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Valve’s Artifact is far from being a Hearthstone clone

In early 2017, Valve rounded up a bunch of press outlets and began explaining its future plans for Steam and game releases. Later on in the year we received a teaser for Artifact, a Dota 2-themed card game and after that, things went silent. That silence ended this week, with Valve showing off more of the game than ever before.

Artifact is going to be Valve's first new game since 2013. While many assumed that it would end up being a Hearthstone clone, that is far from the truth. Rather than being a ‘collectible card game', Artifact is a true ‘trading card game'. There will be 280 cards at launch, you'll be able to buy booster packs and utilise the Steam Marketplace to sell cards or acquire specific new ones for your deck.

Games take place across three separate boards, each with its own tower set at 40 health. Each player's turn has three phases, one for each board. To win a round, you need to be the first to take out two towers. The folks at IGN published a bunch of screenshots for the game, which you can see in the gallery below.

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Throughout a match of Artifact, you will be in control of five heroes, each one with a special ability. You can buff your hero cards over the course of the match. When a hero dies, it misses a turn and eventually respawns. Weaker minion cards will spawn on the board at the start of each turn, you can defeat enemy minions and heroes to earn gold, which you can then use to buy helpful items as you would in a normal match of Dota 2.

Each player's deck needs a minimum of 40 cards, which will mostly be spells or smaller creature characters that you can play on to different boards. Cards deal damage to whatever is directly across from them, so much like in a game of Dota 2, the goal is to clear a path in order to deal damage to the tower.

The final thing we know about Artifact so far is that it will not be a free to play game. We don't know what price tag will be associated with it just yet, but Valve is planning to open the game up to the public before the end of this year. The game will also head to iOS/Android in 2019.

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KitGuru Says: Artifact is very different to what I was expecting and honestly, it sounds like it could be a lot of fun. It is far from being a clone of other popular card games. A card game might not be what fans of Valve had in mind for their next game, but as with everything else, they are bringing something new to the table.

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