I’ve written a series of articles outlining the evolution of the deckbuilding genre through games like Thunderstone, Resident Evil, and Nightfall. However, some folks have commented on the notable absence of an early first-and-a-half-generation deckbuilding game, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer (which certainly wins an award for one of the longest deckbuilding titles, though I don’t know what slaying gods has to do with anything).
I omitted Ascension quite simply because it’s never won a lot of converts at my local gaming store and I didn’t own a copy of it myself. However, that changed (sort of) a few weeks ago when a beautiful and well-produced version of Ascension appeared for the iPhone. I’ve since played the game dozens of times, and so now have a bit more to say about it.
As an early first-and-a-half-generation deckbuilding game, Ascension shares a lot of the feel of Dominion. Thus, you won’t find really far-afield rules like the “chaining” of Nightfall. Instead, each turn you’re just purchasing new cards using the existing cards in your hand. However, Ascension wasn’t afraid to change things up within Dominion‘s familiar constraints; you’ll find most of those changes in the purchasing system.