taking damage with each crash. You may also deliberately collide into another hovercar, dealing damage and pushing them sideways. It is also possible to run over a boost pad on the track, to move either forward or sideways with one additional free step, get free repair, or gain nitro. If you get destroyed by taking too much damage, you lose all speed, and in the next round you will not be able to play cards and will be forced to choose the repair option in the execution phase. Finally, in the last phase, the ready-up, you can spend upgrade tokens to purchase better cards from a public market and get your cards back. These upgrade tokens are earned each time you go through a checkpoint or end a lap.
To play solo, you will need to get the corresponding expansion pack (which also introduces co-operative play against a boss and a swarm invasion mode). This expansion pack introduces AI cards for each pilot/hovercar. You can race against a chosen number of automa, and each round, you simply reveal two cards from each automa deck after picking yours and then carry out the instructions. These cards have two sides: one will trigger if a certain condition is met, and you will follow the other side if not. That way, the AI can be more reactive to what is currently happening on the track.
In the solo pack, there is also a Career booklet, with a series of achievements that you may try to tackle. Each achievement specifies the track, race mode, opponents and level of difficulty. You will earn a model depending on your ranking – the ultimate challenge is to get all Gold models in your Career book!